Our Own Bit of the Berlin Wall

Did you know that Cincinnati has its own little bit of the Berlin Wall? And that it’s outside – something you can see at any time? Read on to learn more!

berlin wall in cincinnati ohio at the national underground railroad freedom center

This piece of Cold War history is a permanent display and located on the south side of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (downtown). 

This piece of the wall is 4′ X 12′ and has two distinct sides. The West Berlin side (painted) shown above and the East Berlin side (white) shown below.

berlin wall cincinnati ohio national underground railroad freedom center

One side of the Berlin Wall was in West Berlin; that is the side that is painted.  Can you see the girl’s face in the artwork?  The west side of Berlin allowed its residents to get close to their side (hence the ability to paint it).  Our piece of the west side of the wall is now covered in glass to protect the original art work.

The painted side of the Berlin Wall in Cincinnati, Ohio

The east side of the wall was painted white.  On the east side, the German government surrounded the wall with ditches and barbed wire.  And then if a person happened to get through all that and tried to climb over the wall, the wall was painted white to make the “escapee” prominent so that the soldiers could shoot him or her.

berlin wall cincinnati ohio national underground railroad freedom center

The museum really did a nice job with the area surrounding the Wall.  The East Berlin side (white) faces the Ohio River and is surrounded by large rugged stones and gravel.  The West Berlin side (painted) faces north and is surrounded by inspirational quotes, a smooth walkway and a seating area.  I love the symbolism they have worked into the whole “exhibit”.

One thing that I especially love is that this piece of history is outside of the museum.  So that means you can go to see it at any time – just walk right up.  You do not have to pay for admission to the museum to enjoy this piece of history – it’s free.

The Berlin Wall area sits on the south side of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Museum, between the museum and the Ohio River.

96 thoughts on “Our Own Bit of the Berlin Wall”

  1. Wow. i can’t wait to go see this piece of work. it’s not everyday that you get to see something like this.

  2. I pass the museum all the time and never knew the piece of wall was there. Thanks for telling us about it!

  3. This is a great history lesson to teach my children. Our children need reminded of how lucky they are to be free and have the ability and right to make choices.

  4. Thank you for setting up this exhibit. I can remember when the wall “fell”. I know I was too young and naive to understand the significance. Now, with my little brother in the Army and speaking with many veterans of war, I understand! I would love to have the opportunity to visit this exhibit and the Freedom Center.

  5. I remember hearing a while ago about Cincy having a piece of the Berlin wall. Nice to know its been put on display.

  6. I love this blog – we moved to the area in the spring and it’s a great way for me to learn the many things this city has to offer – can’t wait to check out the Freedom Center!

  7. I just moved to Cincy this past year and am still compiling and working through my list of fun places to go and check out! Will add this (and the Freedom Center) to the list!

  8. I definitely want to take my children down to the freedom center now that they are both old enough to understand it more. What a stark contrast between the two sides of the wall!

  9. Love the museum. Have been twice but not for a few years, would really like to get back to see it again soon!

  10. Very cool. I didn’t know about this museum (relative newby to Cincinnati area). I will need to go check it out sometime soon.

  11. This is really neat! I have yet to make it over and see this. Glad I heard about it from 365!

  12. This is so symbolic and really opened my eyes to what freedom is. It’s so much more than slavery which is the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word freedom. I was a child when the wall came down and really didn’t understand but could see the overwhelming joy and triumph on the faces of those tearing it down. And I think The Freedom Center is the perfect place to display this piece of history.

  13. I love the fact that my Bi-racial children have a place to go where they can see in person the way of life that some of us had to go through for them to be were they are today, Thank you Freedom Center!

  14. Cincinnati resident and regrettably have never been to the Freedom Center…it’s on my ‘to do’ list for this summer and free tix would be great!

  15. I absoulutly love theFreedom Center, this wall beinf here in Cincinnati is amazing, I would love to go admire.

  16. Great museum, great that a piece of what was division is there…a place that is all about division…of minds, of philosophies, of love.

  17. I enjoyed reading about the painting of the wall. I never knew that before. I don’t think that I appreciate my freedom nearly enough. Things like this really help.

  18. very cool, I will have to find the time to get down there… and the money to go inside! 🙂

  19. This is such an important part of all our history, just as the underground railroad and the civil rights movement is. Lets bring down some more walls people!

  20. I’m commenting cause I want to win the tickets, but I’d also like to say the Freedom Center is a beautiful building with very interesting exhibits. I’m proud to have it in our city!

  21. It’s been several years since I took the kids to the Freedom Center, and we definitely want to go back!

  22. Great to have that here in town, and permanently. I would love to get down there to see it and the museum for myself!

  23. Very needed piece of art and symbolism. Not being a Ohio native makes the exhibit even more interesting.

  24. I love that you are posting things that I did not know about Cincinnati. we have lived here a long toma and are continually learning about the area!

  25. Would like to visit with my grand children and have them experience how other
    people were treated.
    Thank You
    A US Air Force Retiree.

  26. We are coming to town for the weekend and looking for something to do Saturday afternoon. We are definitely going to have to check out this exhibit!

  27. I really want to take my 7 year old daughter to see the Freedom Center and the piece of the Berlin Wall. No better history lesson than to see things in first person. 🙂

  28. I am looking forward to seeing this! Thanks for the great information! I love your website!

  29. Have never been to the Freedom center and it would be great for me and my family to see some of the Berlin Wall.

  30. Who wanted want to see a piece of history? I love would love to see this up close and share it with my family!

  31. I would love to see this in person! Not every day you get to see a piece of history and I have never been to the Freedom Center.

