Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Creation of the Berlin Wall Essays -- Berlin Wall European History

The Creation of the Berlin Wall The end of World War II triggered the start of the Cold War. The victors of WWII, The United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union divided Germany and Berlin into four. The United States, Great Britain, and France were all capitalist and democratic, and the Soviet Union was communist. The United States, Great Britain, and France all were part of the same â€Å"team.† The Soviet Union, however, wanted nothing to do with the others, so they decided to build a wall around their sector to keep the others out and their people in. (Divided In Unity 87). The Berlin Wall went up in the middle of the night, 2 a.m. on August 13, 1961. It was, at first a low barbed wire fence, and then workers used cement to construct a permanent structure that was 96 feet long, and about 12 feet high. (Kelly 1). Travel between east and west was nearly impossible due to the restrictions. There were 14,000 guards, 600 dogs, and approximately 302 watchtowers were placed to make sure that no one from the East escaped to the West. (The Wall). The Soviet Union had complete control over what went on in the Eastern sector. They had taken control of the only radio tower, and they decided what was broadcasted over it. It was a crime to listen to broadcasts from the West. (Kelly 2). And the newspapers that were produced in the East, the government had complete control over what was published in them: â€Å"Newspapers are the written voice of the state. Reporters do not launch independent investigation or expose government corruption. Journalists are more like secretaries, reporting what they are told, and nothing more.† (Kelly 4). People that were prisoners in the East yearned for the freedom that people had in the West. About 10,000 people tried escaping, around 5,000 made it, roughly 3,200 were jailed, and approximately 200 were killed and 200 injured from shootings at the Wall. One man, Peter Fechter who was an 18-year-old bricklayer, was shot while he was trying to escape, the guards wouldn’t let anyone help him, so he bleed to death. (Kelly 2). He ended up becoming a symbol of everyone killed at the Wall. People risked everything to get to the West, escaping over, through, and under the Berlin Wall. There were some pretty amazing ways that people found to escape. Kelly at The Freedom Forum, writes that, the Wetzel’s and St... ... was a huge separation. Not only between parts of the city and the government, but between families and what they believed in. People’s rights in the East were stripped from them. The government was the supreme voice of the city. People’s yearn to be free led them to do all sorts of ingenious, courageous, and deadly acts. The cost of their life outweighed the benefit of freedom. Works Cited â€Å"Escape Stories.† Associated Press. New York, N.Y.  © 2000 â€Å"Escaping Under the Berlin Wall.† Newsweek. March 8, 1999: 54. Online InfoTrac Web: General Reference Center Gold. Accessed: February 2002 Glaeser, Andreas. Divided in Unity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,  © 2000. Kelly, Susan Brooks. â€Å"Two Sides, One Story.† The Freedom Forum. Arlington, VA. 1999. 8-85 Phillips, Martin. â€Å"Berlin Escape Ordeal 10 years Ago Today†¦The Wall Came Down.† The Sun. London, England. Nov 9, 1999. Online: News Group Newspapers Ltd. 6 Olsen, A J. â€Å"Breaching ‘The Wall’: The Odds Grow.† The New York Times. New York, N.Y. August 9, 1964. 11+ Colin, Armand. URL: â€Å"A Concrete Curtain: The Life and Death of The Berlin Wall† creation: September 20, 1999. URL: Accessed: January 2002.

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