THE BERLIN WALL
Another Cold War crisis
Background East ± West rivalry Berlin divided ± contrast the two halves.
WEST: Prosperous, helped by US, attracted people from the East. Seen by USSR as infection in the heart of Communist East Germany. EAST: Much less prosperous and under Communist control
Focus on refugees from East Germany or East Berlin to West
19491949-129,245 19511951- 165,648 19531953- 331,390 19551955- 252,870 19571957- 261,622 19591959- 143,917 19611961- 207,026 19621962- 21,356 19631963- 42,632 19641964- 41,876
What they wanted
The West Prevent USSR from gaining control of East Germany To see a united, democratic Germany The East Maintain control over E Germany Make the West recognise it as an independent state Stop the flood of refugees especially the skilled and professional ones ± much needed in E Germany
West should: Recognise GDR Withdraw troops from West Berlin Hand their access routes over to the East German government Khrushchev bluffed that he would hand East Berlin over to the GDR. West refused and Khrushchev backed down.
Events of 1961
June-Vienna Summit Khrushchev pressured new American President John F Kennedy Demanded withdrawal of Western forces from West Berlin ± Kennedy refused July ± Western powers reject Khrushchev¶s Vienna demands July 23 ± Flow of refugees from East to West = 1000 a day July 25 ± Kennedy repeats support for West Berlin and announced increase in arms spending
13-22 August ± Khrushchev and East German govt. orders barbed wire barrier across Berlin, followed by a wall of concrete blocks All of West Berlin encircled apart from access points This was against the Four Power agreement reached in Paris on 20 June 1949.
Did Kennedy really mind the wall? He had protected West Berlin and he never promised to protect East Berlin?
Important results for Berlin, Germany and the Cold War Berlin was divided, free access ended between East and West, many families split, many attempted to escape to the West-between 1961 and 1989, 86 people died trying to cross the Berlin Wall
Kennedy accepted the Soviet action. He refused to use US troops to pull down the wall to avoid war. Kennedy looked weak but West turned it into propaganda ± why if Communism was so attractive was a wall needed? 1963 ± Kennedy visited West Berlin ± pledged continued support ± µIch bin ein Berliner¶ (I am a Berliner) ± famous speech Khrushchev lost face by failing to remove the West from Berlin LINK:CNN - Cold War-The Wall
What was the Berlin Wall?
The Berlin Wall was a fence dividing East and West Germany. West Germany was under a Republic government whilst East Germany was a communist society with conflicting interests to that of the west. It was constructed in 1961 by East Germany otherwise known as the German Democratic Republic (GDR) to keep their people from fleeing the communist country. Many East Germans saw West Germany as a chance for liberation. Whilst the East German Government Restricted the public from migrating, they were aware that West Germany was sufficiently well constructed.
The construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961
What was the Berlin Wall con.
On the night of August 13th 1961, East Germany began the construction on the Berlin Wall. The concrete establishment was 4m high and 166km long, dividing the two areas. The GDR claimed that the wall was assembled to prevent political and military aggression from West Germany. However, the East Germans built both tank traps and trenches along the eastern border, Implying that the wall was in fact erected to restrict the immigration of East Germans. East German military guards strictly patrolled the Wall, any citizen attempting to flee was shot instantly.
East German Guards on a routine Wall petrol
The End of the Berlin Wall
From 1961 to 1989, a few East Germans succeeded in fleeing the country, although at least 80 people were killed as a result of military brutality. In summer 1989 a loop hole allowed East Germans to escape the country via Hungry to Austria and West Germany. By autumn the GDR was under sever threat of abolishment. On the 9th of November enthusiastic private citizens began to destroy large sections of the wall without government protest. By 1990 East Germany had participated in the deconstruction and removal of the Berlin Wall and was once again united with West Germany to create one nation, the Federal Republic of Germany. To this day sections of the wall were remain and many museums and shops were established in it¶s commemoration
A temporary memorial of over 1,000 crosses and a segment of the wall for those who died attempting to cross.
By Jim Olsen
My Life and the Berlin Wall
Jim Olsen born 1956. The Berlin Wall was erected in 1961 by the communist government, to make it impossible for East Germans to leave their country.
Berlin, 1961. Berlin Wall at Zimmerstrasse. West Berliners watching over the Wall to the East.
Berlin Wall being built ± separation.
Berlin. Bernauer Strasse/Brunnenstrasse View from West to East Berlin.
Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie View from West to East Berlin, 1961
Standoff between US and Soviet tanks at Checkpoint Charlie, 1961.
In sixth grade my social studies teacher showed slides of her visit to Berlin. My first encounter with the Berlin Wall. This is what she described.
Berlin, Potsdamer Platz, 60s
Berlin, Potsdamer Platz, 60s
Brandenburg Gate photographed through the barbed wire there, from the West Berlin, April 1963
Checkpoint Charlie Berlin, April 1963
Berlin, 1963. John F. Kennedy visiting Berlin on June 26, 1963.
JFK gave his famous ³Ich bin ein Berliner´ speech.
President Kennedy says, ´Ich bin ein Berliner.µ (I am a Berliner) ² I support you. Due to the Allied Air Lift, from a few years prior, and President Kennedy·s support, West Berlin remained a vigorous and healthy city. Berlin, unfortunately, remained divided.
In the last phase of the wall's development, the "death strip" between fence and concrete wall.
East Germans were killed if they tried to escape.
In the summer of 1972 I traveled to Berlin with my family (my second encounter). This is the sight I saw.
Brandenburg Gate View from West Berlin to East Berlin
Berliner Mauer, Berlin 1983.
In 1985 I took a group of students to Germany (3rd encounter). This is what I saw.
United States President Ronald Reagan delivers his famed "Tear Down This Wall" speech at the Berlin Wall in June of 1987, in which he called for Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the wall.
In 1989 the Berlin Wall came DOWN!!
My friend sent be a post card showing people walking under the Brandenburg Gate for the first time since 1961. My 4th encounter.
In summer 2007 I took my family to Berlin. My 5th encounter. It was awesome!
Here we are at the Hard Rock Café, Berlin with my friend, Heinz.
They have the line marked where the Wall stood.
Potsdamer Platz has been restored. They have kept a section of the Wall.
Potsdamer Platz restored.
Potsdamer Platz Sony Center 2007
Checkpoint Charlie today.
Checkpoint Charlie today.
Photo taken of my children with a relic of past communist oppression.
Brandenburg Gate, 2007.
Here I am, proudly walking under the Brandenburger Gate. Something I did not think I¶d be able to do in my lifetime.
I AM THANKFUL THE BERLIN WALL IS NO MORE. I AM THANKFUL FOR FREEDOM.