Berlin Wall and it's Fall August 13, 1961-November 9, 1989

How Germany got "Spilt up"

At the end of WWII in 1945 there was a conference which was called the "Yalta Conference." This conference held 3 very major people, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. They required Germany surrender, and then they began to plan post-war world. Germany got spilt up in to 4 parts, American, French, British, and Soviet. The East part went to Soviet, the Western part went to US, then eventually Great Britain then France joined. Then the East side become communist, and the West side became a democracy.

Basic Information about the Wall

  • It was 11-13 feet tall
  • The wall was around 4ft wide
  • The wall was also more than 85 miles long
  • It was made out of reinforced concrete
  • topped with barded wire and a very large pipe
  • There were 302 observation towers
  • 259 dogs would run the perimeter
  • machine guns were placed in many spots along the length of the wall
  • On the east side there was sand on the ground to show footprints
  • There were soldiers patrolling the wall constantly, and they had orders to kill.
  • Around 191 people died trying to get to family on the west side.
This is the way the wall was set up.

The Purpose of why it was built

Many people who lived in East Germany were living under communists control. Since many people did not really like the way East Germany operated they moved to West Germany, which was a democracy or most people called it, "Moving to freedom." Many people that moved to West Germany were teachers, professors, doctors, engineers. Between 1949-1961 around 2.5 million people fled from East Germany to West Germany. This had a giant effect on East Germany, so the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev decided to separate East and West Germany.

The Start Of The Wall

On August 12th -13th overnight East German soldiers put down more than 30 miles of barbed wire fencing. Lots of people were very surprised because the wall showed up suddenly overnight. Then on August 15th the barbed wire was being changed to reinforced concrete. The 13ft tall wall really did not stop the refugees from crossing the wall. Close to 5,000 East Germans (including some 600 border guards) made it across to wall. Some people got over the wall by hot air balloon, and crawling through sewers. "Though he was not happy about it, President Kennedy conceded that “a wall is a heck of a lot better than a war” ( Staff, "Berlin Wall", 2009).

People walking along the wall of the West side.

rising Tensions

Tensions are starting to rise during the beginning of the Cold War. In 1948 the Russians wanted starve out the (U.S, Great Britain, and France) "western sectors by closing off all of the land route to the city"(history The U.S and its Allies did not retreat. They supplied their sections of the city from the air, this was called the Berlin Airlift. This lasted until 1949 when the Soviets decided to end their blockade.

New Tensions

Things were "relatively" calm for almost a decade until 1958. Then the Soviets launched a successful Sputnik satellite, which was also the start of the space race. During the first couple years of the space race negotiations and conferences happened about the number of refuges but nothing was resolved.

The Fall

On November 9, 1989, "The Cold War" began to come to an end across eastern Europe. On that same day the spokesman of the East German Communist Party announced that people could cross east and west Germany freely without being killed. Many people stormed the wall in celebration, crossing to the other side. Others brought hammers and picks to break the wall. More than 2 million people from east Berlin came to west Berlin for a celebration party. During all of this, cranes and bulldozers were taking down chunks of the wall.

A west border guard helping an east guard through the wall.

This is a part of the Berlin which was shipped off to London.
This section of the wall is in Los Angeles
If you went to Berlin now, you would these photos. The brick in the ground is exactly where the wall was.

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