The Berlin Wall Foundation was established as a foundation under public law by the legislation passed on September 17, 2008. The foundation encompasses the institutions Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Strasse, the Marienfelde Refugee Centre Museum, the Günter Litfin Memorial and the East Side Gallery.
The Berlin Wall Memorial is the central memorial site of German division, located in the middle of the capital. Situated at the historic site on Bernauer Strasse, it will eventually extend along 1.4 kilometers of the former border strip. The memorial contains the last piece of Berlin Wall with the preserved grounds behind it and is thus able to convey an impression of how the border fortifications developed until the end of the 1980s. The events that took place here and the other preserved historical remnants and traces of border obstacles on display make the history of the division comprehensible to visitors.
Between 1949 and 1990, roughly four million people left East Germany (GDR) for West Germany (FRG). Approximately 1,350,000 of these individuals passed through the Marienfelde Refugee Centre. Individuals fleeing East Germany were housed and cared for at the Centre that was established in 1953 in the Berlin district of Marienfelde. Here the refugees also underwent the process required to obtain a residence permit for West Germany and West Berlin. Today an exhibition located at the historic site recalls the causes, development and consequences of the German-German history of flight and emigration.
The Günter Litfin Memorial at Kieler Eck is a former command post of the GDR border troops at the Berlin-Spandau Schifffahrtskanal (located in today‘s district Berlin Mitte). After the Wall fell, it was established as a memorial to one of the first victims of the Wall: Günter Litfin. It is both a document of the border regime and a testament to its victims.
The longest preserved piece of the Berlin Wall, standing between Ostbahnhof and Oberbaumbrücke, is known worldwide as the East Side Gallery. After the Wall fell, 118 artists from 21 countries redesigned 1.3 kilometers of the former border into the longest open-air gallery in the world. The East Side Gallery stands both as a symbol of joy over the end of Germany’s division and as a historical reminder of the inhumanity of the GDR border regime. Today it is one of Berlin's most popular tourist attractions.