The rise and fall of the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall, one of the most controversial structures built in Europe in the year 1961, was symbolic of the division in Europe at the time. The end of the Second World War in 1945 wrought significant destruction in the crumbling halves of Germany after the country’s defeat in the war. East Germany, as it was known then, was being controlled by the Soviet Union. While post war treaties and discussions conducted by Britain, France and the US, suggested the possibility of the Unification of Germany, the Soviet Union stood strongly opposed to this idea, while simultaneously enforcing a massive land blockade in West Germany. While aid was provided by Britain, France and the US, it took a long time for the blockade to be eased in the region. 

The cold war that was taking place at the time was also a cause of massive tensions in East Germany which wanted to break free of the shackles of the communist government by fleeing to its more democratic counterpart, West Germany. The Soviet in retaliation, ordered by the leader Nikita Kruschev authorised the building of the wall that would stop the mass exodus of people moving to West Germany. The Soviet threatened to impose a second land blockade of West Germany challenged this decision, thereby preventing the latter half of the region from taking any significant action on the building of the Berlin wall. Over the years that followed, several desperate attempts were made by the East Germans to flee the countries and while a few were successful, attempts were largely unsuccessful resulting in deaths. The wall continued to grow in scope until it was over 15 feet high and virtually impossible to escape over. This wall was considered a strong mark of “Communist Oppression” by the West and other international onlookers. 

After several years, in 1989, a rapid surge of democratic ideals came over East Germany, which had too long been under communist oppression. The region, deteriorating with a self-destructing economy, had its administrators back into a corner. On the 9th of November, restrictions on travel and movement to West Germany were ameliorated and the official declaration that the Berlin Wall would be brought down was made. 

The world rejoiced at the decision to bring down the wall as hundreds gathered to celebrate the spectacle. Since the unification of the two regions, the country has made massive progress in terms of development in Europe. 

Citations:

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/berlin-wall-built

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidcarlin/2019/11/10/tearing-down-the-wall/#79f38ff13add

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/nov/04/whatever-happened-to-the-berlin-wall#:~:text=Why%20was%20the%20Berlin%20Wall,of%2017%20million%2C%20had%20escaped.

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