Berlin: Design for a Nightmare

Much of the barbed wire is gone, and the ugly grey cinder blocks are rapidly giving way to trim slabs of concrete. Just a few feet away, workmen are busily dismantling the forbidding old wooden watchtowers and replacing them with neat rectangular structures that look more like mountaintop tourist lookouts than machine-gun nests. At first glance, the scene is strangely placid; Western visitors can hardly believe that they are at the edge of Berlin's infamous Wall.

Less Plausible. A closer look reveals the harsh realities. For all its outward appearance, East German Boss Walter Ulbricht's New Wall is even less...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!