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East Side Gallery: The Right To Keep It Standing

3179 words - 13 pages

Imagine visiting your relatives graves in Europe. Imagine feeling excited to go and see some of your family history. Imagine going up to your relatives headstone and thinking that you will see their names, and dates written on it. Unfortunately, that is not the case, because when you get there, the headstone is broken and is laying all over the leaves and dirt across the grave, shattered into pieces. You think about all the memories you had with them, when they were alive, and you can’t help but wonder ‘’why would someone ruin a person’s legacy and a piece of history like that?’’ The standing remainder of the Berlin Wall is just like that. There are many people whose history will be lost if ...view middle of the document...

Obviously, since many of the people in East Berlin were moving to West Berlin, Stalin knew that he needed to keep the two sides apart and separated.
Then, throughout the night of August 12, 1961, soldiers and construction workers were working in East Berlin, where they started putting up the wall. The workers dug holes for the concrete posts, strung up barbed wire, and cut the telephone lines between the East and the West (Rosenberg). The chaos and the panic that could’ve went through people’s minds when they woke up that day was crazy. No one was allowed, at all through the wall, not even if a family member or loved one somehow found themselves on the opposite side than the rest of their family.
Fortunately, many of those separated families soon saw each other. There were signs throughout Germany that the ‘’Communist bloc was weakening, but the East German Communist leaders insisted that East Germany just needed a moderate change rather than a drastic revolution’’. However, many East German citizens didn’t agree. On November 9, 1989, suddenly Günter Schabowski, an East German government official, said, ‘’Permanent relocations can be done through all border checkpoints between the GDR (East Germany) into the FRG (West Germany) or West Berlin’’. Basically, all the border checkpoints spread throughout the wall were opened for everyone to pass through. Quickly throughout the day, many tentative East and West Berliners approached the wall, and the border guards didn’t say anything. That is when people came to the wall with hammers and chisels, making their own way across the wall. It is estimated that 100 to 200 people died trying to escape over the Berlin Wall, not including the border patrol. Some strategies did work, some did not. Many people would escape by just throwing a rope over it and climbing it. One story was that one family collected pieces of cloth and eventually made a hot air balloon to use to escape. Although many people did die, approximately 5000 people did make it across (Rosenberg). Because the East Side was Communist, the people living there did not have any freedom or rights. That is why people were trying to escape from the East Side.

Nowadays, however, this is a controversial issue today because a man named Maik Uwe Hinkel is planning on removing the rest of the East Side Gallery for a luxury housing project. Hinkel, a developer, has been trying to take down this part of the wall since around 2005. (Jurgens).Meanwhile, people started to protest to Hinkel and his workers. Many people were arguing that they were "sacrificing history for profit". A piece of the gallery was already removed before ‘’the public outcry brought a halt while local politicians and the investor said they were looking for a solution to keep the rest of the wall untouched’’. Even after the public outcry, Hinkel still removed "four more 1.2-meter wide parts of the wall’’. Alexander Toennies, a police spokesperson said, "The constructor had the right...

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