Social Effects of the Berlin Wall

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Outline THESIS: From research and historical analysts, we can conclude that in many cases the people of Germany have been effected socially and economically by the building and construction of the Berlin Wall. I. Background A. Beginning construction B. Closing borders C. Pre-Berlin Wall II. History A. Cold War B. World War II C. Economy III. Post- Berlin Wall effects A. Economic examples B. Political examples Conclusion In the last fifty years the German Democratic Republic has been a nonstop changing country. In Germany, the terms “East” and “West” do not just represent geographically regions. It runs much deeper than that, and there is still a large gap in the way of life, and political and social conditions of the whole country. While most German’s were sleeping on the night of August 13, 1961, the East German government began closing its borders. In the early morning of that Sunday, most of the first work was done: the border to West Berlin was closed. The East German troops had begun to tear up streets and to install barbed wire entanglement and fences through Berlin. Between 1961 and today, the Berlin Wall saw many changes, and so did the people that it entrapped. Prior to the construction of the Berlin Wall, boarders between East and West Germany were closed in 1952 because of tension between Communists and Democratic superpowers and the only open crossing left in Berlin. West Germany was blockaded by the Soviets and only kept alive because of air drops made by the Western Allies (Time). The Soviets had to do something about the mass amount of people leaving Soviet East Berlin for West Berlin, and the non-communist world. The most visible aspect of the Cold War was the Berlin Wall. Before the wall was constructed, East and West Germans could travel freely between the two states. The number of East Germans fleeing to West was an embarrassment to the Communists, and something had to be done to pro... ... middle of paper ... a recent pole, 40% of young people in this area would vote for this party of former communists. In the West however, all of the districts, excluding one voted for the conservative Christian Democratic Union. (Time Nov 20th) Though times were tough for many years for some Germans, things are improving slowly. While the wall was erect, many Germans had high hopes of change and continue to strive towards equality nationwide. In June of 1963 when John F. Kennedy visited Berlin, he gave a very impacting speech to the people of Berlin, "There are some who say that Communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin" (Sidey). Although the wall no longer physically stands, it still today divides Germany and Berlin into two separate states today. Works Cited Benjamin, Daniel. “Wall of Shame.” Time. November 20, 1989 Canning, Kathleen. “Responses to German Reunification.” The Journal of the International Institute. 2000. The Regents of the University of Michigan. 07 March 05 Sidey, Hugh. “The Presidency.” Time. November 20, 1989 Wallace, Charles P., “Across the Great Divide.” Time Europe. Nov. 15, 1999

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