East Germany decided to upgrade the fortifications in the late 1960s to establish a "modern frontier" that would be far more difficult to cross. Barbed-wire fences were replaced with harder-to-climb expanded metal barriers; directional anti-personnel mines and anti-vehicle ditches blocked the movement of people and vehicles; tripwires and electric signals helped guards to detect escapees; all-weather patrol roads enabled rapid access to any point along the border; and wooden guard towers were replaced with prefabricated concrete towers and observation bunkers. 
%. Germans are insecure about their history because they are extremely well educated about it (with the exception of people educated in the East during communism). Americans need to learn more about our own shameful history, which the Nazis borrowed methodology from. They were also funded heavily by American business interests. There are a lot of taboos in germany which mark you as an instant right wing nut, as I discovered when I found a storefront in Wuppertal that was a display about the areas of Germany lost after WWII. They had a big map, and displays of regional candies from there, information about the history. An old man who ran the space came out to talk to me. Later on I was told this was a subject that the extreme right capitalizes on and was shunned from talking about in many circles. Which I think is a shame, those people were victims of political machinations between the US and the Soviet Union, and people in the US don’t know about it at all, because it doesn’t make us look very good.