People began leaving the Eastern side of Berlin to search for better living and better lives. Communist leaders knew they had to do something to keep Communist people under their rule and to trap them in their own country. The purpose of the Berlin Wall was to separate Communist East Berlin and Democratic West Berlin. The main idea of the wall was to cut off all access East Germans had with West Berlin. The wall also kept the people of the East in the East and it also kept them Communist



The impact of the Berlin Wall cause much tension for both the East and the West.The wall cut right through the center of the city. It separated many family and friends and prevented people from getting to their jobs. Anything that wasn't on your side of the wall no longer existed to you. Many were killed if they tried escaping East Berlin. Before the wall had been put up, West Berlin felt an extreme amount of economic strain because of the amount of people entering from the East. Violence broke out and that was when the wall was put up. Although the wall cut through the center of their city and the West was not allowed to go to the other side, the West was still happy that the amount of people entering was reduced which also reduced the amount of strain. The reason people in the East wanted to escape to the West was because the West had way better living. The West received financial help through the United States. In the East because of the Communist Party, the people suffered many repercussions.
Before the wall, people still tried to trample down the barbed wire. They had no luck because they were driven back by the guards. When the wall was built over waterways, gates were put under water so people could not escape under the wall. The gates acted as another system of surveillance. Guards also traveled on patrol boats to examine the waters.

Two Sides of Berlin:

As said the Western side of Berlin had much better living conditions and opportunities for its people. Before the rush of immigration from the Eastern side, the West encountered a rapid growth of their economy, individuals were able to treat themselves with necessities and could even travel. The Soviet Union took all of their military equipment out of the Eastern side of Berlin because they believed it was a waste. People in the East were restricted from many personal freedoms. Their economy was also in extreme danger. The living conditions were unbearable. People just wanted to leave and as many attempted to do so. As more and more people piled out of East Berlin, the Soviet Union tried to takeover the West. The Soviet use threats against the United States to try to put an end to the amount of people leaving East Berlin. When nothing else worked East Germany finally put up the wall!

West side of the Berlin Wall

How the Wall Started:

Before the wall was even thought about, Joseph Stalin who was leader of the Soviet Union developed censorship. Censorship was the suppression of speech or public communication which could be objective or against the government. August 13th, 1961 the only thing separating East and West Berlin was barbed wire. By August 15th, 1961 building the wall of concrete slab began to make a more sturdier and effective wall. After the concrete blocks came concrete walls which was topped with wire. And finally the last version of the wall was created. It stood twelve feet high and four feet wide. The wall cut through one hundred and twenty seven streets in East and West Berlin.It also cut through subways and major railways. Guards stood watch over the wall. Areas called "Forbidden Zones"and anyone seen near these zones were killed because leaders thought they were trying to escape.There were three hundred and two watch towers and twenty bunkers along with the wall.

Watch tower
Building of the Wall

Living with the Wall:

The two sides of the wall were completely different from each other. The West side of the wall was covered by graffiti expressing the ways people feel about their city. Their side of the wall also showed freedom of speech. For the East Berlin side of the wall, people were not allowed near the wall because of the chance of escaping, so their side was left unmarked. At times people of West Berlin helped fifty seven people of the East escape.Estimated ten thousand people attempted to escape but only five thousand actually made it. Families would communicate with each other in all ways they could find. They would hold their children over the wall so family on the other side could see. Peering over the side of the wall or listening to news broadcast was the only way people from each side of the wall could learn about what was happening on the other side of the wall.Some news could not be hidden. TV and radio would broadcast news. The word of things happening on either side of the wall would spread by mouth. Telephone lines that went from the Eastern side to the West were cut which meant it was even harder to communicate on either side. West Berlin setup billboards visible to East Berlin. East Berlin leaders learned about West Berlin by listening to Radio broadcast.When the wall was built over waterways, gates were put under water so people could not escape under the wall. The gates acted as another system of surveillance. Guards also traveled on patrol boats to examine the waters.

Fall of the Wall:

The border between Austria and Hungary opened which was taken as an advantage as an escape route to the West. After much fight and attempt to get the wall down, the peoples wish was finally granted. After twenty eight years the Berlin Wall had fallen on November 9th, 1989. More than ten thousand East Germans escaped to West Berlin. People celebrated the collapse of the wall and their new freedoms! The fall of the Berlin Wall was a also a symbol to the end of the Cold War.
After the Fall:
Fall of the Wall

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, government made many changes to both the East and West. Non-communist people gained control of the government. October 1990, East and West Berlin became united again as a single country, their capital being Berlin. Overtime they worked together. They had a lot ahead of them to help East Berlin recover.

Work Cited:
Fulbrook, Mary. A Concise History of Germany. 2nd. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004. 243-249. Print.

Horne, William. Germany. Philadelphia, 2003. Print.

Ramm, Frederick. "The Fall of the Berlin Wall 1989." N.p., 05 sept 2005. Web. 2 May 2011. <>.

Burkhard, Kirste. "The Fall of the Berlin Wall 1989." N.p., 28 Aug 2008. Web. 2 May 2011. <>.

DELVISCIO, Jeffery, Victoria Shannon, Baden Copeland, and Jon Huang. "Berlin Wall: 20 years later." Europe. New York Times, 09 Nov 2009. Web. 2 May 2011. <>.