The Berlin Wall Essay

4222 words - 17 pages

The Berlin Wall

Today people belong to the CNN generation. Any time an event happens in
the world today people turn to CNN. In recent years, the Gulf War, and the events
in Bosnia have been headliners. In 1989, one event monopolized the airways of
CNN, THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL. I remember seeing this, and thinking
how little I knew about this event. The fall of the Berlin Wall succeeded in one
aspect that today is still not been rectified; The Berlin Wall divided Berlin into two
very distinctively different cities. These cities both developed differently. Even
after the wall was destroyed eight years ago the city still remained divided, and is
still divided today. ...view middle of the document...

Berlin, eight years after the fall of the illustrious wall is now busy rebuilding
and redefining itself. Since my initial visit I have returned to see friends every other
year. The city is no longer restricted by its cold war status as the symbolic dividing
line between East and West. Berlin is the new political, cultural, and architectural
capital of Germany and is quickly becoming one of the key business centers in all of
Europe. Before Hitler came to power and lost World War II, Berlin had enjoyed
this status. The German government hopes today to groom Berlin as a possible
capital of the new European Union. They are grooming there economy, and the city
to be the focal point.

BACKGROUND

After World War II Berlin, was badly damaged during the war, unlike World
War I. The Soviet Union wanted to bring the war to German soil. The Soviets
harbored many hard feelings toward the German people. The city was surrounded
by the German Democratic Republic/East Germany, and was partitioned into East
Berlin and West Berlin. The city was in the Soviet sector of the post-war division.
But the capital too was divided among the victorious allies, to keep the capital with
democratic ideals.
The divided city not only symbolized the collapse of the German Empire, of
which it was the capital, but also became a focus of cold-war tensions
between the Communist nations led by the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics and the group of Western nations led by the United States. The
Berlin wall, a wall separating East and West Berlin was built by the East
Germans in 1961, blocked free access in both directions until 1989; by the
time Germany was unified in October 1990, much of the wall had been torn
down. (1)
Because of dissatisfaction with the economic and political conditions, an increasing
number of people left East Germany (German Democratic Republic). from” January to the
beginning of August 1961, about 160,000 refugees were counted”(2) Also, the international
political situation was tense. On Nov. 27, 1958 the Soviets delivered their Berlin ultimatum,
demanding that the western allies should withdraw their troops from West Berlin and that West
Berlin should become a free city within six months. They believed without allied support West
Berlin would also fall under their control. On Feb. 2 1959, the threat of settling a separate
peace treaty between the USSR the German Democratic Republic (GDR) followed.
The meeting between US President Kennedy and the Prime Minister of the USSR,
Kruschev, on June 3&4 1961 ended without any noticeable results.
The East German government had one goal at this time; preventing people
from leaving the GDR. At an international press conference on June 15 1961,
Walter Ulbricht The leader of the East German communist party, SED, and
President of the Privy Council. Answered to the question of a journalist.
I understand your question as follows: there are people in...

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