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Was Berlin in East or West Germany?

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Cold War Tour Berlin

When we think of Berlin, Germany, it’s common to wonder if the city was in East or West Germany. Berlin has a complex history and its division during the Cold War era played a significant role in shaping world politics. In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating story of Berlin’s division and learn about its placement in East or West Germany.

The Division of Berlin

After World War II, Berlin, as well as Germany as a whole, was split into four occupation zones controlled by the victorious Allied powers: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union. As tensions between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union escalated, Berlin also became divided.

The Berlin Wall, built by the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), stood as a physical and political barrier separating East and West Berlin from 1961 to 1989. However, it’s important to note that the city of Berlin was geographically located entirely within East Germany.

East Berlin and East Germany

East Berlin was the capital city of East Germany and its political center. The government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was established in East Berlin. As the name suggests, East Berlin was part of the eastern bloc, under the influence of the Soviet Union.

Living conditions in East Germany were significantly different from those in West Germany. The economy was centrally planned, and the country followed a socialist political system. Travel restrictions were also in place, and East Germans were not allowed to freely move to West Germany.

West Berlin and West Germany

West Berlin was located deep inside East Germany. It was the only part of West Germany that was not in direct contact with the rest of the country. Despite being physically surrounded by East Germany, West Berlin was politically aligned with the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany).

West Berlin became a symbol of resistance during the Cold War, as it remained a western stronghold in the heart of East Germany. The West German government heavily supported West Berlin and worked to maintain a prosperous economy and living conditions.

Reunification of Germany

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked a pivotal moment in history. It symbolized the end of the Cold War and set the stage for Germany’s reunification. On October 3, 1990, East and West Germany officially reunited to form a single, unified country.


Berlin’s division during the Cold War era left a lasting impact on the city and its people. While Berlin was located geographically in East Germany, West Berlin remained politically aligned with West Germany. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent reunification of Germany brought about significant changes and transformed Berlin into the vibrant, unified city we know today.

We hope this blog post has shed light on the historical context of Berlin’s division and clarified whether Berlin was in East or West Germany. The complex history of Berlin serves as a reminder of the power of unity and the resilience of its people.

Was Berlin in East or West Germany?