During the period of the Cold War, the Berlin Wall was 154.6 kilometers long. Its final version comprised of 45,000 sections of reinforced concrete, 79 miles of fencing, about 300 watchtowers, 250 guard dog runs, 20 bunkers, and 65 miles anti-vehicle trenches. Intense, right? No wonder it was also referred to as the “Death Strip” back then.
The former barrier between East Germany and West Germany stood from 1961 to 1989. According to a chronicle about the Berlin Wall entitled the “Berlin Wall Story”, the people used 65 cranes, 175 trucks, and 13 bulldozers to crush the Berlin Wall. They crushed about 40,000 portions successfully, using them to reconstruct roads in Germany.
The portions that survived, on the other hand, were either auctioned off to collectors or sold to museums in various parts of the world. Some of them even ended up in unexpected places. Actually, one portion ended up in a place you would probably never guess: a men’s bathroom!
PEE ON THE BERLIN WALL
Who would’ve thought that a piece of the Berlin Wall is at the men’s bathroom of Main Street Station Casino? In fact, it had been there for about 20 years already! The piece measures about 3 meters in width and 1.6 meters in length. There are three urinals that are mounted on it. This is why many articles about this surprising fact were entitled “Pee on the Berlin Wall” as you may claim that you did. Well, close. The wall is protected by glass.
You’re probably wondering how and why the piece of the Berlin Wall ended up inside the men’s bathroom of the Las Vegas casino. In as much as we want to let you know, the truth is: no one knows. According to Boyd Gaming Corporation, the owner of the Main Street Station Casino, the wall was already inside the bathroom when it purchased the property from another casino back in the 1990s. The previous owners sold the property because they went bankrupt before opening.
The Berlin Wall at the Main Street Station Casino, according to the spokesperson of Boyd Gaming Corporation David Strow, has become so popular to the extent that the owners needed to renovate the bathroom because of the “the unusual amount of traffic it gets”. The cause of traffic includes females too, by the way. Security guards escort females to the men’s bathroom when it’s empty so they could take a look at the famous item.
As hinted earlier, there are other unexpected places where you may find some pieces of the Berlin Wall. Nonetheless, the longest piece remains to be in Germany. It is specifically located in the East Side Gallery. It stretches about 1.3 kilometers long. By foot, you may see it entirely within 20 minutes.
In the United States, you may find the longest piece of the Berlin Wall at Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. To know more about the unexpected places where some pieces of the Berlin Wall ended up, check out this detailed article from CNN.
A WALK DOWN THE MEMORY LANE
So, what’s the story behind the Berlin Wall again? After World War II, Germany was divided into East and West. The Eastern Part went to the Soviet Union and the Western Part went to the United States, Great Britain, and France.
Berlin, the capital of Germany, was also divided. Same thing, the Eastern part of Berlin went to the Soviet Union whereas the Western part went to the United States, Great Britain, and France.
The Soviet Union didn’t like the fact that the three countries control West Berlin. It made efforts to remove them from the city totally. In 1948, it commenced a blockade. The three countries found a solution for the challenge eventually. They supplied goods to those under them by air. The Soviet Union lifted the blockade a year after.
East Berlin made a move against West Berlin again after a decade. It built the Berlin Wall to address the continuous number of refugees going from East to West. At first, the Berlin Wall only comprised of two fences. Later on, as mentioned earlier, East Berlin secured the Berlin Wall further.
While patrolling officers were ordered to shoot any escapees they will see, many East Germans continued to fight for their freedom. They crossed from East to West in various ways. There were even some who crossed by flying in hot air balloons. More than 5, 000 East Germans successfully crossed the border between 1961 until 1989. As you would expect, there were also those that didn’t make it and got killed. About a hundred to be specific.
Years passed and the Cold War began to cease. On November 9, 1989, the spokesperson for East Berlin declared that German citizens within their area may now cross the borders. More than two million East Germans went to West Berlin upon the announcement. By the end of 1989, the Berlin Wall was crushed almost completely. And on October 3, 1990, Germany became one again officially.
SEE A PIECE OF THE PAST
While the Berlin Wall represents a dark time in history, it also serves as a reminder of how far the world has come. View the present in a much grateful light as you see (or “pee” on) a piece of the past. Head to the Main Street Station Casino today!