I know the center of the city around the Brandenburg gate is being heavily developed but since it completely circled the city (100 miles in circumference) there must have been areas where there hasn’t been a push for development yet.
So are there still any fenced off areas unsafe to walk through?
About 10 years ago I stayed with friends who lived in a fairly rural part of the former East Berlin, near the wall. The “death strip” had been converted to running/walking/riding paths, no signs of landmines remaining. I can’t speak for the full length of the Wall but they got ride of most of it pretty quickly.
There were a million landmines in the minefields on the border between east and west germany (“Inner German Border”). The mines were laid to be easily removed. …After 1989, they were worried about 30,000 unaccounted for. Deutchland spent 250 Million Deutchmarks to find and remove hidden/forgotten 1000 landmines by the end of 1995.
Onto the Berlin wall, the one in question. The 1975- 1980 period saw the wall surround west berlin built to one standard, and that standard did not involve land mines. So in 1989 there were no land mines around Berlin to remove. Since the 1975 upgrade involved significant building, there wouldn’t be any forgotten about and left in place at reunification.
Grenzmauer 75 (Border Wall 75) (1975–1989)
The “fourth-generation wall”, known officially as “Stützwandelement UL 12.11” (retaining wall element UL 12.11), was the final and most sophisticated version of the Wall. Begun in 1975 and completed about 1980, it was constructed from 45,000 separate sections of reinforced concrete, each 3.6 metres (12 ft) high and 1.2 metres (3.9 ft) wide, and cost DDM 16,155,000 or about US$3,638,000.
It’s a 15 year old memory (I checked the dates, I’m getting old) so perhaps “fairly rural” was an inaccurate description. They bought a house in a working class neighborhood near the border, it was populated by mostly loyal party members they said who were sure to keep an eye on things. The former wall section was a short ways away, and was a grassy strip with a paved walking path down the center. It used to have 2 sets of barbed wire fences apparently and the path was patrolled by guards. There were woods and parkland around, maybe I interpreted that as rural when it was just green space in an urban environment.
Does that sound like any particular area of Berlin? Actually I’m pretty sure they weren’t in East Berlin, but just bordering on West Berlin now that I think of it.
If they weren’t in East Berlin, just East Germany, then maybe. Everything near the wall (the one running down the middle) is quite urban, with perhaps a few relatively small house plots well to the north and south - but you won’t find many in Berlin. It’s more likely they were well on the outskirts of town around West Berlin. That area was relatively rural, particularly since travel was difficult.
What is being highly developed which is not already? The area around the Brandenburg gate (except for the weedy lot where Hitler’s bunker was) is already heavily developed, with hotels. embassies, and the Holocaust Museum. I have read that the largest existing section of the wall is in jeopardy, but that is pretty far out. Maybe they mean that part. No landmines - you can go right up to it - and we did.
The other remaining part of the wall we saw was near Checkpoint Charley. This section still has the East German buildings on the East side which lets you see the gap between the wall and the buildings.