This talk covers the circumstances which brought about the construction of the wall, what it meant for Germany and the crisis it precipitated in the context of the Cold War. Whilst focusing on 1961, it also covers the period 1945-61 and discusses why and how the wall was built, who built it and what we think of it today. Karim Hussain is a graduate of Warwick University and the School of Oriental and African Studies. He has worked at The UK National Archives for four years. He is currently a member of the Modern Domestic Records team in the Advice and Records Knowledge Department.