2 The Building of the Wall

Sidward M., Jarrad A and Tom M.

Early Stage of The Berlin Wall

When was the wall built?

 

After World War II the Allied Forces (United Kingdom, France, USA and USSR) were the main occupants of Germany and Berlin specifically, with the USSR occupying East Berlin. During this time the Soviet Union and East Berlin government had disagreements with the other Allies, and so on August 13 1961 they erected the Berlin Wall. The wall is said to have plugged the last gap of the Iron Curtain in Europe. It separated East and West Germany and officially split Europe.

 

Here is a video which shows and tells from different perspectives to the building of the Wall.

Building The Wall

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2009/oct/19/building-berlin-wall

After it was constructed in 1961, many improvments were made to the structure of the wall. There were three specific enhancments:

1962, More efficient wire fencing

1965, The wall was reinforced with cocrete

1975,  The Stützwandelement UL 12.11  improvment was made.

 

The Stützwandelement UL 12.11  amendment

The Stützwandelement UL 12.11 enhanment or retaining wall element UL 12.11 was the final and most significant stage of the wall. The improvement was made with 45, 000 separate pieces of concrete. The wall was 3.6 metres high and had a

breadth of 3.9 metres.

 

The folowing is a primary source video of how the wall was built:

http://www.history.com/audio/communists-build-berlin-wall-in-1961#communists-build-berlin-wall-in-1961

 

What exactly happened?

The wall was built over time in Berlin, to separate the East and West of the city. The wall started in 1961. It was made to stop East Germans escaping to the West.  West Berlin was under a capitalist government and the East was rule by the Communist Party. Life under the communist regime was hard for people.

As years went on, it was harder to cross the wall and escape to a better life. But, the smart people of Berlin had ideas to escape. Some people went under it and some went over it. There were hundreds of attempts, some people died and some succeeded.

The Wall was a horrible sign, it represented that Europe was divided. This division meant crisis and disadvantages to other countries, including economical and resource deficiency.

The Wall ran through Berlin. It was made with wire and light fencing, then made stronger with concrete, as well as the Army moving in to be threats to the people. The Wall was approximately 156.4 kilometres long and 12 foot high.

A consequences of the Wall was:

    • A big problem was the two currencies in Germany and especially in Berlin which was a problem for the people living in Berlin. West German DM had been exchanged into East German DM at a rate of 1:4 (1 DM West = 4 DM Ost) in West Berlin.

 

Here is a poem dedicated to the Berlin Wall

It Was A Weird Wall

It was a weird wall

Like the Mobius strip,

it had only one side,

the other one was unseen:

the far side of the Moon.

But some people would race

against bullets, to rip

the barbed finish tape

with their chests, to give

a push to the wrecking ball:

the pendulum of the invisible clock.

 

Under 11/09/89,

my diary says:

“Natasha lost a front tooth,

Liza for the first time

stood up in her crib

on her own.”

~Vera Pavlova, the author of the If There is Something to Desire. This poem was translated by Seven Seymour from the Russian.

 

 QUESTIONS

1. Outline the three enhancments of the Wall.

2. Describe what happens in the video, The Berlin Wall

3. Using the videos and information explain why there were improvements to the Wall.

 

 

 

 

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