Summary of The Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was one the most prominent symbols of the Iron Curtain that the Soviet Union had created to contain and control the people of Eastern Europe and the rest of its territory. It serves as an example of the anarchy and the pursuit of self-interest the international system, particularly after a time after one superpower fell and a fierce competition of bipolar powers remained.
After the end of World War II, the four ally countries divided up German territory for the purposes of occupying and monitoring. The territory allocated to the United States, France, and Great Britain was composed of the western portion of the country and the Soviet territory was the eastern part. However, though Germany’s capital of Berlin resided deep in the Soviet portion of the country, the city itself was divided amongst the four allies as well (Grabianowski). East Berlin was subject to the communist policies of the Soviet Union, while West Berlin was transformed into a capitalist democracy (Rosenberg). Unfortunately for the Soviet Union, many citizens of East Berlin were relocating to West Berlin through the open border between East and West Berlin. By 1961, over two million East Berliners had fled to the West (Rosenberg). The massive loss of citizenry hurt the image of the Soviet Union and communism, and much of those lost were of skilled workers and professionals (Rosenberg). To stop further migration, the Soviet Union decided to construct a wall in 1961, known as the Berlin Wall, to separate the two sections of Berlin. The final form of the wall consisted of twelve-foot-tall walls of concrete and was guarded by soldiers with who were permitted to shoot anyone attempting to get to West Berlin (Rosenberg). The wall completely surrounded all of West Berlin, thus cutting off resources and mobility to the allied territory. Over 100 people died or were killed while trying to get over the wall (Grabianowski). The handling of the Berlin Wall,...
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