Who built Berlin Wall? Most Russians don't know

MOSCOW Thu Nov 5, 2009 2:14pm EST

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - More than half of all Russians do not know who built the Berlin Wall, one of the most enduring symbols of the Cold War, an opinion poll showed on Thursday.

Ten percent of people surveyed by pollster VTsIOM thought Berlin residents built it themselves -- even though its purpose was to prevent residents of communist East Germany from escaping to the West through the divided city of Berlin.

Six percent said Western powers built it and four percent though it was a "bilateral initiative" of the Soviet Union and the West.

Fifty-eight percent said they did not know who built it, with just 24 percent correctly naming the Soviet Union and its then-communist ally East Germany.

Following mounting pressure from within the communist bloc, the wall was opened to allow people to cross from east to west on November 9, 1989, leading to the reunification of Germany 11 months later.

(Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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