Why Brian treasures Berlin Wall fragment

Twenty years after the Berlin Wall came down, Brian Alton stands clutching a fragment of history.This small lump of concrete was carved from a section of the 96-mile wall as it was torn down in 1989.

Twenty years after the Berlin Wall came down, Brian Alton stands clutching a fragment of history.

This small lump of concrete was carved from a section of the 96-mile wall as it was torn down in 1989.

The Sheringham restaurateur said he had often visited the divided city as part of the town's twinning with Otterndorf, in northern Germany, and became good friends with a family split by the wall.

The 76-year-old, who owns the Jolly Tar restaurant in Sheringham, said: 'Quite a number of them had, when the Russians occupied the city, escaped from Berlin and settled in Otterndorf. There was one member of the family we were with that had family still in East Berlin who couldn't get away.'


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Westerners like Mr Alton and his friends could cross the wall, built in August 1961, to see the relatives, while those on the eastern side were trapped.

As work began to tear down the concrete border in 1989, the former town councillor was able to bring a piece home which had been knocked out by a policeman. Mr Alton said: 'He said 'let me give you a bit of the wall'. We took a photograph of him chopping a bit of wall out.'

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The fragment, as big as the palm of his hand, is splattered with red paint - a remnant of the graffiti which littered the wall.

It is exactly 20 years since East Berliners broke

through the barrier and

the dismantling of the wall began.

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