The Fall Of The Berlin Wall History Essay Example

The Fall of the Berlin Wall was one of the most significant moments in the 20th century. This event is commonly referred to as the “Symbol of the Cold War” because it initiated the fall of Communism in Germany. In the aftermath of World War II, Germany was split into two countries as administered by the Allied Powers. West Germany was occupied by the Western Allies and East Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union. The Germans living in the east greatly suffered and hoped to flee to the west to escape the Soviet Union’s Communist ruling. The Prime Minister of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, planned to destroy Germany, therefore, forcing the Germans to join the Soviet Union. Some people look at this moment in history as a positive thing. They look at how Germany would be way more successful if they were to depend on the Soveit Union. Eastern Germany wanted to stop all fascists from entering their portion of the country, which caused the Soviet Union’s formation of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The difference between East and West Germany during the Cold War was that West Germany had a better economy, more freedom, and more resources compared to East Germany due to being capitalist and communist.

In 1945, as the end of World War approached, Germany became divided between the Allied powers. The Allies' goal aimed to help Germany rise back to power as a powerful country, which the Soviet Union strongly disagreed with. East Germany remained occupied by the Soviet Union while West Germany took control of the west. In order to separate East and West Germany, the Soviet Union built the Berlin Wall. In addition to simply dividing the two sides of the country, the wall stopped the fascists from entering. Further, it caused the German economy to crash, making Germany depend on the Soviets. The wall was necessary for the Soviet Union’s plan to take over Germany. The Soviets contained the citizens in the country to suffer while people in West Germany were successful and prospering in the capitalist economy. The people of East Germany suffered because Stalin was in power. Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union, which was a communist during this time. The Berlin wall was created on August 13, 1961, and fell on November 9, 1989. The early stages of the Berlin Wall were built out of barbed wire and cinder blocks. As time passed, the wall had electric fences that spanned 28 miles through the city of Berlin and extended 75 miles around West Berlin. The Berlin Wall separated the people of Germany, the people of East Germany suffered. Stalin caused the suffrage of the people. Stalin planned to stop ruining Germany’s economy so it would never be able to rise back to power.  This moment in history was capitalist against communist.  

The economic differences between East Germany and West Germany during the Berlin Wall were very stark. West Germany remained strong while East Germany greatly suffered. For example, the economy and social system in East Germany were broken. The situation in East Germany was commonly referred to as being “dismal.” For instance, “the food and resources were scarce; there was little political freedom and even less economic development. Millions of East Germans left their homes to move to the West, a drain of labor that threatened East Germany with economic collapse” (John Gaps). Joseph Stalin wanted to destroy the economy by damaging its resources, freedom, and development. Stalin looked to kill the economy to force Germany to join the Soviet Union. If the economy failed, they had nowhere to go unless they joined the Soviets and relied on them. Stalin made the resources “scarce” by blocking trade routes. Furthermore, in West Germany, the economy was booming. With the help and support of its occupying powers, West Germany set up a capitalist society. The economy experienced an extremely rapid growth, which became known as the "economic miracle." With hard work, “individuals living in West Germany were able to live well, buy gadgets and appliances, and travel as they wished” (Thought Co). The economy multiplied to a level the people had never seen before. West Germany's economy allowed everyone to have the same opportunity as everyone else to make money. The boom in the economy made even more people determined to move to West Germany. In West Germany, freedom was given to everyone, and its people had an equal chance of making money and becoming successful.

West German citizens had more freedom and rights than East German citizens. The people of the East were treated so poorly because of Stalin. The citizens did whatever they could to get to West Germany for a better life. After time passed, the people saw what was occurring in East Germany and how Stalin attempted to destroy their economy. The people of East Germany saw that they needed to flee the country in any way possible. They escaped by “[digging] tunnels from the basements of buildings in East Berlin, under the Berlin Wall, and into West Berlin. Another group saved scraps of cloth and built a hot air balloon and flew over the Wall” (Thought Co). The East Germans had little to lose because they were in such a bad situation. With no rights, horrible conditions, and a failed economy, their only sensible plan was to get to West Germany by any means. Furthermore, after the people fled to West Germany, many saw a better life. During the Berlin Wall, approximately “160,000 refugees had escaped from the German Democratic Republic, bringing the total to over three million who had sought a better life and more freedom in West Germany” (International Encyclopedia of Social Studies). Over a hundred thousand East German citizens who successfully fled to West Germany created a better life for themselves. The problems that arose in East Germany caused thousands of citizens to migrate to Western Germany in hopes of discovering a better life. 

One way that Stalin ruined the East German economy was by shutting down trade routes. By closing trade with other countries, food and resources became scarce. Food prices dramatically increased and caused a food shortage. For instance, the cost of coffee skyrocketed. The Soviet government did not trade with other countries, so coffee was hard to obtain. The lack of trade from the Soviet Union made the price of coffee increase for the East Germans. Compared to East Germany, West Germany did not have any problems with food and resources. During the 1950s, “West Germany became increasingly wealthy, while East Germany under Soviet control languished behind its neighbor. Goods that were commonplace in West Berlin were considered luxuries in East Germany” (Gale). The Soviet Union economy was broken while West Germany was thriving. Food remained so scarce in East Germany that the Allies’ military had to deliver food to the East German citizens by planes. This situation is known as the Berlin Airlift. The Berlin Airlift shows how the Soviet Union treated the people during the Cold War while the Allies' powers tried to help in every way possible. Both countries were different because of the rulers of the government. However, the Soviets planned to socially and economically destroy East Germany so they would never rise back to power. 

The unification of Germany after World War II changed life in the 20th century. Western Allies took over West Germany and made it a prospering country, while the Soviets took over East Germany and planned to ruin it. Economic and social variations were the main differences between the two countries. East Germany had the worst economy possible, while West Germany had one of the best. When the Soviets shut down trade with other countries, their economy worsened after prices of food and resources went up. Freedom was given out to citizens of West Germany while East Germany remained occupied. The Fall of the Berlin Wall is labeled one of the most significant events because it represented the end of Soviet Communism and the Proofpoint of Western capitalism.

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The History of Berlin Wall

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berlin wall essay example

Berlin Wall’s Importance for Germany Essay

Introduction, reasons for berlin wall construction, berlin wall construction, effects of berlin wall, flattening of the wall.

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The post Second World War was characterized by many political challenges in Europe. In Germany, the government struggled to consolidate its political power through various mechanisms.

In August 1961, “a fence was erected by the German Democratic Republic that is popularly referred to as East Germany” (Rose & Bailey 2004, p.34). The wall demarcated the West Berlin territory from East Germany. Watch towers were also erected strategically at various intervals along the wall with an aim of checking on illegal intrusion or exit from East Germany.

The Eastern Bloc contended that the barrier would save its masses from the fascist influence that was likely to jeopardize the development of socialism in the nation. Ideally, the wall was meant to suppress mass departure of citizens from East Germany after the Second World War. It was also meant to prevent the citizens from supporting fascist ideologies. This historic wall was formally known as the Anti-Fascist Defense Fortification.

Prior to the creation of the Berlin Wall, it is estimated that over three million citizens breached the stringent immigration codes and moved into Western Berlin territory (Tilman 1990, p. 78). From this place, they relocated to other Western European countries. These massive emigrations were proscribed in 1961 upon the creation of the Wall. The ban lasted until 1989 when the wall was flattened and it paved way for the reunification of Germany (Buckley 2004, p. 56).

