Construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 – Educational Historical Insights

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the construction of the Berlin Wall, the BBF and the Devision for the History of Education in the German Eductional Research Association jointly organized a conference to discuss the significance of August 13, 1961, for education, upbringing and socialization in post-war Germany, which had been divided since 1945.

Project Description

The conference focused on the central question whether the Berlin Wall marks a caesura in educational history, and how the closure of the border impacted on the development of political education in the Federal Republic of Germany on the one hand, and socialist education in civic education the GDR on the other hand.

The topic was approached from a broad range of angles. The analysis of West and East German journals, textbooks and teaching resources was complemented by a case study. The teacher and student perspective was particularly taken into account, focusing on student journals and reports from pedagogical study visits to the divided city of Berlin. From a historical comparative perspective, one contribution to the conference explores the significance of the Berlin Wall for school education in Poland and the Czech Republic.


Matthes, Eva/Ritzi, Christian/Wiegmann, Ulrich (Hrsg.) (2014): Der Mauerbau 1961 – Bildungsgeschichtliche Einsichten. Bad Heilbrunn: Verlag Julius Klinkhardt. 251 S. (Title in the library catalog)


Project Management

Project Details

Project type: Publishing project
Completed Projects
05/2012 – 07/2014
Contact: Ulrich Wiegmann