  32. Would love to see this museum. I have never been and would love to take my daughter, being out of work puts a damper on stuff I want to take her to.

  33. I was in Berlin the night they started tearing down the wall, so I definitely want to go see this. I have such great memories of living in Germany at that time!

  34. Would love to win the tix!!! Coming back to OH for a visit (currently live in Portland, OR). Love the Terminal and Cincy!

  35. I love the Freedom center! I have only been once and I was rushed! I can’t wait to go back!

  36. I didn’t see the child’s face in it the first time, but it was bugging me so I came back and looked again. Well, maybe you all saw it right away, but I didn’t so I thought I would help you out. It is actually only half a face and takes up almost the whole thing from top to bottom on the right side of it. Note the blue eye and the red outline and red hair and then the pinkish lips at the bottom.

  37. I also had to navigate away and come back to see the face lol. Very neat to get a little bit of a history lesson from the post as well. I have been admiring the beautiful building and look forward to visiting the Freedom Center one day. It is on my Cincy to do list!

  38. It’s nice to know that now that the wall is gone, the East side can experience all the “color” that the West side had.

  39. I love the Freedom Center, and can never inspire my kids to go with me! Maybe this piece of the Berlin Wall will get them off their buns to go down there!

  40. I actually stopped from burning the newspaper on the 4th because I saw this article! I may have only been a little kill but I’ll never forget that amazing feeling at seeing the wall come down! I don’t remember a lot from my childhood but this has always stuck. My Pops and I took my niece to the Underground Museum and it was AMAZING, we were both blown away by it and I want to win tickets so I can surprise him for Father’s Day!

  41. Have not yet visited the Freedom Center but would love to have the opportunity to see this piece of the Berlin Wall.

  42. I would so appreciate the tickets! My husband is in the Air Force and has a small piece of the wall that he got while he was on active duty in Germany. It would be so meaningful for my kids to see the exhibit!

  43. Thanks for the info. I’ve never been there, but have definitely been wanting to go! Love you blog.

  44. This sounds like an awesome exhibit! I have never been to the museum and what a great time to visit!

  45. I have been meaning to go to the Freedom Center for quite some time. These tickets would be great to have and much appreciated!!!

  46. I would really love to win free tickets to this. Cincinnati is lucky to have a piece of the wall for everyone to see!

  47. I had no idea about this – too cool! Cant wait to take the kids and learn some more 🙂

  48. i would love to win tickets to the berlin wall. i would love to win tickets to the berlin wall. i would love to win tickets to the berlin wall. i would love to win tickets in the berlin wall. i would love to win tickets to the berlin wall. i would love to win tickets to the berlin wall. and so very glad that it is down. and that its here in cincinnati! so cool

  49. Cincinnati has come such a long way. Downtown has become a place of learning, beauty, and relaxation. The freedom center, one of Cincinnati’s most recent additions, sounds exciting and I hope to get to see it some time.

  50. I have couple of pieces of the wall that my brother brought home for me when it went down, but would love to see the monument at the Freedom Center…

  51. I remember this happening when I was growing up and it was a major turning point. I would love to win these tickets so I could take my children to the exhibit and teach them all about it.

  52. I would definitely like to see the exhibit and the museum. Unfortunately, it will be my first time there. PICK ME ! 🙂

  53. Hi everyone: The Berlin Wall section at the Freedom Center is an “Official” present from the City of Berlin to the City of Cincinnati. It has been placed at the Freedom Center to broaden the focus of that Institute/Museum to include: “Freedom without walls worldwide”.
    The Honorary Consul of Germany: Dr. Richard Schade and Ute Papke (Co-founder of the Munich Sister City in 1989), spearheaded an effort to bring it here with the help of the Munich Sister City Association and the following sponsors: ThyssenKrupp Bilstein of America, Inc., Kuehne + Nagel Inc., Kolar Design, Nick Gressle Associates, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Hosea Project Movers, A.M. Kinney , Paul Hemmer Company, The Long Stanton Group, W.Jim & Emily, Jessica & Samantha Silver, Definity Partners, Human Nature Inc., Mercedes, Lithko Concrete, Prus Condstruction, Rolf Monument Co., Inc. and many more.
    It is a small park which will be a “teaching facility”. Come see! It is impressive.
    and go see the Freedom Center, which is also impressive!
    A true service to the Tri-State Community.
    Ute Papke

  54. Hello,
    I represent The Berlin Wall LLC and Outdoor Arts Foundation. I have at my disposal 250+ slabs of the Eastern German Berlin Wall in tact and authenticated. I would like to make an appointment to sit down with you or zoom and see if there is an interest in preserving this historical collection as it is the only one of its kind in America and symbolizes the very freedoms we offer here in the melting pot. Its dismantling in 89 caused Rainer Hildebrandt (Founder: Checkpoint Charlie Museum) to purchase and preserve this section of the wall and ship it to America. As it is being reviewed for use as furniture, we want to save as much as possible by seeing if various entities nationally would like to erect a monument to the lives sacrificed and the freedoms gained upon its fall. If you could have a representative contact me, I would make myself available to your schedule to discuss this. I thank you in advance for your consideration.
    I know with your network having an enormous following, you may be able to get the word out that this wall should be used to honor the fallen. If you could put this info out to the societies that follow you, I would be willing to talk to any interested parties, anywhere.
    History must be preserved lest we repeat it.

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