After World War Two, the war torn Germany was split into four sub territories that were under the control of the Allied forces. The capital of Berlin that acted as the main operation zone of the Allied powers was also partitioned into four territories despite being situated within the Soviet territory.

After one and half years, political rivalries ensued between the occupying forces and the Soviets. One of the key disputes was the failure of the Soviets to accept the reconstruction strategies for revamping the economy and political stability of Germany. “Britain, France, the United States and the Benelux countries later combined the non-Soviet zones of the country into one zone for reconstruction and approved the extension of the Marshall Plan” (Waters 1990, p. 89).

In post 1945, Joseph Stalin governed an amalgamation of countries in the Western Border. He also desired to take control of the weakened Germany that was at that time under the management of the Soviet. Stalin, therefore, informed the leaders of Germany that he was planning to gradually destabilize the British occupation of German territories. According to Stalin, this was the most viable way to get rid of foreign powers and reunite Germany (Tusa 2008, p. 237).

The most important mission of the Leninist Party in the Soviet region was to direct Soviet instructions to both the government machinery and the other alliance parties. Leninist ideologies would eventually be exercised as internal procedures (Pearcy 2009, p.123). The teaching of Marxism ideologies was made mandatory in learning institutions (Morton & Adler 2010, p. 324).

From 1948, Stalin started reacting to the disagreements on how to rebuild the fallen Germany. In this case, he introduced the Berlin Cordon that debarred West Berlin from accessing necessary material supplies including food (Reeves 2011, p. 301). On the other hand, the Allied powers responded to Stalin’s actions by airlifting food and logistics to West Berlin.

The Soviets carried out public crusade in opposition to western strategy change. In late 1948, the members of the Communist Party tried to interfere with the food aids, but over three hundred Berliners picketed in demand for the continuation of the airlifts. Finally, Stalin withdrew the barricade in mid 1949; thus, allowing the hauling of supplies to Berlin (Miller 2008, p. 81).

West Germany embraced a capitalist economy and created a democratic legislative body. These political and economic reforms spurred quick economic growth in Western Germany. The robust economic growth that was witnessed in the western part of Germany attracted the people of Eastern Germany who were eying the better opportunities (Cherny 2009, p. 456).

In the 1950s, the Eastern Bloc also embraced the strategies that the Soviet applied to check on emigration. The restriction posed a great challenge to some countries that had gained economic prosperity in the Eastern Bloc. Before 1952, there was no limitation to frustrate movement of people from the Eastern Bloc to Western Germany.

This freedom of movement was curtailed in April 1952, when Eastern Germany officials held a meeting with Stalin (Soviet leader). “During the discussions, it was proposed that the East Germans should introduce a system of passes so as to stop the free movement of Western agents in the German Democratic Republic” (Childs 2001, p.156).

Stalin supported the idea and encouraged the Eastern Bloc to demarcate their territories by erecting a high rise wall. Therefore, the internal German boundary between East and West was totally cordoned with a fence. However, “the boundary between the Western and Eastern sectors of Berlin remained open, but traffic between the Soviet and Western sectors was somewhat restricted” (Harrison 2003, p.145).

Consequently, Berlin attracted immigrants that were fleeing the Eastern Bloc due to the unbearable living conditions. At first, East Germany would intermittently allow its citizens to visit the Western Bloc, but that freedom was short lived. In 1956, there was a total ban on emigration to West Germany after several citizens deserted East Germany.

The introduction of stringent immigration codes in 1952 led to the blockading of the interior Germany boundary. Therefore, East Germans used the Berlin border as the only gateway point to Western Germany. The German Democratic Republic acted very quickly to contain the exodus of its citizens by introducing more pass laws in late 1957. Individuals that were found crossing over to Berlin without authentic documentation were severely punished.

However, these emigration codes remained ineffective since people could still move to West Berlin by train. Besides, there were no physical barriers that could curb illegal movement of citizens out of East Germany. The Western Border was left open for some time to avoid disrupting connections to East Germany. The construction of an alternative railway that connected Western Berlin began in 1951 and ended in 1961. This led to the complete railing of the West Berlin boundary.

East German lost its industrious residents through massive emigrations; hence, it experienced a severe problem of brain drain. Most of the emigrants were in their formative years and were well trained in various disciplines. This meant that East Germany was left with no technocrats to spur industrial growth in the country.

On the other hand, West Germany gained considerably from the high supply of trained professionals which enabled it to improve its economy. “The brain drain of professionals had become so damaging to the political credibility and economic viability of East Germany that the re-securing of the German Communist frontier was imperative” (Dale 2005, p. 256).

“The East Germany officials authorized the construction of the wall on 12, August 1961 and the German military began securing it immediately” (Gaddis 2005, p. 312). The boundary was slightly erected within the land of East Berlin to avoid trespassing on the West Berlin soil.

During its construction, it was under strict surveillance of the German combat troops who were authorized to shoot any emigrant that made desperate efforts to escape. Additionally, “chain fences, walls, minefields and other obstacles were installed along the length of East Germany’s western borders with the West Germany proper” (Dowty 2009, p. 345).

An extensive no man’s territory was also created to facilitate shooting of fleeing individuals. However, some citizens still used dubious mechanisms to move to other territories. For example, “East Germans successfully defected by a variety of methods: digging long passageways under the wall, waiting for favorable winds and sliding along aerial wires” (Thackeray 2004, p. 52).

The creation of the Berlin Wall had serious implications on the lives of the Germans both in the Eastern and Western Blocs. After the construction of the fence, several individuals that had crossed over to the Western Bloc were completely detached from their families. Berliners that lived in the East, but worked in the West were all rendered jobless because they could not cross the border.

With the erection of the wall, West Berlin was separated; thus, West Berliners staged massive strikes in demand for the flattening of the wall. The Allied forces that had vested interests in post war Germany also encouraged the creation of the wall because they felt that it would thwart the ambitions of Eastern Germany to gain control of the entire Berlin. The wall, therefore, quelled the simmering tension in Germany Blocs which was likely to end in a serious military confrontation.

“The East German government claimed that the Berlin Wall was an anti-fascist protective rampart intended to dissuade aggression from the West” (Wettig 2008, p.189). Eastern German officials also complained that subsidized goods were being smuggled out of the country by West Berliners. The Wall caused extreme anxiety and repression in East Berlin because people were quarantined in their territories; thus, making it impossible for them to transact business.

West Berliners faced the most difficult challenge of gaining access to East German. Between 1961 and 1963, West Berliners were totally banned from entering the East German territory. However, negotiations between the two governments in 1963 led to slight revision of the immigration codes in East Germany.

Thus, West Berliners could visit the country intermittently. An Individual that wanted to travel to East Germany had to seek a visa. “Citizens of other East European countries were generally subjected to the same prohibition of visiting Western countries as East Germans, though the applicable exception varied from country to country” (Pearson 2008, p.318). During the ban, it is estimated that approximately 5,000 individuals desperately tried to jump over the fence and some of them lost their lives.

In late 1989, East Germans increasingly got disillusioned by emigration restrictions. Hence, they staged protests in various parts of East Germany in demand for the flattening of the wall. Most of the individuals that participated in the Peaceful Revolution were willing to defect to the Western Bloc.

