History To What Extend Was The Fall Of The Berlin Wall Caused By Public Unrest?

2198 words - 9 pages



3 History Coursework

To what extend was the fall of the Berlin Wall caused by public outrages?

Contents Page:

A) Plan of investigation – Page 3

B) Summary of evidence – Page 4-6

C) Evaluation of sources – Page 7

D) Analysis – Page 8

E) Conclusion – Page 9

F) List of sources – Page 10

1. Plan of investigation:

The fall of the Berlin Wall was a major historical event not only for the German public but for world democracy also. The Berlin Wall divided Berlin from 13th August 1961 to 9th November 1989. During this time people living in East Berlin were not allowed to enter West Berlin, families were separated for Years and lived in a total ...view middle of the document...

2. Summary of Evidence:

The Berlin Wall was a concrete wall built by the German Democratic Republic (GDR) that completely encircled West Berlin. This wall separated West Berlin from East Germany and East Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Both of the borders came to symbolize the Iron Curtain between Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc.[1] Political instability in the USSR under Gorbachev, and the rise of public unrest led to the fall of the Berlin Wall within a few weeks. The 9th November opened the way to unity for East Germany and East Berlin to the Western world.[2]

Since the 4th September 1989, every Monday, everywhere in East Germany, demonstration where held to protest against the bad standard of living and to show their anger over the East German surveillance state.[3] On the 9th October 1989 in Leipzig, however, Erich Honecker decides to suppress the demonstration, which led to the first act of violence for a long time against the citizens of East Germany. The, 77 year old, party leader of the ruling SED in East Germany ordered the police to “Stop riots once and for all”.[4] One week later on the 16th October 1989, 120000 people came together in Leipzig to demonstrate peacefully. The government did not trust the demonstrators and their peaceful way, and sent in 3100 soldiers to protect the city.[5] They should only be allowed to use violence this time, if any of the Stasi or SED buildings were attacked. Fortunately, there was no need for violence. Uwe Schwabe an important initiator for the peaceful revolution told the demonstrators: “We just have one chance, if we stay demonstrating on the streets and don't let us frighten.”[6] People from now on shouted “Wir sind das Volk!” “ We are the people!”

The communist governments in Eastern Europe started to become more democratic when Gorbachev was the Soviet leader from 1985. With the integration of the “Perestroika” more democratic elements could be found in communist countries.

On the 27th June 1989, Hungary's foreign minister Gyula Horn and Austria's
vice chancellor Alois Mock were the first ones to carve holes into the the Iron Curtain. Both cut the barbed wire fence on the boarders. On the 19th August 1989 over 600 people crossed the boarder from Hungary to Austria. Which was the biggest stampede since the construction of the Berlin Wall.[7] In August the embassies of West Germany had to close in Prague and Budapest because over 300 citizens of the German Democratic Republic wanted to force their departure to West Germany. Thousand of people were camping in front of the Embassies.[8] In August 1989 over 21000 people made it through Hungary over the boarder to Austria. Because of too many emigrants, Hungary closed the boarder temporary but opened it again on the 11th September, at midnight. In the next three days more then 15000 people left the GDR and went on the journey to West Germany....

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