Nothing to add other than interesting period in history. Aug. 12, 1961 Before the Wall: A final chance to flee from East to West Berlin. On Saturday Aug. 12, 1961, a record number of people (approximately 4,000) fled from East to West Berlin. The following day, the world awoke to find 30 miles of barbed wire running through the heart of the city. The barrier was laid by East German soldiers. Two days later, on Tuesday Aug. 15, the same soldiers began to transform that wire into a wall — the Berlin Wall. After World War II, the Potsdam Conference had divided Germany into four occupied zones, each under the control of one of the allies: France, Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union. Berlin, the capital, lay in the eastern section controlled by Russia and was itself divided into sectors. Between 1948 and 1961, 3 million people had fled the Communist state, representing one-sixth of East Germany's population. By August 1961, an average 2,000 people made the one-way journey from East to West Berlin each and every day. So began the creation of what was officially dubbed the "Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart." Checkpoints between the two sides were shut down, and the wire became the wall. For almost three decades, the wall cut Berlin in two. More than 100 people would die trying to make it across.