Construction of the wall
Manfred Matthies moved to West Berlin in early 1961 in order to study there. A few months later, he experienced the construction of the Wall in Berlin. In the first few days, the “Wall” was nothing more than a wire-fencing. In the beginning, residents from both sides would still cross this barrier and there were still conversations taking place between the local residents from both sides of the wall as well as with the guards who were ordered to keep watch over the wall. Everybody was excited about the developments and nobody quite understood what was happening. However, a few days later the guards were replaced by proper soldiers who were already much stricter and who “kept people at a distance.” The fencing was also increasingly turned into an actual wall. These developments escalated, eventually completely prohibiting contact between people from the East and West for a long time.