Berlin Wall Came Down 25 Years Ago

PHOTO: West Berliners crowd in front of the Berlin Wall, Nov. 11, 1989, as they watch East German border guards demolishing a section of the wall in order to open a new crossing point between East and West Berlin.PlayGerard Malie/AFP/Getty Images
WATCH 1989: The Fall of the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall came down 25 years ago today.

Built in the middle of the night Aug. 13, 1961, the wall divided East and West Germany for 28 years to stop East Germans from leaving the Soviet Union-occupied country for the capitalist western state.

SLIDESHOW: 'Tear Down This Wall!'

Over the years, what began as a simple fence turned into a concrete wall that separated the capital and became a focal point of the Cold War.

On Nov. 9, 1989, the East German government announced its citizens could move west. As people discovered guards were allowing crossings, East and West Germans began chipping the wall away.

East and West Germany reunified into a single German state less than a year later.