Berlin Wall: Four unexpected places where pieces of the wall ended up

The wall was erected in 1961 to prevent residents of Soviet-dominated East Germany from defecting to the West as they had been in droves. Once the concrete barrier was in place, getting caught trying to cross without authorization had life-or-death implications. Between 1961 and 1989, at least 140 people were killed by the East German police for trying to escape.

It took more than a year for the wall, which stretched for about 114 miles, to be completely demolished. Some of the matter was recycled to build roads, but capitalism also caught on quickly, and the German government began to look for buyers from all over the world to purchase and display the parts of the wall.

Thirty years later, pieces of the Berlin Wall have journeyed far outside of Germanys borders to six continents and dozens of countries, where they now serve as memorials to a disturbing past and joyous liberation. But regardless of how far from Germany the wall segments travel, the message, said curators and historians, always hits close to home.

Ein Hod, Israel

For Raya Zommer-Tal, bringing part of the Berlin Wall to Israel wasnt an obvious choice. The director of the Janco Dada museum outside of Tel Aviv, Zommer-Tal was in Berlin in 1991 when the director of the Checkpoint Charlie museum, which commemorates the famous checkpoint into East Berlin, asked her a question: Would she host an exhibition in Israel on the history of life in East Berlin? He said they would send her a piece of the wall to display if she....

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