On 13 August 1961 the German Democratic Republic (GDR) of East Germany began construction of a wall that divided the city of Berlin. The wall completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and East Berlin. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, overlooking wide areas of anti-vehicle trenches, fakir beds and other defences. The wall was erected to separate East Germany from NATO countries and Western Germany due to political beliefs from GDR propaganda. The West German government referred to it as the ‘Wall of Shame’. After a series of political changes in the Eastern Bloc associated with liberalisation, the East German government announced on 9 November 1989 that the Berlin Wall was to be demolished. Work began in the summer of 1990 and was completed on 3 October 1990.