The strike worsened in November when the majority of East Germans protested against the Wall. These demonstrations compelled the leaders of East Germany to amend the border laws. One of the amendments that were passed in the late 1989 favored the pulling down of the wall. The tearing down of the wall begun in late 1989, but its official flattening started on 13 th June 1990. However, “the West Germans and West Berliners were allowed visa-free travel starting from 23 December 1989” (Turner 2010, p. 456).

The destruction of the wall sparked-off mixed reactions from foreign powers. Some European countries became very jittery when they learnt that the Germans were planning to come together. In September 1989, “British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher pleaded with the Soviet president not to let the Berlin Wall fall” (Cate 2007, p. 178). Indeed, Britain was comfortable with the division and chaos in Germany because its reunion could cause the altering of the post war territorial demarcations.

They also felt that a unified Germany would destabilize international economy and possibly frustrate the post 1945 initiatives that were meant to restore international peace (Gaddis 2005, p. 249). The Germans saw the flattening of the wall as a great development that would guarantee them both economic and political prosperity which they had been yearning for over two decades.

Buckley, W 2004, The Fall of the Berlin Wall, Wiley, New York.

Cate, C 2007, The Ideas of August: The Berlin Wall Crisis—1961, M. Evans, New York.

Cherny, A 2009, The Candy Bombers: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlift and America’s Finest Hour, Berkley Trade, Berkley.

Childs, D 2001, The Fall of the GDR, Longman, London.

Dale, G 2005, Popular Protest in East Germany, 1945–1989: Judgements on the Street, Routledge, Routledge.

Dowty, A 2009, Closed Borders: The Contemporary Assault on Freedom of Movement, Yale University Press, New York.

Gaddis, L 2005, The Cold War: A New History, Penguin Press, New York.

Harrison, M 2003, Driving the Soviets Up the Wall: Soviet-East German Relations, 1953–1961, Princenton University Press, New York.

Miller, R 2008, To Save a City: The Berlin Airlift, 1948-1949, Texas A&M University Press, Houston.

Morton, J & Adler, P 2010, American Experience: The Berlin Airlift, Wiley, New York.

Pearcy, A 2009, Berlin Airlift, Swan Hill Press, Berlin.

Pearson, R 2008, The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire, Wiley, Chicago.

Reeves, R 2011, Daring Young Men: The Heroism and Triumph of The Berlin Airlift-June 1948-May 1949, Simon & Schuster, Berlin.

Rose, B & Bailey, A 2004, The Lost Border: The Landscape of the Iron Curtain, Princeton Architectural Press, New York.

Thackeray, F 2004, Events that changed Germany, Greenwood Publishing Group, London.

Tilman, T 1990, The Writings on the Wall: Peace at the Berlin Wall, Prenctice Hall, Ohio.

Turner, A 2010, The Two Germanies Since 1945: East and West, Yale University Press, New York.

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Wettig, G 2008, Stalin and the Cold War in Europe, Rowman & Littlefield, Berlin.

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Berlin Wall Essays

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Berlin Wall Essay Example

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August 13, 1961. A day of misery, ordeal and dashed hopes. I had woken to the sound of an obstreperous shriek and what seemed like a case of mass hysteria. Within minutes I became conscious of the fact I was alone in the bedraggled shack we liked to call home. I wandered around in my solitude. Promptly I advanced to the outside pavement where infinite numbers of people were gathered. To the left of me I noticed my mother. Seated on the curb of the cobbled street, she seemed disheartened, as did many others. Mother looked straight ahead, pale faced with tribulation evident in her expression. Suddenly there was an aura of grey around her. It was a mist that wouldn’t rise. I was oblivious to what had happened. A hurricane of despondency had torn through Berlin. Trash cans clattered to the ground and litter swirled up and down the deserted sidewalk. I muttered the words, “Where’s daddy?” To which a thin shrilled voice like the cry of an expiring mouse replied, “Daddy isn’t coming home.”…

The Berlin Wall: Communist Oppression

In the West of the world, the Berlin Wall was regarded as a major symbol of communist oppression. The Berlin Wall had played an extremely important role of defining the fate of the lives of millions of German people, which had been separated by the Wall for decades. The Berlin Wall was the most obvious frontier separating two worlds, the totalitarian world controlled by the USSR in the East, and the democratic world in the West. Although the USSR tried to control the western side of Berlin, West Berlin maintained a more prosperous living style compared to East Berlin due to their…


The Berlin Wall Essay example

Adolf hitler and the nazi party.

Following the Second World War, Germany had split into two states: East and West Germany. East Germany fell behind economically and forced its citizenry from moving to West Germany. West Germany, conversely, had become overwhelmingly successful. West Germany had established itself as one of the world’s wealthiest nations. Finally, in 1990, full German unity succeeded in bringing both West and East Berlin together.

Berlin Wall Research Paper

The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 in the Cold War. It was used as a separation tool that divided Germany into a communist side and a democratic side. The West side was democratic and the East side was communist. These sides had different views and ideas of how Germany should be led and run. The Berlin Wall blocked people in the West side from going into the East side to go to work, shop, to see their family and vice versa. It was very difficult to try and cross over from the West side to the East side. The Berlin Wall had the physical wall that separated the two sides alone with soldiers stationed on each side of the wall, these soldiers were given orders to shoot anyone that attempted to cross the wall. Hundreds of people were killed trying to cross the wall. When it

Berlin Wall : The Cold War

In the East, people were unable to leave and people were unable to get many luxuries such as coffee. Families were separated by the Wall and many died trying to get over it, or in some cases, under it. The Berlin Wall meant to many people a loss in human rights and freedom.

The Berlin Wall Essay examples

The Berlin Wall, built in August of 1961, was s physical symbol of the political and emotional divisions of Germany.

Berlin Wall Dbq

Due to the Berlin wall families were divided, and no physical connection was able to be made from each side. Jobs from the East and West side of Berlin were cut off. The reason given to the East Berliners for putting the wall up was too, put off aggression from the West, even though the wall pointed inward to East German territory. During the wall's 30 year history, unstable and varying reports claim that either 192 or 239 people were killed trying to cross the wall. Interestingly enough, through the wall's 30 year history there were roughly 5000 successful escapes into West Berlin.

During this time East Germany was under the Soviet Union, which was communist; the Soviet Union during the cold war era had many European countries in their union. Germany was split with eastern Germany being communist and western Germany being a federal republic of Germany. Many families were split when the boundaries between the two states were drawn so people typically immigrated out of Eastern Germany into Western Germany. Eastern Germany tried to stop their people from leaving by imposing the “iron Curtain”. The Berlin wall was heavily guarded so America could not barge in and destroy the wall; America did make it known they were not pleased by the

Analysis Of The Berlin Wall

Following the fall of the Third Reich at the end of WWII Germany was split between east and west into two different countries. In the east the German Democratic Republic was under communist rule and was supported by the Soviet Union. The Federal German Republic was a democracy that was part of NATO. As part of the division of Germany following WWII, Berlin, the capital of Germany was divided evenly between the two nations. However, the entire city of Berlin was deep inside of the GDR, so the Western half of the city was democratic but it was surrounded by communist territory. This made West Berlin a place where many East Germans would try to escape to. As a result of this the German Democratic Republic built a wall surrounding West Berlin to stop its own people from escaping to freedom.

