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The Berlin Wall


The Berlin Wall. 1961-1989. Background. Why Was The Wall Built? ... Economic Effects Of The Berlin Wall. West Berliners could no longer enter to just 'shop. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall
  • 1961-1989
  • Background
  • Why Was The Wall Built?
  • Construction
  • Why Was The Wall Built?
  • Crossing The Border
  • Economics Effects Of The Berlin Wall
  • Social Effects Of The Berlin Wall
  • Political Effects Of The Berlin Wall
  • Kennedys Visit To Berlin
  • Ich Bin Ein Berliner
  • Escapes To The West
  • The Fall Of The Berlin Wall

Background To The Wall
  • After World War II, Germany was divided into four
    sectors with the United States, Britain, France,
    and the Soviet Union all occupying a sector.
  • Berlin was then subdivided into four sectors as
  • The American, British, and French sectors
    combined to form the Federal Republic of Germany
    while the Soviet zone formed the German
    Democratic Republic.

Divided Berlin
  • Construction 45 km around the three western
    sectors began early on Sunday, the 13th of
    August, 1961.
  • The wall was built by Germans only and involved
    no help from the Soviets.
  • The wall was actually built slightly inside the
    border line to ensure no part of the wall was on
    the West German side.
  • During the construction, soldiers would stand in
    front of the barrier to ensure no one would cross
    and were instructed to shoot anyone who attempted

Why Was The Wall Built?
  • More than 2.6 million East Germans escaped to
    West Berlin from 1949 to 1961.
  • Total population of East Germany was 17 million.
  • Life in the West was much more stable. The west
    had received aid from the Marshall plan.
  • In East Germany, like the Soviet Union, a
    communist system was established and many
    suffered under the repressions of the communist
  • Not only was people escaping from East Berlin a
    problem for East Germany but westerners coming in
    was also a problem.
  • Because of the differing economies and forms of
    government, the exchange rate was different
    therefore people from the west would often travel
    to Berlin just to purchase items at a lower price.

Crossing The Border
  • There were a total of eight border crossings
    between East and West Berlin.
  • Checkpoint Charlie was the most famous of these
    crossings. This was restricted to Allied
    personnel and non-German citizens.
  • Mirrors were often run underneath cars to make
    sure there were no people hanging from the
  • Strict passport checks and searches were required
    for all crossings.

Economic Effects Of The Berlin Wall
  • West Berliners could no longer enter to just
  • Many imports were stopped therefore the domestic
    economy rose.
  • Tourists heavy currency was welcomed in East
    Berlin because of its huge value.

Social Effects Of The Berlin Wall
  • Many families were split and unable to reach each
  • East Berliners were cut off from their jobs
  • Chance of financial prosperity for many was lost.
  • West Berlin was an isolated enclave in a hostile

Political Effects Of The Berlin Wall
  • US became more concerned about the balance of
  • President Kennedy traveled to West Berlin to make
    clear the USs foreign policy
  • West Berlin is now surrounded by a Soviet Bloc.
    Possible takeover is a worry.
  • Tension between East and West Germany rose.
  • Some considered the wall as a communist defeat.

Kennedys Visit To Berlin
  • On June 23, 1963, President Kennedy visited West
    Berlin where he gave a public speech criticizing
  • He used the construction of the wall as an
    example of the failure of communism.
  • Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is
    not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall
    up to keep our people in.

Ich Bin Ein Berliner
  • Translates to I am a citizen of Berlin
  • Said by President Kennedy while making a speech
    in West Berlin
  • During the speech, Kennedy was underlining the
    support of the United States towards West Germany
    after East Germany had erected the Berlin Wall.
  • A clear re-statement of the USs policy.
  • Aimed at the Soviets as well
  • Marked the first instance East Berlin was
    considered part of the Soviets Soviet Bloc.
  • Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was I
    am a Roman citizen. Today, in the world of
    freedom, the proudest boast is 'Ich bin ein
    Berliner'...All free men, wherever they may live,
    are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free
    man, I take pride in the words 'Ich bin ein

Escapes To The West
  • During the first days of the wall, many were able
    to escape but as time went on, the wall became
    harder and harder to fortify.
  • Climbing, tunnels, and jumping from border
    buildings were all common attempts to reach the
  • East German soldiers were instructed to shoot
    down anyone attempting to escape.
  • 171 people were killed trying to escape over the
    course of the 28 years.

Peter Fechter
Fall Of The Berlin Wall
  • In the autumn of 1989, mass demonstrations
    against the government began in East Berlin.
  • The leader of East Germany, Erich Honecker,
    resigned in October of 1989 and was replaced by
    Egon Krenz.
  • These protests are often called the peaceful
    revolution of autumn 1989.
  • After these, it was clear the wall would no
    longer last and border crossings began to open.
  • On December 22, 1989, the Brandenburg Gate, the
    most famous gate, was opened.
  • The fall of the Wall was the first step toward
    German reunification, which was finalized on
    October 3, 1990.

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