(BERLIN) -- Saturday marks the 50-year anniversary since the construction of Germany’s Berlin Wall that left the city divided for 28 years.
BBC News reports that a minute of silence was held at noon to remember those who died trying to escape.
Mayor Wowereit, who was among some of Germany's leaders who attended the Berlin Wall commemoration ceremony on Bernauer Street, stressed the importance of remembering the “saddest day in recent history.”
"It is our common responsibility to keep alive the memories and pass them on to the next generation, to maintain freedom and democracy and to do everything so that such injustices may never happen again," Wowereit said.
The number of escape victims who were killed trying to cross the Wall remains uncertain, but at least 136 are believed to have died, though victims' groups say 700 is a more accurate number.
Guenter Litfin, who died Aug. 24, 1961, was believed to be the first victim, and the last was believed to be Chris Gueffroy, who died on Feb. 6, 1989.
In one of the country’s most historic events, the Wall fell in 1989, leaving behind an invisible barrier between the richer west and poorer east.
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