The Berlin Wall and The Holocaust Essay

But on the other side East Germany was not doing as well as West Germany was. East Germany was under the full influence of the Soviet union and was a Communist society when it became its own country. Do to the dragged economy and that the individual freedoms were restricted many citizens living in East Germany wanted to leave they could no longer stand the conditions in which they were living in.Many citizens gathered their things and left to th the West. Many of them made it across the border as for others were stopped along the way. From then on East Germany began to lose its population and labor force. As they lost more of their population the Soviets wanted to take over the West. They tried to threaten the United States by the use of nuclear weapon issue but the United States and all the other Western countries were very committed to protecting West Berlin.

President Ronald Reagan’s speech at the Berlin Brandenburg Gate

To refresh your memory, at the end of World War II, the Allied powers divided Germany into four different zones. Decided at the Potsdam Conference, each separate zone was controlled by The United States, Soviet Union, France, and Great Britain. (Rosenburg) But as the relationships between The Soviet Union and the rest of The Allied Powers quickly evaporated, aggression and power became the main focus. The United States, France, and Great Britain combined their zones, creating “West Germany”, and The Soviet controlled zoned turned into “East Germany” (Rosenburg). Being controlled by democratic nations, West Germany’s living conditions and economy were flourishing. Almost Miraculously. On the other

The Symbols Of The Berlin Wall

On the night of August 13, 1961, the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic and volunteer construction workers of East Germany began to seal all points of entrance into West Berlin with miles of barbed wire, concrete, and stationed soldiers. “Antifaschistischer Schutzwall”, as they called it, or the “anti-fascist bulwark.” The purpose of this Berlin Wall was to keep Western fascists from entering the socialist state of East Germany, and to prevent Easterners from pouring out of the USSR-occupied zone. Throughout the 1950s and 60s, many refugees fled from the east to reunite with family in the west, and to escape the oppressive government that had developed in East Germany after Germany’s defeat in the second World War. Soon, the wall was extended to divide all of Germany, spanning over 96 miles across the nation, dividing the Communist East from the Western Federal Republic of Germany. The Berlin Wall stood for 28 years. Finally, on November 9, 1989, the head of the East German Communist Party announced that members of the GDR could cross the border as they pleased. Celebrating citizens of Germany brought hammers and pickaxes, and began to chip away at the cement that had divided friends and families for nearly three decades. To this day, what’s left of the Berlin Wall remains one of the most powerful symbols from the Cold War.

The Berlin Wall During The Cold War

The Berlin wall was a wall that was up to 15 feet high, which separated East and West Berlin during the Cold War. It lasted 28 years from 1961 and 1989. Throughout this time period, many people living in East Germany left and fled to West Germany because they had a better economic system. Since their lost in WWII, East Germany built the wall to prevent access to West Berlin. Because of this separation that lasted 28 years, many families, friends and relatives were separated. The wall slowly progressed to become even more advanced so that it would be harder for people to get to the other side. About 5,000 people survived, 5,000 people got caught and 191 more were killed. People were willing to do anything at any means just to get over the wall

Aspects Of The Truman Policy Of Containment

2. After WWII, Germany was divided into four zones. West Germany was occupied by the U.S., Britain, and France. Whereas East Germany was occupied by the Soviet Union. Berlin

Essay about Social Effects of the Berlin Wall

     Since World War II, about half a million people cross the border separating different parts of Belin daily. East Berliners could attend movie theaters showing Western films, and many had jobs in the strong economy of West Berlin. With the thriving economy, many shopped in the well stocked stores in West Berlin. Items like jeans, fashionable dresses, and seamless panty hoses which were unavailable in East Berlin shops were reaidly available in West Berlin shops. In addition, East Berliners and other East Germans could simply take a subway car to flee to West Berlin and on to West Germany.

Berlin Wall Symbolism

The Soviet Union in conjunction with East German authorities started constructing the Berlin Wall in 1961. This wall separated East and West Berlin. East Germany, desiring to prove to the world that Marxism and communism were viable systems for running a country, decided to keep its citizens from fleeing to the West,. The Wall failed to accomplish this, and fell on November 9, 1989. This was a key moment that marked the end of the Cold War. While the Wall was still up, many problems persisted between the eastern and western parts of Germany. In many ways, East and West Germany were polar opposites. The Berlin Wall was symbolic of the political, economic, and ideological divisions that existed between East and West Germany.

The Fall Of The Berlin Wall Essay

The end of World War II in 1945 had Germany Divided Four Allied occupation zones. The eastern part of the country went to the Soviet Union, and the western part goes to the United States, Great Britain and France. Each section was under the control of a different country. The United States, Britain, and France each joined their sections to form a democratic state on May 24,

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Essay on the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Nearly a year ago, the collapse of the Berlin Wall marked the end of an era of socialism and communism. Our party, the East Berlin Communists, have ceased to be an influential party after the reunification of West and East Germany.

Back in 1961, Premier Khrushchev was forced to seal the border between East and West Berlin with a concrete barrier to stop the damaging ‘brain drain’ of young East Germans from betraying their communist ideals and being lured by false promises of prosperity in the West. And the Wall worked – the number of Germans leaving dwindled from 47,000 in August 1961 to fewer than 30,000 per year, though of course the West ignorantly depicted the Wall as ‘communist tyranny’. Furthermore, it led to economic prosperity and free medical care, high employment rates.

berlin wall essay example

However, I acquiesce that during the final months before the Berlin Wall collapsed, the East German government failed to sustain a divided and communist ‘Fatherland’. Many Easterners were circumventing the Wall through Hungary, who had removed their border with Austria and dismantled the Iron Curtain, which Gorbachev passively signaled no objection to. Gorbachev’s policies of perestroika and glasnost triggered the collapse of the USSR – granting freedom to the Easterners only led to mass protests and a crisis that resulted in the removal of the hardline Stalinist leader, Erich Honecker. Under the pressure of the mass movement, our new Party leader, Egon Krenz, called for a press conference to introduce new travel regulations to reduce tensions in the East. However, our efforts went completely out the window when the spokesman, Schabowski, for our party announced that East Germans would “immediately” be allowed to travel directly to West Germany. Following that debacle, we recognized the scale of the crisis that seized East Berlin and resigned gracefully.

The same affluence allowed by the Berlin Wall cannot be experienced in today’s Germany – its removal has not led to the much desired “political revolution”, but rather counterrevolution in the form of unification with West Germany. The Chancellor of West Germany, Helmut Kohl, has resorted to shameless bribery to persuade the Easterners that merging is the only solution. But Kohl deceived them, telling them that unifying would mean that their lives would be like the West Germans. He did not inform that introducing a market economy would cause mass unemployment (3.3 million more people unemployed since 1989), factory closures, and the essential demolition of the industrial base of the USSR.

No side has won – East Germany now faces the economic and social ramifications of reunification, whilst the West bitterly pays higher taxes to accommodate for the financially weak Easterners.

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The Falling of the Berlin Wall

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Essay Examples on Berlin Wall

The following essay is two sample essays on the Berlin Wall. To read the introduction, body, and conclusion of the essay, scroll down.

