Berlin Wall, now gone for 30 years

As the “Iron Curtain” descended across Europe, the tensions along the border between the two new Germanys escalated until 1961 when construction began on a wall surrounding West Berlin from East Berlin. Dubbed a means to keep fascism out of the People’s Republic (antifaschistischer), the Berlin Wall was more of a mechanism to keep East Germans from escaping the soul-crushing misery that was Communism by fleeing to the West. It is estimated that more than 3 million Germans fled from East to West between 1949 and 1961. If they weren’t stopped, eventually all the workers would have fled the worker’s paradise and the country would be empty!

The guns of those two forces, with the DDR’s heavily indoctrinated Grenztruppen on the East, and the FGR’s Bundesgrenzschutz to the West, were interesting.

In 1975-76, Walther produced a limited run of 5,200 P38 P4 pistols, a shortened version of the P1, specifically for use by the West German Border Patrol and Customs agencies. The above, in the author’s personal collection, is one of those former BMI guns. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

More in my column at Guns.com

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