Story of The Wall of Berlin

In the dead silence of night The Berlin Wall was erected and it remained there to keep East Germans from fleeing to the West for 28 years. After the World War II, the Allied powers who emerged as winners decided to divide the fallen Germany into four zones, each occupied by either the United States, Great Britain, France, or the Soviet Union (as agreed at the Potsdam Conference). The same was done with Germany's capital city, Berlin.

Soon the relationship between the Soviet Union and the other three Allied powers started shattering in the mist of doubts. No one was ready to accept Soviet Union as a reliable country beacause of their creed to export Red Revolution all around the globe. Same was there with Soviets as they wanted to keep their masses from the colorful affects of capitalism. Divided Berlin became the focal point for this clash between Communism and Capitalism.

In 1949, the three zones occupied by the United States, Great Britain, and France combined to form West Germany (the Federal Republic of Germany). The zone occupied by the Soviet Union quickly followed by forming East Germany (the German Democratic Republic).

This same division into West and East occurred in Berlin. Since the city of Berlin had been situated entirely within the Soviet zone of occupation, West Berlin became an island of democracy within Communist East Germany.

Within a short period of time after the war, living conditions in West Germany and East Germany became distinctly different. With the help and support of its occupying powers, West Germany set up a capitalist society and experienced such a rapid growth of their economy that it became known as the "economic miracle." With hard work, individuals living in West Germany were able to live well, buy gadgets and appliances, and to travel as they wished.

In East Germany the situation was quite different. The Soviets pilfered a lot of assetes and equipments from their zone and shipped them back to the Soviet Union. When East Germany became its own country, it was under the direct influence of the Soviet Union and thus a Communist society was established. In East Germany, the economy dragged and individual freedoms were severely restricted.

In the late 1950s a lot of East Germany people wanted to go out of their country and live in West Germany because it had much better living conditions than their own part of the territory. So a huge migration started and by the 1960s East Germany started to loose its trained labor as well as the popultaion.

Having already lost 2.5 million people by 1961, East Germany desperately needed to stop this mass exodus. The obvious leak was the easy access East Germans had to West Berlin. With the support of the Soviet Union, there had been several attempts to simply take over West Berlin in order to eliminate this exit point. Although the Soviet Union even threatened the United States with the use of nuclear weapons over this issue, the United States and other Western countries were committed to defending West Berlin.

Now East Germany was Desperate to keep its citizens and decided to build a wall to prevent them from crossing the border. Just past midnight on the night of August 12-13, 1961, soldiers and construction crews began tearing up streets that entered into West Berlin, dug holes to put up concrete posts, and strung barbed wire all across the border between East and West Berlin. Telephone wires between East and West Berlin were also cut.

As the Berliners woke up they were taken aback to see the only hope of a better life barbed with wires and concrete coloumns. Now there was no way for them to enjoy even the temporary enjoyments of capitalistic environment like music concerts, operas, cinemas, plays and so on. People who had been on either side of the wall, were destined to live there for many coming decades.

The Berlin Wall stretched over a hundred miles. It ran not only through the center of Berlin, but also wrapped around West Berlin, entirely cutting West Berlin off from the rest of East Germany. The wall itself went through four major transformations during its 28-year history. The Berlin Wall started out as a barbed-wire fence with concrete posts, but just a few days after the first fence was placed, it was quickly replaced with a sturdier, more permanent structure made out of concrete blocks, topped with barbed wire.

The first two versions of the wall (barbed wire and concrete blocks) were replaced by the third version of the Berlin Wall in 1965. This version consisted of a concrete wall, supported by steel girders. The fourth version of the Berlin Wall, constructed from 1975 to 1980, was the most complicated and thorough. It consisted of concrete slabs reaching nearly 12-feet high (3.6 m) and 4-feet wide (1.2 m), plus it had a smooth pipe running across the top to hinder people from scaling the Wall.

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