1st Essay Sample on Berlin Wall

My topic is “The Fall of The Berlin Wall” , Communism and politics. The Berlin wall was built in 1961. The wall was built to divide the eastside and the west communist. The Berlin wall was constructed as a heavily forted barrier that is about 26 miles long. Berlin was a focal point for changes.

the fall of the Berlin wall which will always be remember as the end of”The Cold War”. this made west available to the middle east resulting in widespread chaos. Having sustained staggering lose during the war, USSR was determined to establish a buffer zone in eastern Europe. Between 1945 and 1948, the soviets sponsored dictators to seize power in Europe’s war-torn heart land. In Germanyspivotal arena.

The zones of the allied occupations began to harden into political entities. 1949 the west and east German governments had been organizing and finalizing the division of the continent.

Alarmed by the ruthless imposition of communist government in eastern Europe and by the vulnerability of the western government that laid in economic ruin,u.s. secretary of state at the time George c Marshall came up with a program called North Atlantic Treaty Organization or as we know today in 1949 this showedwestern Europe’s dependence upon united states. No longer masters of their own destiny, the European nations; England and France were forced to dismantle their far-flung empires.

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In 1961 the east Germans decide to stop the flight go to the west. August 13, 1961east German soldiers and members of it militia surrounded west Berlin with temporary fortification which was replaced with a concrete wall that laid between the two cities. There where only 2 opening in the Berlin wall. They were closely guarded . The GDR said the wall was needed to prevent military aggression and political interference from west Germany.

2nd Essay Sample on Berlin Wall

The blame for the Cold War cannot be placed on one person — it developed as a series of chain reactions as a struggle for supremacy. It can be argued that the Cold War was inevitable, and therefore no one’s fault, due to the differences in the capitalist and communist ideologies. It was only the need for self-preservation that had caused the two countries to sink their differences temporarily during the Second World War. Yet many of the tensions that existed in the Cold War can be attributed to Stalin’s policy of Soviet expansion. It is necessary, therefore, to examine the role of Stalin as a catalyst to the Cold War.

Stalin’s foreign policies contributed an enormous amount to the tensions of the Cold War. His aim, to take advantage of the military situation in post-war Europe to strengthen Russian influence, was perceived to be a threat to the Americans. Stalin was highly effective in his goal to gain territory, with victories in Poland, Romania, and Finland. To the western world, this success looked as if it were the beginning of serious Russian aggressions. The western view of the time saw Stalin as doing one of two things: either continuing the expansionist policies of the tsars that preceded him, or worse, spreading communism across the world now that his “one-state” notion had been fulfilled.

It also must be mentioned that Stalin is seen as wanting “unchalleged personal power and a rebuilt Russia strong enough to withstand ‘caplitalist encirclement.’”1 Admittedly, thefirst view of Stalin, as an imperialist leader, may be skewed. The Russians claim, and have always claimed, that Stalin’s motives were purely defensive. Stalin’s wished to create a buffer zone of Communist states around him to protect Soviet Russia from the capitalist West. In this sense, his moves were not aggressive at all — they were truly defensive moves to protect the Soviet system.

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Essay Examples on Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall Essay Examples

berlin wall essay example

berlin wall essay example

berlin wall essay example

Berlin Wall (1238 words) Essay

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Berlin WallThe Berlin Wall, built in August of 1961, was s physical symbol of the political and emotional divisions of Germany. The Wall was built because of a long lasting suspicion among the Soviet Union on one side and Western Europe and the United States on the other. Once World War II was over, these Allies no longer had a common purpose to hold them together.

Their differences became less hidden and more irreconcilable. The Western Allies quickly realized they couldn’t kick a dog when its already down, and that Germany was in desperate need of help. Therefore, the Allies’ aim was to rebuild Germany’s economy. The Soviet Union disagreed with this plan immensely, and instead they became busy with setting up Communist dictatorships in their conquered areas, such as the zone of East Germany. This major difference among these powers marked the beginning of the Cold War. The war was not of physical battle, but of international diplomacy.

Germany now became the prize struggle between enemies. In response to the numbers of people who fled the communist world to the free world, East Germany built a wall that cut across the heart of Berlin. It was an improvised structure, thrown up overnight. In the months and years to follow, it would harden into a massive barrier of concrete blocks, barbed wire, machine gun towers, and minefields. The Wall became 103 miles long, and it was approximately ten to thirteen feet high. It cut across 193 roads, and it sealed West Berlin not only from the rest of the city to the east, but from all of East Germany.

A second wall was eventually built 100 miles to the east of the original wall. 293 watchtowers, 66 miles of antivechicle trenches, hundreds of killer guard dogs, countless searchlights, alarms, and self-firing guns were all used to keep East Germans form leaving. (Mirabile 7)In the night of August 12, Walter Ulbricht of East Germany, had his troops unroll their barbed wire to protect the frontier…from American spies and the criminal slave traders of West Germany. (Galante 1) On the morning of the 13th, Berliners awoke to discover telephones line dead between West and East Berlin and train services at a standstill.

Families were separated, for the Wall had run through parks, public areas, and even buildings. The Wall did not hold them back from freedom. According to reports, official figures show that more than 400 people died trying to flee. Human-rights activists say that the true figure could be closer to 800. Many of these escape attempts were dramatic.

People leapt form windows, tunneled and crept through sewers, rammed through the gates in steel-plated trucks, crawled through mud, and swam the icy waters of the city’s rivers and canals. Even though the Wall created international crises, divided families, and spawned villains and gangsters, it also produced its heroes. Brave men and women who lived in the shadow of the Wall found ways to elude Communism. Escape soon became harder. The barbed wire was replaced with concrete slabs.

Waterways were blocked by underground fences. Windows along the borders had bricks instead of glass. Getting across became increasingly difficult, and it required ingenuity as well as determination. In the first year alone, 14 attempts were made to breach the wall through driving into it.

Many drove through legal checkpoints. Twice, East Germans escaped in a car so low that it could be driven right under the horizontal bars at the crossing points. Vertical bars were added to make it even more impossible. Many escaped in cleverly designed hiding places in cars driven by West Germans who could cross the border legally.

Three escaped using Soviet Union military uniforms that a friend had sewn for them. Peter Fechter, an eighteen year old boy, was one of the first who tried to scale the wall outright. The East Germans shot him down while West Berliners heard Fechter’s cries for help for nearly an hour. Escapees tried to get under the Wall using sewer systems.

(It soon became blocked by watchful East German police) In 1962, NBC, the American Public television network, provided funds to dig a tunnel from Bernauer St. , in East Berlin, to Schoenholzer St. , in West Berlin. That September, the TV network filmed the escape of fifty-six refugees before flooding shut down the tunnel.

(Mirabile 10) Probably the longest and the most famous tunnel was the one built in 1964 by Wolfgang Fuchs. This tunnel was Fuchs’s seventh, and it was 140 ft. long, almost 40 ft. below the city, and about 28 inches high inside. It took six months to build, and 57 people were able to use it before it was discovered. Man’s intelligence and ingenuity was constantly being tested to cross the Wall.

One man threw a hammer and a line from the roof of a building, pulled a cable, and with his wife and son, slid down it in a homemade chair lift to safety on the other side. (Mirabile 11) Another man built his own submarine to drag him across the Baltic Sea to Denmark. Two families flew from East Germany to West in a homemade hot-air balloon. All these people wouldn’t let a Wall ruin their lives. They wouldn’t let a Wall keep them from a life of freedom. They wouldn’t let a Wall crush their hope.

