August 13, 1961 - Shortly after midnight the East German government closes the border with West Berlin and soliders begin building a dividing wall of barbed wire and bricks. The wire was soon replaced by a six-foot-high, 96-mile-long wall of concrete blocks, complete with guard towers, machine gun posts and search lights. Many Berliners woke in the morning cut off from family and friends on the other side of the wall. The height of the Wall was raised to 10 feet in 1970 in an effort to stop escape attempts, which at that time came almost daily. From 1961 to 1989, a total of 5,000 East Germans escaped; many more tried and failed. High profile shootings of some would-be defectors only intensified the Western world's hatred of the Wall.