Berlin Wall Memorial
The Berlin Wall Memorial is one of the more unique and interesting historical sites in Rapid City. Located at the western end of Memorial Park, the memorial features two sections of the Berlin Wall, which separated East and West Berlin, Germany from 1961-1989, two iron "tank traps," and several interpretive signs with photographs that describe the history of the wall. The side of the wall that faced East Germany is plain concrete; the other side, which faced West Germany, still has graffiti on it.
Backstory and Context
The memorial was created in 1996 after the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology hosted a traveling exhibit about the Berlin Wall. Dale Clement, a local company executive, received a phone call from Gale Holebrook, the Pennington County Commissioner at the time, asking him to buy a piece of the wall since the exhibit was very successful. Clement then called someone he knew from the exhibit and was able to buy the wall sections along with the tank traps. With the help of others, the memorial was built and the city later assumed ownership. Them memorial is a fitting location as it is near Mount Rushmore and Ellsworth Air Force Base.
"Berlin Wall Display in Rapid City." Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association. Accessed November 2, 2019. https://www.blackhillsbadlands.com/blog/2010-03-08/berlin-wall-display-rapid-city.
"The Berlin Wall Memorial." The Historical Marker Database. Accessed November 2, 2019. https://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=136399.
Tupper, Seth. "How the Wall came to Rapid City." Rapid-City Journal. November 8, 2014. https://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/how-the-wall-came-to-rapid-city/article_43d6849e-6e33-544f-a37e-a8ecf166fabe.html?mobile_touch=true.
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