It’s Day 91 of 365 Things to do in Cincinnati and today we are visiting a new monument for our fine city – a piece of the Berlin Wall.
This piece of Cold War history is a permanent display for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Our piece of the Berlin Wall is a new addition to the museum, dedicated on July 3, 2010. This is a 4′ X 12′ piece of the Berlin Wall, with the West Berlin side (painted) shown above and the East Berlin side (white) shown below.
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). That side of the wall is now covered in glass to protect the original art work.
The east side of the wall was painted white. The German government on the east side of the wall 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.
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.