During the period of the Cold War, the village of Hötensleben used to be directly on the inner German border (Eastern side) that was dividing Germany. From 1952 to 1989, the village was part of an exclusion zone, created by the East German dictatorship. The exclusion zone was spread along the 1400 km borderline with West Germany and its goal was to prevent illegal border crossings. Walls, barbed wire fences, and watchtowers blocked the view and the roads to the West. Border guards, mines, and guns made sure that no one would try to flee from East Germany. For the villagers, as for all people living in the 5 km exclusion zone, life was even more restricted than elsewhere in the country. Armed forces and state surveillance were ever-present. Still, many people died trying to escape.
After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, the border fortifications were preserved by the local Border Memorial Association (Grenzdenkmalverein). A section of 400 metres of the former fortification system can still be visited today. The Border Memorial depicts life at the former border – in East and West Germany, informs about the rigid border regime, and commemorates its victims. It belongs to the Marienborn Memorial of German Division.