The Berlin Wall

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade November 2001

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The Berlin Wall I think we've all wondered sometime, when the whole caboodle started with the Berlin wall. What exactly happened? Why did the wall go up and then"¦ why did it come down? This whole German stuff started when in 1949 the U.S., Britain, France and Russiz decided to divide the Germany land into 4 sectors. Each sector was under control of a different country. The U.S., Britian and France joined sections together to form a democratic state. This was called the Federal Republic of Germany or West Germany. The Russian part became a communist state. This was called the German Democratic Republic or East Germany. Does this sound somewhat familiar? This was the Iron Curtain which Winston Churchill called it.

The reason why the wall went up is because the Russian government became upset with the Eastern Germans. What had happened was over 160,000 Eastern Germans were fleeing over the West Germany to get away from the communist state they were living at.

This happened between January through August 1961. The Eastern Germans were having a tough time with their lives and following the very strict rules of the Russian government. Russia was taking all the machinery that East Germany had to their country. They took 85% of their machinery. This caused food shortages, lack of supplies- personal and economical. To Eastern Germans, West Germany looked like heaven to them. West Germany offered immigrants more freedom of movement, more economic choices and greater control of government. So, because of Easter Germans running off to West Germany, the Communist government decided to make things hard for them. The decided to put up a wall dividing East and West Germany so the Eastern Germans could not escape.

The wall was built in August 1961. This was made of concrete segments with a height of 4m with a concrete tube on top of it.

At the wall on the eastern side, there was an illuminated control area, called the death area. Refugees who had reached that area were shot without warning. A trench followed that which prevented cars from breaking through. There was also a patrol track, watchdogs, watch towers and bunkers.

At least 100 people were killed trying to escape over the Berlin Wall.

Finally, the fall of the wall came to be. Gunter Schabowki, leader of East Berlin communist party came up with a decision to have private trips be abroad and that the border would be open. This made many people flock to these private trips at the border and tearing down of the wall started immediately. This later made the parties brake up and East and West Germany became united. Almost the entire wall is down except for a place as a memorial.

So, overall, much happened in Germany during the 1940s through the 1980s. Why they put the wall up and have the Eastern Germans suffer so much, I don't know. I can just say the Russian government was cruel and not very nice. But, doesn't this make you more grateful of our great country? Look at how much freedom and choices we had compared to the Eastern Germans. Even today millions of people all over the world put up with a lot of crap. Doing this project has made me realize that I'm a pretty lucky person and I shouldn't take so much for granted.

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