The Berlin Wall
“Walls and their guards can never encircle the people and hold down ideas”, this could not be a more accurate description to describe the affects of the Berlin Wall during the 1960’s.
After World War Two, Germany was divided into two separate countries. West Germany became a democratic country, under the influence of its allies France, Britain and the United States. These countries also had control over differing sectors of West Germany. East Germany fell under the ruling of the Soviet Union, which led it to become a communist country. Berlin, the capital of Germany, although located in East Germany, was under control of all four countries France, Britain, The United States and the Soviet Union who had control over differing sectors of the city.
In 1961 the communist government of East Germany built The Berlin Wall. This was due to the high number of skilled workers and youth living in the East who were immigrating to West Berlin for a better lifestyle, as they had preferred a democratic government. Every day, nearly 2,000 East Germans were leaving to go to the West. As of the 12th of August 1961, two million people had left the East. Around this time the East German Leader, Walter Ulbricht approached Nikita Krushchev, the Soviet Leader in Moscow, bringing him his ideas and thoughts of constructing the Berlin Wall to resolve the issue of their citizens immigrating elsewhere. Although the two communists often did not get along very well, Krushchev agreed to their intentions. The following day on the 13th of August 1961, the people of Berlin were completely oblivious of what was to come the moment they walked out the door. In building the Berlin Wall, the communist government hoped to encircle it’s people and hold down their ideas of defecting from their country. Helplessly, citizens of Berlin watched as the government controlled the streets and controlled the new wall, which had been built just the night before. This was known as the Berlin Wall, which separated and isolated the democratic western side of Berlin from the East. The Berlin Wall feared the citizens to believe that the wall will forever encircle them and their ideas will be forever held down.
The Berlin Wall impacted the citizens of Germany immensely, especially those who were living in Berlin as it had changed their lifestyle. Many families were broken apart for several decades as many families lived on different sides of the wall to each other. Over 30,000 people in East Berlin were also employed in the West leaving them unemployed; as they could no longer have the luxury of crossing sides to enjoy well-paid jobs after the Berlin Wall was constructed. This physical barrier between the two countries and through the city left many feeling helpless, as they had lost their human rights and freedom in their own country. Although the Berlin Wall had created barriers to encircle the people, limiting them from their rights, like any government, there will always be rule breakers, which are what many citizens risked for themselves and their families freedom, so that their ideas will not be held down, and give them the right to speak freely.
The construction of the Berlin Wall frustrated the capitalists of Germany, especially those living in West Berlin, as they no longer had the freedom to cross over to the East. This caused many escape attempts, some of which were successful and some of which weren’t and even experienced the consequence of death. To legally cross the Berlin Wall, a citizen was required to possess an “interzone pass”, which was not easily received. “Checkpoint Charlie” was the only location of the entire wall, which allowed a citizen to physically cross, if they obtained an “interzone pass”. As possessing an interzone pass was difficult, this is what drove the people to break the rules and create their own strategies to escape through the wall. This led the citizens to fight against the communist government, in...
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