The 14 Best Documentaries About The Berlin Wall

Jul 26, 2023 | Best Of, History

The Berlin Wall was one of the most iconic symbols of the Cold War. It divided a city and kept people separate for decades, yet it also inspired creativity and resilience in those who lived through it. Now, more than 30 years after its fall, we can still learn from stories about this infamous wall — stories that have been captured in documentaries over the years. From gripping tales of escape attempts to inspiring accounts of everyday life on either side, these films provide an insightful view into the history behind one of Europe’s most famous walls. So if you’re looking for a glimpse into what life was like during this tumultuous time period, here are some of the best documentaries about Berlin Wall that will make you think twice about what really happened behind this iron curtain.


1. Behind The Wall (2013)

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the historic event that is the fall of the Berlin Wall, “Behind the Wall” delves into the personal accounts of individuals who resided on either side of this infamous barrier. Giving voice to those whose lives were directly affected by its presence and eventual collapse, this documentary presents a unique and intimate perspective on life in Berlin during this tumultuous time.





2. Berlin Wall: The Night the Iron Curtain Closed (2014)

The dawn of August 13th, 1961 marked a pivotal moment in history for the citizens of Berlin. As they opened their eyes to greet the day, they found their beloved capital had been brutally split in two. The cloak of darkness had masked the division that would forever change the course of their lives.






3. Busting the Berlin Wall (2009)

For nearly three decades, a concrete barrier divided the city of Berlin and its people. The threat of danger loomed over those living in the German Democratic Republic, but some refused to be held captive by their circumstances. Brave attempts were made to defy the Wall – from daring balloon flights to risky Wall climbs using makeshift ropes. But while the physical structure remained intact, waves of change had already begun to chip away at the crumbling foundation of Communism. Then, in a moment that stunned the world, the borders were flung open and the Wall came crashing down.





4. The Berlin Wall: From Construction to Demolition (2022)

The Berlin Wall remains a symbol etched in our minds, evoking feelings of fear, resistance, and triumph. This powerful structure has left an indelible mark on the course of history, shaping our collective memory. In this lecture, we will delve into its origins, significance, and ultimate fall. Join us as we uncover the enduring legacy of the Berlin Wall.







The 10 Best Free Documentaries About The Berlin Wall


1. History Documentary The German history Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall History

This documentary offers a comprehensive account of the building, escapes and fall of the Berlin Wall. It is an important source material for anyone studying Cold War history at GCSE or IGCSE level. Get an in-depth look into this iconic structure’s construction, examine why people tried to escape over it and understand how it finally came down after years of division. All this with insightful interviews from key players involved in its creation and eventual destruction.


2. The Berlin Wall – How it worked

Explore the unique history of Berlin and East and West Germany when the Berlin Wall stood for nearly three decades. This documentary takes you on a journey back in time as we look at how this wall divided the city, with stories from people who experienced it firsthand. Witness their memories of life before, during, and after the division of East and West Germany when Berlin was walled in- all told through archival footage and first-hand accounts.


3. The Stasi and the Berlin Wall

August 13, 1961 marked a fateful day for East Germans as the Berlin Wall went up and changed their lives forever. However, for one group in particular, it was actually a stroke of luck – over the following decades, the Wall became their lifeline. This documentary takes an in-depth look at how this barrier impacted East German life and its lasting legacy on those who lived through it. We explore the billion-dollar business of selling GDR prisoners to West Germany and uncover how Erich Mielke’s Stasi agents were everywhere – from arrests and imprisonment to recruiting unofficial collaborators. Learn about their elaborate construction of tunnels and underground listening stations to track down tunnel diggers as well as “filtering” Western traffic at border crossings. It is also revealed that Mielke’s power grew with perfecting the walling-in system which provided more work for his security apparatus. The fall of the Wall brought an abrupt end to both East Germany and its security apparatus; ironically it was a Stasi man who opened the first barrier thereby initiating its collapse.. Watch this video to learn about all these events from one source!


4. The Berlin Wall, our family and us

Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, East and West Germany are still divided. On one hand we have Antonia and Franz Hildebrandt, siblings who were born in a unified Germany and live close to Bernauer Strasse where the wall once stood. On the other hand there is their grandmother Regine Hildebrandt who decided to stay in East Berlin when it was built, hoping for change from within. And finally there is Frauke Hildebrandt – their mother – who left for West Germany shortly before its fall. The two young Berliners want to find out why this schism between East and West still lingers on even 30 years later. They travel around Eastern Germany looking for answers while also learning more about how their family members experienced life during that time period. At Mauerpark they discover an open-air festival with street artists, live music and flea markets where people from all over the world come together every Sunday – creating a tangible reminder of how far things have come since 1989!



The Berlin Wall was a symbol of ideological division and suppression during the Cold War. In 1961, the Communist government of East Germany started construction on this barrier that divided Berlin for nearly three decades. This documentary takes you back in time to explore the history of this infamous wall from its rise and fall, while also highlighting its impact on German history. Follow along as we uncover secrets hidden behind The Berlin Wall: A Secret History!


6. Why Was The Berlin Wall Built?

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked a historic moment for the world, but what led up to this event? Learn about the tensions between East and West, as well as the fallout from World War II. This video will give you an overview of why the Iron Curtain was created and how it all came crashing down 30 years ago. Gain insight into one of history’s most significant events!


7. Walled in: The inner German border

This video explores the incredible story of Germany’s inner border and Berlin Wall, which for 28 years kept people from fleeing East Germany. Witness dramatic computer animation that shows the vast security system in realistic detail and hear how this barrier was finally broken on November 9, 1989 – a night that changed history forever. Get a unique perspective into what life was like during those decades of division and discover why it is so difficult to imagine now.


8. Virtually History: The Berlin Wall

It’s been 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, an event that shook the world and caused ripples of change. To commemorate this momentous day, YouTube Originals brings you a unique opportunity to travel back in time. Using cutting-edge virtual reality technology, three people will be taken back to the days when their relatives were photographed escaping or overcoming the Berlin Wall. At the same time, four YouTube Creators from different countries – UK, Ireland and Germany – will step into these virtual streets to explore how this piece of history is still relevant today. This unique documentary aims to remind us all that freedom isn’t something we should take for granted – it’s only been 30 short years since then! If you’re interested in learning more about history and other topics like well-being or how-tos, check out YouTube’s Learning Hub at /learning for more great content from your favorite creators!


9. Berlin from above: A panoramic documentary about the capital and Brandenburg

What has changed in Germany since the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago? This movie takes us on a glide flight above this metropolis to explore how its citizens and their dreams have been impacted by this significant event. We will take a unique look from above to see what visions emerged, and how they mark this region’s contentious history. Join us as we discover what changes have taken place over the last quarter century!



The Berlin Wall was a symbol of the Cold War era, separating East and West Berlin. This short documentary takes you through the history of this iconic structure, from its construction in 1961 to its fall in 1989. We’ll explore how it became an international symbol of oppression and how it ultimately led to the reunification of Germany. Along the way, we’ll meet those who lived near or crossed over the wall during these tumultuous times – their stories are inspiring reminders that freedom will always prevail!

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David B