BERLIN – Fifteen years after the Berlin Wall (search) fell, a Berlin museum plans to rebuild a section of the concrete barrier close to the former Checkpoint Charlie border crossing.
The 600-foot-long segment will stand on either side of the checkpoint and remain standing until the end of the year, Alexandra Hildebrandt, the director of the House at Checkpoint Charlie Museum (search), said Thursday. The land is leased by the museum.
Hildebrandt said the slabs were collected from various sites by her late husband, museum founder Rainer Hildebrandt, after the wall came down in 1989.
"This is aimed at countering forgetfulness," Hildebrandt said.
The museum also hopes to attract attention to its call for a "suitable" use for the former Checkpoint Charlie (search), including as a possible monument to the western allies. The site is now crowded with stalls selling souvenirs such as East German guard uniforms.
The reconstructed wall will be placed a few yards away from the barrier's original path, now occupied by a road, Hildebrandt said.
About 1,000 people were killed as they tried to get past the wall and other heavily fortified stretches of Germany's east-west border between 1961 and 1989.
The toppling of the wall was followed by the end of communist East Germany and its reunification with the West in 1990. In Berlin, only a few small sections of the barrier are still standing.
After the wall fell, the original Checkpoint Charlie guardhouse was taken to a museum elsewhere in Berlin. A replica erected at the site in 2000 quickly became a popular tourist spot.