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On the night between the 12th and the 13th of August 1961, the police and units of the East German army began to close the border and, by Sunday morning, the border with West Berlin was closed. East German troops and workers had begun to tear up streets running alongside the border to make them impassable to most vehicles and to install barbed wire entanglements and fences along the 156 kilometers (97 miles) around the three western sectors, and the 43 kilometers (27 miles) that divided West and East Berlin. The barrier was built inside East Berlin or East German territory to ensure that it did not encroach on West Berlin at any point. Generally, the Wall was only slightly inside East Berlin, but in a few places it was some distance from the legal border. Later, the initial barrier was built up into the Wall proper, the first concrete elements and large blocks being put in place on 17 August.
After German reunification in 1990, the Peter-Fechter-Stelle memorial was constructed on Zimmerstrasse, at the precise spot where he had died on the Eastern side, and this has been a focal point for some of the commemorations regarding the wall.  The shooting has also been the subject of documentaries on German television. Cornelius Ryan dedicated his book The Last Battle to the memory of Fechter. Composer Aulis Sallinen wrote an orchestral work Mauermusik to commemorate Fechter. In 2007, artist Mark Gubb was commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Arts to create a performance  based on the death of Peter Fechter. The performance was a one-hour live piece that was later recorded and screened at the ICA with a discussion panel at the end consisting of the artist, and actor Dominik Danielewicz who played the part of Peter Fechter. The 1972 ballad Libre ("Free") - a recording famous in all Ibero-America - by Spanish singer Nino Bravo , remembers this event.  In 2012 Canadian playwright Jordan Tannahill 's play Peter Fechter: 59 Minutes , a poetic re-imagining of the final hour of Fechter's life, was produced in Canada and Berlin.