For 28 years the Berlin Wall stood as a grim symbol of the gulf between the Communist East and the Non-Communist West. When Hungary opened its borders with Austria, over 12,000 people escaped in a period of three days. It was reported that about 5,000 people made it safely, and about 5,000 people were captured. A wave of democratization swept throughout Europe, and at the same time East Germany’s communist leadership was slowly but surely becoming ousted from power. Finally on November 9, 1989, at 10:00 at night, the German leader Egon Krenz ordered the Wall to be opened.

After twenty-eight years, two months, and twenty-seven days, Berlin once again became a city. The old Berlin Wall, was a stark symbol of the human cost of the Cold War, a stark reminder of the political division of Europe, and a monument to the political failure of East Germany. Freedom is indivisible, and when man is enslaved, all are not free…All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words Ich bin ein Berliner- I am a Berliner.

John F. Kennedy- Remarks upon signing of the Golden Book in Rudolph-Wilde-Platz, West Berlin, Germany, June 26, 1963. (Galante 277)BIBLIOGRAPHYBibliographyBOOK:Editors of Time-Life Books. The Nuclear Age.

Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1990. Galante, Pierre. The Berlin Wall. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1965.

Long, Robert Emmet. The Reunification of Germany. New York: The H. W.

Wilson Company, 1992. Mirabile, Lisa. The Berlin Wall. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Silver Burdett Press, Inc.

, 1991. Spada, Dorothy. Die Stuttgarter Zeitung. The New Book of Knowledge. Grolier Incorporated, 1986.INTERNET:Berlin Wall at the Berlin Wall Berlin Wall Fall of the Wall Fall of The Berlin Wall Essays

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Berlin Wall Essays

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Martin Luther, who was a man from Germany and a former element of a religious community in a church, established the Protestant Reformation, which was believed to be a powerful and disputable event in Christianity’s history back between 1501 and 1600 Common Era. Luther began to have skepticism about a portion of the fundamental precepts of the Roman Catholicism and his supporters before a long breakup from the Roman Catholic Church to start the Protestant Convention. As a result, Luther’s […]

Dear Jane and Peter

“Jane is correct on this one; the East German soldier is not gramps and that barbed wire wasn’t from a jail. It was from a wall. The East German soldier was trying to escape from the communist East Germany. At the time, East Berlin was under communist rule while West Berlin was under democratic rule, so East Berliners moved to West Berlin. In 1961 the event of the Berlin Wall occured. The communist government of the German Democratic Republic (East […]

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berlin wall essay example

Argumentative Essay On The Berlin Wall

How did stalin build the berlin airlift.

After world war II, Germany was dived into for parts. Those four pats were divided among Great Britain, the United States, France, and the Soviet Union each governing their own part. As hatred began to grow between the Soviet Union and the West, Stalin decided to create a separate communist state that included Berlin. To maintain that, Stalin surrounded the western half of Berlin and that caused the Berlin airlift, created by Truman. In 1949, Stalin had removed the blockade. However, Germany remained divided into two separate nations. The Berlin airlift was the turning point of the Cold War, because of t the Soviet Union 's attempt to cut off access to West Berlin.

The 80's: A Controversial Decade In American History

One characterizing feature of the military in the 80 's was the Cold War which lasted from 1983-1988. The most notable product of the Cold War was the Berlin Wall built in 1961 some time after the Second World War. The function of this wall was to divide Germany among the allies. The eastern half went to the Soviet Union, and the western half went to the United States, Great Britain and France. This wall would stop the flow of refugees from the communist east Germany to the west. The wall fell (metaphorically speaking) on November 9, 1989. East Berlin 's Communist Party 's spokesperson announced that citizens of East Germany were free to cross the border and that all gates at the checkpoints would

Reagan's Rhetorical Analysis

There is a great deal of risk in the strategy spoken by President Reagan because of the imbalance between ends, ways and means. Lykke provides a conceptual framework and vocabulary for describing risk in strategy in his “three-legged stool” model. His main point is that a balanced strategy is solid, but if ends, ways, or means are not aligned, the strategy incurs risk (Reading C203 D, p. 4).

Rhetorical Analysis Of Speech By President Ronald Reagan

In his speech, President Ronald Reagan addresses the wall separating the East and West sides of Berlin, Germany. He emphasises the strain it puts on the country and how devastating the dividing of the city really is. The wall dividing the city makes contact between families on both sides unnecessarily difficult. Not to mention the message that the wall brings; the remnants of a tense cold war. Despite how strong the Berliners are, the wall puts too much strain on the city, the country, and the rest of the world.

Ronald Reagan Tear Down This Wall Rhetorical Analysis

East Berliniers exemplified feelings of imprisonment, from being trapped and communistically controlled on their side of the wall. Unlike the west side, the east side does not represent any sense of freedom. Pathos is the appeal to emotions. Therefore, this use of pathos helps Reagan persuade Gorbachev to take down the wall because it shows that, without any wall both societies would operate as one, indicating freedom for all. The rhetorical elements, logos and pathos, included in Ronald Reagan’s speech, “ Tear Down This Wall” assist Reagan and his words to convince Gorbachev, along with the people of Berlin, that the wall between eastern and western Berlin must be dismantled. The rhetorical elements, logos and pathos, included in Ronald Reagan’s speech, “ Tear Down This Wall” assist Reagan and his words to convince Gorbachev, along with the people of Berlin, that the wall between eastern and western Berlin must be dismantled. Logos is an appeal to logic, or a way of persuading an audience by

Berlin Conference Dbq Analysis

The Berlin Conference is an example of leaders coming together to form political boundaries. Since this happened it shows how many things were affected. This includes people, countries, resources found in that place. The biggest thing is it has a large affect on the future of everyone and everything. Before discussing how it really affected things, I’ll say why people decide to make political boundaries in the first place.

Was The Cold War Inevitable Essay

Some historians believe the Cold War was inevitable because of the hostilities from both America and the Soviet Union after World War II. America believed that the USSR was an expansionist country trying to spread an evil, communistic idea throughout the world. Although the countries never directly fought against each other, as they only fought in proxy wars, there was still extreme conflict. The United States responded to the Soviets actions in Germany, Europe, and their national actions. These responses were justifiable, or so many Americans at the time believed. Many realized that the Soviet Union was a terrible foe to face, as George Kennan, a respected American diplomat, noticed. He said in “The Sources of Soviet Conduct,” “This means

Why Did Stalin Build The Berlin Blockade

East Berlin was controlled by the communists and West Berlin was controlled by the U.S and supported by the Western Powers. The Soviet Union was concerned because it’s East Germans were fleeing to the new democratic West Berlin. In order to stop any more from leaving, Stalin completely isolated Berlin with large iron walls called the Berlin Wall- also referred to as the Iron Curtain. Now that The Berliners were isolated from the world, they couldn’t get any supplies and the sectors only had enough coal to last 45 days and food to last just 36 days. West Berlin relied entirely on their allies to transport supplies into the capital or city or something. The Western Powers generally transported supplies by ways of trucks and railway. Democracy was becoming too strong so the Soviet Union thought that they could drive the Western Powers out of West Berlin. They thought that if they could block any way of the allies from coming into West Berlin by land, they would eventually give up and stop supporting them. In order to do this, Stalin built a blockade on roads, railways, and rivers between the three allied sectors of West Germany and West Berlin. Stalin soon realizes that

Ronald Reagan And Robert Frost's Mending Wall

Walls are like grand barriers that withhold its interior inhabitants from leaving them, whether or not they wish too. The wall that bisected the German city of Berlin since 1949 held back the extreme animosity kept within the German people , and the emotional wall built in Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall” prevented a man from connecting with those he does not know. Both President Ronald Reagan and Robert Frost emphasized the appalling effects on civilizations that walls have.

