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Fifty years later, the Berlin Wall seems to be everywhere

August 17, 2011|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • A stretch of the Berlin Wall in Germany shows a mural painted after the fall of the wall. It portrays Leonid Brezhnev kissing Erich Honecker, former leaders of the Soviet Union and East Germany, respectively.
A stretch of the Berlin Wall in Germany shows a mural painted after the fall… (Richard Derk / Los Angeles…)

It seems everyone has a chunk of the Berlin Wall these days. Half a century ago, the wall was underway  and soon turned into the concrete barrier dividing the German city and the world. Toppled in 1989, the wall that was a powerful symbol of repression and the Cold War has migrated to cities across the globe.

Context [(800) 691-6036], based in Philadelphia, is launching a new Walking the Wall tour in Berlin that emphasizes the political and social history of the barrier. Escape attempts, memorials and exhibitions are part of the three-hour tour led by a historian that explores the wall in its original place. Cost is about $93 a person.

But you don't have to go to Berlin to come face to face with one of the formidable slabs. Cities around the world have pieces of the wall on display. Here are some closest to Southern California:

--The Wende Museum in Culver City in 2009 lined up 10 slabs from the original wall as a nod to 20 years of freedom. It invited artists to paint the panels, which still stand at 5900 Wilshire Blvd. in L.A.

--The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda has a 12-foot section of the wall on display.

--The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library in Simi Valley has a chunk of the wall placed in its reproduction of the South Lawn of the White House.

--Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles has part of the wall on display at its campus.

--The Main Street Station Casino, Brewery and Hotel in Las Vegas counts the Berlin Wall in its list of "antiques," which also includes bronze doors from the Kuwait Royal Bank.

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