“Tear down that Wall” said United States President Ronald Reagan in a speech that occured in West Berlin on June 12, 1987. In November of 1991 the Berlin Wall was taken down. The division was gone, but the shock remained.
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The news spread all around the world like a wildfire. Large numbers of East Germans crossed and climbed up and over the fallen Wall. Once they had crossed, they were met by West Germans. At first all was good, but as time continued people began to speak out and demand change. The Berlin Wall was a representation of communism in our world. Which lead to much conversory between many different people around the world. The Wall symbolized the end of communism in Germany. By taking down the Berlin Wall they really were taking away last remains of communism in Germany. This lead other countries to questions their morals and beliefs regarding communism. Overall, the fall of the Berlin Wall was a major symbol of the slow decline of communism in our world. This included all over Europe and much of Asia.
During the early years of the Cold War the Berlin Wall was built. The Wall was completed on August 13 of 1961 and was tore down in early November of 1991. The Wall was constructed by the German Democratic Republic under the influence of the Soviet Union. The Wall spanned the border of East Germany and West Germany. The Wall blocked West Germany away from most of its surroundings by land. As if this wasn’t bad enough East Germany was on 24 hour watch from watch towers. Here they would stay and watch over the West Germans to make sure that they did not find or escape from the “prison” that was built around them.
Some people, in fact did try to escape from East Germany to the west. There were underground tunnels and secret passageways. But trying to leave was always a great risk. For, the consequences could cost one’s life. Others made plans to try and climb over the Wall, which in most cases resulted in them getting shot and often killed. According to the New Yorker, the text states, “a group of four West Berliners, responding to the call of a man named Gerhard Weinstein, found an abandoned railway shed near the Wall that split their city, and began digging” (Karasz). During the time of the Cold War West Berlin was not a safe place to be. Overall, it is not a good idea to be seen carrying a shovel around. Many people wanted to get out but they didn’t want to risk their own lifes. In addition, being constantly watched by guards on watchtowers that could kill you in seconds didn’t seem too comforting.
The news of the Wall spread rapidly around the globe. As a result of this, the Soviet government has repeatedly emphasised that the conclusion of a peace treaty with Germany and normalisation on such a basis of the situation in West Berlin will not attack the interests of any of the parties and would contribute to result of peace and security of all people. The wall was built out of barbed wire and concrete. There were about 302 watchtowers that lined up and down the Berlin wall. In the watchtowers there were always occupied with armed East German Soldiers. These guards members (and worked for) the communist party. Meaning that they supported the Wall and worked to ensure that none of the East Germans left the vicinity. They believed that communism, a utopian idea was best for the country and their nation as a whole. Though the watchtowers may look pretty covered with the veil of the trees they were not good places. Many people were concerned to simply walk close to the borders. And most people who did kept their heads down and walked as quickly and swiftly as they could. Know, you may be wondering if the towers were really these horrible things then why are so many of them preserved around the world. There are originals and replicas all over the world. The answer is simple. The mistakes our past must be preserved so we don’t repeat them. Watchtowers bring ideas into reality.
The Soviet Union was one large country that existed from December of 1933 to December 1991. The country was founded on communism. During the early years of the cold war the West Berlin was a “Geographical loophole” according to BBC. This meaning that many East Germans fled to the democratic West. The communist East German leaders, or authorities decided to build a wall to keep their people inside of the wall to stop people from crossing over to the other side to the democratic West. As a result, the wall was thrown up overnight on August 13, 1961. When East Germans woke up the next day they were shocked. Many families were divided, and many people were confused as to what had happened. From that day on guards were on 24 hour watch and the people were in fact imprisoned inside of the wall.
Overtime living conditions seemed to worsen for the people of East Germany. Food was becoming scarce, and resources and things were harder to be shipped in and could only be shipped in from the communist government. In this case the car would be brought in under supervision of the much security including soldiers and government officials. Some East Germans were so desperate to get out of East Germany that they attempted to get into government shipping cars and get drove out of the country that way. In most cases that we hear about today people were killed in these instances about 90% of the time.
In the novel titled A Night Divided shares the powerful story of a family that was separated by the wall. The father and son were going on a two day trip to West Germany to get materials well the mother and daughter, Gerta the main character stayed home. That was the night that the wall was put up. In the compelling story she shares the story of everyday life in East Berlin and the living conditions on the wall. She shares the realism of having family divided. In conclusion here and her brother dig a tunnel down under the Wall leading to East Berlin which there they could be free and be reunited with their family again. Throughout the novel Gerta shares that the grocery stores slowly began to run out of food. Until all they had left was caned foods, and not many them.
After many years of imprisonment other countries seemed to start realizing the seriousness of the wall and what it was doing to Germany. They realized that many families, friends, and loved ones were separated on either sides of the wall. The main Allied powers known as the United States, France, Great Britain, and more wanted to take action.
The US wanted to take action. In the early years of the Cold War Kennedy saw the problem and knew that the United States of America should take action to help the citizens of East Berlin. Kennedy launched cargo ships filled with food and resources to East Germany to fuel the citizens with fresh food, and resources. This gave the East German hope that one day the wall would come down and one day they would be free again. In a famous speech President Kennedy says, “There are many people in the world who really don’t understand, or say they don’t, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lass’sie nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin.” (Kennedy). This meaning that Kennedy was for communism but was against the Wall in East Germany. He informs all that some people think that communism is bad and an evil system but personally Kennedy thinks that communism it helps to continue to make economic progress. This is very controversial worldwide.
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