In German “Antifaschistischer Schutzwall” means anti-fascist protection barrier.
The Wall was a fortification system from 1961 to 1989 erected by the East German government to prevent free circulation of citizens towards West Germany.
The Berlin Wall so was the symbol of the imaginary line that divided the country in: West Germany controlled by the French, USA and United Kingdom, and East Germany controlled by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
It included two parallel walls separated by the “dead line” about 10 meters wide. During this period the frontier police killed about 130 people who tried to cross the wall.
In 1989 Erich Honecker, Communist leader of East Germany, had resigned, and the entire Soviet bloc was collapsing. After a series of protests by the citizens of Berlin, the government announced that they could again travel freely to West Germany.
On November 9, 1989 the armed Berliners with picks try to demolish the hated wall, so this day was universally interpreted as a sign that Europe’s division into two blocs was definitely ending.