Before the collapse of the East German state, the Berlin Wall used to run along this street. Bernauer Strasse became well known during this time for the numerous escape attempts that were made from the apartment buildings on one side of the street, where people would try to leap from East Berlin to west.
Because of these escape attempts, the windows to the apartments on the east side of Bernauer Strasse where successively bricked up, and in 1963 the apartments torn down altogether.
None the less, this street was the scene of a number of successful underground tunnel escape attempts, during which more than 80 people crossed the border safely into West Berlin.
The Berlin Wall memorial can be found on this street, at the entrance to Swinemünder Straße that is dedicated to the ten people who lost their lives on this street. A "Documentation Center" can also be found here, detailing the history of the street. Entrance to the Documentation Center is free.
The best way to reach Bernauer Strasse is either with the S1 or S2 to Nordbahnhof, or with the U8 to Bernauer Strasse. Interestingly, this station was one of the "Geisterbahnhöfe" or "Ghost Stations" that was closed down when the wall was built as it lay in East Berlin. During the time of the wall, trains from the west would pass through this station, but never stop here.
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