The map above is one of our favourites. It shows (or rather doesn’t show) West Berlin in 1988. It was published in East Germany just one year before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
On the surface the map is clearly ridiculous and wouldn’t have fooled anyone. However, it also reveals a deeper truth about life in East Germany prior to the fall of the wall. While Western Berliners and West Germans could visit East Berlin, West Berlin was off-limits for virtually all East German citizens.
Therefore, this map is accurate, in its own way, at least from the perspective of an East German citizen. For most people living in East Berlin or East Germany, West Berlin may as well have not existed, because for all practical purposes it was impossible to visit.
This is discussed humorously in the following Maps men video:
For more on East Germany and the Berlin Wall have a look at the following books:
- The Berlin Wall: A World Divided
- Letters Over The Wall: Life in Communist East Germany
- The East German Handbook
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