Iconic, unique and totally emblematic of Germany’s capital city, the Berlin Wall is a true representative of the city’s Cold War past, and it’s eclectic and artistic modern-day funk.

Though the Berlin Wall’ technically no longer exists, remnants of the iron curtain can be found throughout the city, now transformed into the 1.3 km long, open-air, East Side Gallery.

Here are six murals you should absolutely look out for.

The Kiss: My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love 

When you think of the Berlin Wall, chances are, it’s this mural which comes to mind. Depicting the unforgettable Socialist Fraternal Kiss’ between USSR leader, Leonid Brezhnev and East German President, Erich Honecker, it’s become one of the most symbolic moments of the Cold War.

While the real lip-lock took place in 1979, it’s been immortalised in graffiti since 1990 by Dmitri Vrubel, on the fallen Berlin Wall. 

Entitled, My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love’, you’ll find it at #25 on the East Side Gallery.

The Kiss

6 Murals to See on the Berlin Wall: A Guide to Berlin’s East Side Gallery: My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love, Dmitri Vrubel

Trabant Breaking Through The Wall

The second most famous artwork on the Berlin Wall is awarded to Birgit Kinder’s Trabant Breaking Through the Wall’.

The Trabant car, born and bred in the soviet satellite, perfectly captures East Germany’; it was smoky, slow and uncomfortable, and therefore symbolic of the crooked and inefficient state. 

Crashing through the wall, the graffiti is a nod to all those who tried to escape the regime and serves as a memorial to the thousands who lost their lives in pursuit of freedom.

Trabant Breaking Through The Wall

6 Murals to See on the Berlin Wall: Trabant Breaking Through the Wall, Birgit Kinder

It Happened In November

Perhaps no other mural in the East Side Gallery is as moving as Kani Alavi’s It Happened in November’.

The painting is a snapshot of Checkpoint Charlie in the American-controlled zone of West Berlin on the day that the Wall came down. Faces upon faces can be seen with a myriad of expressions, bringing to life the overwhelming range of emotions felt by all Berliners on the day their city was once again united.

It Happened In November

6 Murals to See on the Berlin Wall: It Happened In November, Kani Alavi

Das Vaterland

A fusion of the flags of Germany and Israel, Das Vaterland is a social commentary on fascism and prevailing hope, created in response to The Night of the Broken Glass’ — 50 years on from the infamous event — and the fall of the wall.

A frequent subject to vandalism, Günther Schaefer has restored his painting 44 times! In his own words, as long as fanatics destroy paintings like mine, such paintings are necessary’.

Das Vaterland

6 Murals to See on the Berlin Wall: Das Vaterland, Günther Schaefer

Cartoon Heads

Before the vision of the East Side Gallery had even come into fruition, Thierry Noir was already rebelling against the division of Berlin using a paintbrush of his weapon of choice.

With the wall demolished, the first street-artist of the Berlin Wall was invited to participate in the creation of the gallery, and he chose to recreate the same cartoon heads that risked his life to adorn on the wall every day for 5 years.

Cartoon Heads

6 Murals to See on the Berlin Wall: Cartoon Heads, Thierry Noir

The Wall Jumper

The sepia-coloured leap of faith taken by East German police officer, Conrad Schumann, who abandoned his post, and escaped into West Berlin is one of the most well-known photos of the Berlin Wall.

The Wall Jumper graffiti, however, does not tell that story. Instead, Gabriel Heimler took a unique approach with his memorial, Der Mauerspringer’ and chose instead to tell the story of a nameless West German, jumping into East Berlin as a gesture of freedom, and possibly and even bigger leap of faith into a now unified but uncertain city.

The Wall Jumper

6 Murals to See on the Berlin Wall: The Wall Jumper, Conrad Schumann

Once you’re done admiring the East Side Gallery, check out these other things to do in Berlin!

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