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The Berlin Wall around Flutgraben

The Flutgraben channel has marked the border between the
Berlin boroughs of Treptow and Kreuzberg since 1920. After
1945, this administrative boundary became the border
between the two political systems in the East and West. On
13 August 1961 it was closed by the GDR government and the
construction of the Berlin Wall, built on East Berlin territory,
began. While most civil buildings inside the emerging military
border zone were put away the bus depot and repair facility
located between Flutgraben, Eichenstraße, Spree and
Puschkinallee, nowadays the site of Arena Berlin, were left
standing. As companies in the border area, they were kept
running while being barricaded and closely guarded.

One of the workshop buildings – a steel frame construction from
1928, designed by Alfred Warthmüller – is situated right on the
Treptow side of Flutgraben channel and therefore directly on the boundary line that divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Today
Flutgraben e.V. uses it as artist-studio-space. But traces of the
GDR border system are still visible in different parts of the
building. Other relics of the Berlin Wall, for example the
watchtower in Schlesischer Busch and a pier made of concrete
in the Spree river, are also close by.

The Berlin Wall in front of the workshop building on Flutgraben, March 1990
Photo: Grenzläufte e.V.