North Korea Dbq Analysis

After WWII, there was communism fever in the northern part of the world. This domineering outbreak of communism threatened the US and our capitalist allies. Through the outbreaks, the US took things to drastic measures and did everything in their power to stop communism, causing multiple wars and combat.

Jfk Museum Research Paper

The JFK Library and Museum in Boston on scenic Columbia Point, is an ode to one of the most charismatic presidents the United States has ever seen, John F. Kennedy. Most of the exhibits consist of items donated to the museum by his wife, Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis, and the location itself was chosen by Jackie. The JFK museum represents a rare time of bipartisan cooperation in American history, and the untimely death of a great American leader.

Berlin Wall Conclusion

The Berlin Wall was, to a great extent, a symbolic and physical division between the East and West. This is evident in the way that after the Second World War, the USSR and the Western Powers cut all ties, and the Iron Curtain was formed; in the way that unhappiness was evident in communist countries throughout the world (not only in East Germany) and how the sense of injustice was felt before the wall was even built; in the way that the Western Powers and Soviet Union voiced their support for East and West Germany respectively and how propaganda was used to mock alternative ideologies; in the way that

Ronald Reagan Tear Down The Berlin Wall Analysis

The Berlin Wall was built to separate the Communist east from the Democratic west. This ominous divider was was twelve feet of concrete that stretched for one hundred miles around West Berlin. The infamous symbol of the Cold War was guarded by electric fences and guard posts stationed along it. This boundary was built in 1961 and fell in 1990, after a decree was put into place by the East Germans to open the wall in 1989. Ronald Reagan’s speech “Tear Down this Wall” was one of the events that lead to the destruction of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War era. This speech took place on the edge of the berlin Wall on the seven hundred fiftieth anniversary of Berlin and was directed towards anyone who was listening and affected by the separation the wall caused. The speech given by Ronald Reagan on June 12, 1987 is memorable because of the use of logos and pathos throughout the entire speech.

The Berlin Wall Analysis

The cartoonist aimed to gain support for Capitalism. Therefore, it is exaggerated and only represents the downside to Communism which is not accurate or credible.

Fall Of The Berlin Wall Essay

This west-ward migration came to a legal end with the collapse of the Berlin wall on the 3rd of October, 1990. As well as denoting and representing the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe this event led to the reunification of Germany. The East German deliberation allowed the Chancellor of West Germany, Helmut Kohl, to reunite Germany under Western conditions. This meant a consolidated Germany would join NATO and the European

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The Fall of the Berlin Wall - Essay Example

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Extract of sample "The Fall of the Berlin Wall"

Those in charge of the Eastern Bloc felt that this migration would lead to a so-called “brain drain”, particularly as many of the migrants were young and well-educated . The East also felt that the West, particularly West Germany, was still under fascist influences , and these two fears lead to the feeling that such migration should be stopped and the erection of the Inner German Border, separating the two areas of Germany but allowing traffic to flow freely between the two areas of Berlin, despite the city being occupied by separate powers .

 Due to Berlin’s more open nature, there were fears that the emigration to the West would continue. Nikita Khrushchev, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union at the time, is implicated in making the suggestion that the Berlin Wall be erected and President John F. Kennedy is thought to have implied that no resistance would be made against the erection of such a border . Shortly following this, a deal was made to finalize the plans, and the border was closed by military officials and barbed wire in the early days of August 1961, with the concrete elements of the wall shortly following.

From this date until November 1989, it was nearly impossible to cross between the two areas of Berlin.Wall. The Cold War was a state of political tension between the West (headed by the U.S.) and the East (headed by the Soviet Union) which never showed direct military action but was symbolized by the constant threat of nuclear war.. ration should be stopped and the erection of the Inner German Border, separating the two areas of Germany but allowing traffic to flow freely between the two areas of Berlin, despite the city being occupied by separate powers5.

Due to Berlin’s more open nature, there were fears that the emigration to the West would continue. Nikita Khrushchev, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union at the time, is implicated in making the suggestion that the Berlin Wall be erected and President John F. Kennedy is thought to have implied that no resistance would be made against the erection of such a border6. Shortly following this, a deal was made to finalize the plans, and the border was closed by military officials and barbed wire in the early days of August 1961, with the concrete elements of the wall shortly following.

From this date until November 1989, it was nearly impossible to cross between the two areas of Berlin. The End of the Wall and the War The Cold War had a huge part to play in the construction and fall of the Berlin Wall. The Cold War was a state of political tension between the West (headed by the U.S.) and the East (headed by the Soviet Union) which never showed direct military action but was symbolized by the constant threat of nuclear war7. Ronald Reagan was one of the most influential figures of the Cold War and its end, signing an agreement to ban intermediate-range nuclear weapons with the then-Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev8.

Reagan also challenged Gorbachev to tear down the wall, symbolizing as it did the oppressive regime of the Soviet Union and everything that the President stood against. At the same time, much of the Soviet economies were stagnant and revolutions in Poland and the Baltic States were well underway,

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berlin wall essay example

Research Paper on The Berlin Wall

Research Paper on The Berlin Wall

After World War II, Germany was divided into four occupation zones managed by the Allies powers; the United Kingdom, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States. Although Berlin lay in the Soviet Union occupation zone, as the capital, it was also divided into four occupation zones, each of which was managed by the allies (Harrison 1). France, UK, and the US merged their occupational zones to become West Berlin while Soviet's occupation zone became East Berlin, and when the border between East and West Germany was closed in 1952, Berlin remained the only place where people could easily cross the border (Harrison 1). Consequently, West Berlin was an island of democracy and capitalism within East Germany, and it lured many East Germans who had been frustrated by communism and therefore, a hindrance to mass migration which made communism and the Soviet Union look inferior was required: this barrier was the Berlin Wall. The Berlin Wall, whose construction began in 1961, refers to the 140-kilometer wall built between East and West Berlin (Harrison 3). It was constructed by the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). The East Germany's official reason for building the Berlin Wall was to prevent Western "fascists" entry into East Germany to stop them from undermining the socialist state (Ahonen 43). However, the main aim of the wall was to curb mass defections into West Germany from East Germany. The East Germany's government wanted to control the migration of skilled employees into West Germany to reduce brain drain. Although the Berlin Wall was significant, it was a bad idea since it was restrictive and had more disadvantages than advantages.

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To begin with, the Berlin Wall was a very controversial structure. The wall extensively affected the lives of German people politically, socially and economically. The wall was also a key battleground between the two world superpowers; the United States and the USSR. The Wall was a physical mark of "Iron Curtain" that separated Eastern and Western Europe (Harrison 6). It exemplified the contrast between the Eastern Communists and the Western capitalists; thus demonstrating conflict and division between the German people.

