9 The Legacy of the Wall

Asad I. and Robert F.

The fall of the Berlin Wall was a key movement in the history of Europe, as it was the symbol of the end of the Cold War. The European Union and NATO were able to expand in pace when Europe was no longer divided into East and West.

The power in the world changed when the Cold War ended. A truce between the nuclear threats of two superpowers, the USA and the Soviet Union was created as soon as the BerlinWall fell, also preventing both superpowers from dominating the world.

Europe was no longer divided into two groups with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany. The possibility that Europe could become independent of any superpower is a legacy of the fall of the Berlin Wall. There is now a possibility that there may be more development in peace in Europe.

After the Berlin Wall fell, East Germany and West Germany were reunified in 1990 into one country – the Federal Republic of Germany. The influence of a reunited Germany within the European Union still concerns some people today, who think that Germany may be too powerful a member. Others think though that the best way towards peace is a united Europe. There’s a greater chance that conflicts will be settled more peacefully by the government in a united Europe, rather than through  fighting on battlefields or building walls on a divided Europe.  The opening of the Berlin Wall can therefore be seen as a significant step towards a united and peaceful Europe.

The fall of the Berlin Wall was a significant event in the lives of the people in Berlin.  Those who had been separated from their family members when the Wall was built in 1961 were re-united.  People living in East Berlin were no longer under the communist system, and could have the same lives as those in the West.  The process of adapting to the new system was not always easy though, as the East German area adapted to the new system, and at first many people lost their jobs.  Even though life was freer without the communist regime, some people became nostalgic for their old way of life in East Berlin.   Overall, though, most people were pleased to no longer have to live under a system in which they were not free.

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