Secondly, the construction of the Berlin Wall restricted movement for Berlin residents. Before its construction, Berlin residents enjoyed free movement within the city. Citizens could work, shop or live in either East or West Berlin. Train services carried people around the city with no hindrance. After the construction of the wall, movement between East and West Berlin became impossible except by use of any of the three checkpoints; Helmstedt, Dreilinden, and Friedrichstrasse in central Berlin (Harrison 4). This meant that classmates, families, lovers, friends, employers and employees were viciously separated from each other. Basically, with the restriction of movement between East and West Germany, families with members in both parts of Germany were separated. The wall made it impossible for these families to assemble. Interestingly, people now needed a visa to visit their families. To make matters worse, East German soldiers screened people thoroughly before permitting them to enter or leave East Germany. Most citizens in East Germany believed that the wall was built specifically to avoid them defecting to West Germany. Restriction of movement led to several attempts by East Germany residents to defect to the West, although most of these attempts were unsuccessful. Separation of families, for instance, led to unimaginable anguish to members of these families. This desperation motivated people to contemplate escaping. Such suffering could have been avoided if the wall had not been erected.

Additionally, the Berlin Wall was a hindrance to the development of East Germany. The flow of technical know-how from the more developed West was restricted. With the adoption of communism in East Germany, many professors and students chose to migrate to West Germany since although the wall reduced brain drain of professional from East Germany, the industrial growth in the East was static due to lower technological advancement as compared to the West (Ross 28). Even today, states in the former West are richer than states in the former East. These states have a household wealth of more than double the states in former East. Unemployment is more prevalent in the East than the West. Had Germany recovered from the World War II as a united country, such discrepancies could not have occurred.

Also, the construction of the Berlin Wall led to the loss of civil identity to the city, construction of separated suburbs, and closure of links between two parts of a city (Harrison 5). Berlin became two cities with parallel amenities. There were main operas, universities, and zoos in both areas of the city since both governments wanted to develop a self-reliant city with all amenities available (Berdahl 59). The role of Berlin as the economic, social and political capital of Germany diminished, and cities with smaller populations such as Frankfurt flourished more. It was after the fall of the Wall when Berlin once again became the capital of a united Germany.

Interestingly, the Berlin Wall acted as a propaganda tool for both East and West Germany. East Germany explained how it was using the Wall to protect its citizens from fascism and described the use of the wall as protection against agents of capitalism (Berdahl 147). They even claimed that American spies were using Berlin to spy on and sabotage Communist countries. They legitimized the Wall and showed it as a measure of last resort against Western aggression. West Germany used the wall to portray oppression of Germans on the other side of the wall and demonstrate the superiority of capitalism since they were wealthier than East Germans (Ahonen 44). The wall was used by Western countries to indicate how Communist government oppressed their citizens. The Wall became a vital battle tool in fierce publicity campaigns whose aim was building legitimacy and mutual identity at home and sabotaging the other Germany (Ahonen 40). West Germany's media and political elite had a public narrative that West Germany was the genuine successor to the German Reich because of its democratic government in contrast with the authoritarian government in the East. Such propaganda would have been avoided if the wall had not been built.

Also, the construction of Berlin Wall led to cultural inconsistencies between the East and West Germany citizens. While East Germans who grew under a communist regime show a strong collective mentality, an impulse to heed to authority but the lack of ambition, the West Germans who grew in a capitalistic environment are more individualistic and are more likely to start a venture(Major 113). This comes from an influence of fewer than 45 years of communism whereas these people had a common culture before the advent of communism. In West Germany, for instance, most people vote for a particular political party while East Germans are still trying out several political parties (Kempe 82). Due to lack of exposure during the communism period, racism is more prevalent in the East. When the wall was constructed, the East Germany's youth were angry that popular Western culture was inaccessible. This is reason enough why the Berlin wall was one of the worst things that ever happened in the History of Germany.

Furthermore, the building of the Berlin Wall led to increased tensions between communist states and capitalist states. The culmination of several events including the Berlin blockade, the airlift, and the Berlin Wall brought the world to the brink of nuclear warfare since these crises led to the formation of military co-operations (Harrison 4). The capitalist powers formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) while the Communist bloc countries formed the Warsaw Pact; organizations that sought to defend members in case of attack by a rival nation (Kempe 93). Formation of military alliances made international diplomacy tense and volatile. Political scientists used their work to determine the role of the Berlin Wall in the tensions between the US President John F Kennedy and the Soviet President Nikita Khrushchev (Ross 27). The speech by President Ronald Reagan at Brandenburg Gate was to call upon the Soviet Union to demolish the Berlin Wall, and this exposed the presence of the world's superpowers in the Berlin Wall (Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum). The climax of these tensions was the Berlin Crisis of 1961 when the Soviet Union ordered Western powers to withdraw all their armies from Berlin within six months to make the city demilitarized (Major 91). The crisis, which threatened to get violent, was finally solved through negotiations but it led to the proliferation of nuclear weapons in Europe. These tensions only reduced when the Wall came down. The fall of Berlin Wall symbolized the end of the Cold War. Tensions which had engulfed the whole world reduced and peaceful co-existence between countries were encouraged as, for example, USSR broke up into several countries led by Russia (Kempe 88). This showed the collapse of communism and the triumph of capitalism. In fact, it was only after the fall of the Wall that Germany was reunited; hence, building it had not been a good idea in the first place.

On the other hand, though, despite the many adverse effects of the Berlin Wall, there was a positive impact that not only benefitted the communist bloc but also the Western countries. The Berlin Wall brought economic stability to East Germany. The government of German Democratic Republic was able to eliminate migrations to the West Germany and assert control over its citizens since the brain drain of professionals was destroying the political tenability and economic viability of East Germany, and it was imperative to secure the German communist borders (Pearson 64). This means that the wall initiated a period of domestic stability for the East Germany and importantly aided economic growth in East Germany during the 1960s by ending the labor drain and exerting the government's control over currency and trade (Ross 26). Its economy started to grow despite the people's discontent with the Berlin Wall and economic problems due to dual currency. The people were discontented, but they later realized that it was preposterous to cross into West Germany. They had to work to develop themselves. Therefore, the wall was significant since it enabled the East Germany regime to push through their policies in the grassroots.

Also, the Berlin Wall reduced the influx of refugees into West Germany. Many economic and political refugees who wanted to seek a better life in West Germany were trapped in the East. Communism was not popular in East Germany, and many people wanted to leave. The economic pressure which could have been exerted into the economy of West Germany by resettling these refugees was reduced.

In conclusion, the Berlin Wall was a bad idea. It had more disadvantages than the advantages. Some of the disadvantages were that the movement of Berlin residents was restricted, movement between East and West Berlin became almost impossible, the city of Berlin lost its prestige as the political and economic capital of Germany, people were forcibly separated from their loved ones, the development of East Germany was hindered as the flow of information from the more technologically West Germany was restricted, tensions between the communists and capitalist states became more, and the constant use of the Wall as a propaganda tool undermined the German governments on both sides of the wall. The wall also led to the rise of two groups of Germans, each with distinct cultures. This could cause disharmony among Germans. On the other hand, however, the Berlin Wall enabled the stability of East Germa...

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