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  1. Jun 9, 2024 · The Berlin Wall was built by the German Democratic Republic during the Cold War to prevent its population from escaping Soviet-controlled East Berlin to West Berlin, which was controlled by the major Western Allies. It divided the city of Berlin into two physically and ideologically contrasting zones.

    • West Berlin

      West Berlin, the western part of the German city of Berlin,...

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    • The Berlin Wall: The Partitioning of Berlin
    • The Berlin Wall: Blockade and Crisis
    • The Berlin Wall: Building The Wall
    • The Berlin Wall: 1961-1989
    • The Berlin Wall: The Fall of The Wall
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    As World War II came to an end in 1945, a pair of Allied peace conferences at Yalta and Potsdam determined the fate of Germany’s territories. They split the defeated nation into four “allied occupation zones”: The eastern part of the country went to the Soviet Union, while the western part went to the United States, Great Britain and (eventually) F...

    The existence of West Berlin, a conspicuously capitalist city deep within communist East Germany, “stuck like a bone in the Soviet throat,” as Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev put it. The Russians began maneuvering to drive the United States, Britain and France out of the city for good. In 1948, a Soviet blockade of West Berlin aimed to starve the w...

    That night, Premier Khrushchev gave the East German government permission to stop the flow of emigrants by closing its border for good. In just two weeks, the East German army, police force and volunteer construction workers had completed a makeshift barbed wire and concrete block wall–the Berlin Wall–that divided one side of the city from the othe...

    The construction of the Berlin Wall did stop the flood of refugees from East to West, and it did defuse the crisis over Berlin. (Though he was not happy about it, President John F. Kennedy conceded that “a wall is a hell of a lot better than a war.”) Almost two years after the Berlin Wall was erected, John F. Kennedy delivered one of the most famou...

    On November 9, 1989, as the Cold Warbegan to thaw across Eastern Europe, an East German Communist Party spokesman announced a series of new policies regarding border crossings. When pressed on when the changes would take place, he said “As far as I know... effective immediately, without delay.” East Berliners flocked to border checkpoints, some cha...

    Learn about the Berlin Wall, the symbol of the Cold War that divided East and West Germany for 28 years. Find out how it was built, why it was built, how people escaped and how it fell.

  3. › wiki › Berlin_WallBerlin Wall - Wikipedia

    The Berlin Wall (German: Berliner Mauer, pronounced [bɛʁˌliːnɐ ˈmaʊɐ] ⓘ) was a guarded concrete barrier that encircled West Berlin of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; West Germany) from 1961 to 1989, separating it from East Berlin and the German Democratic Republic (GDR; East Germany).

    • While over 5,000 people safely escaped over the Berlin Wall, at least 140 people died in the attempt.
    • Just nine months before the wall was torn down, 20-year-old Chris Gueffroy was shot to death during his attempt to escape. Today there is a memorial in Berlin honoring Gueffroy as the last person killed trying to climb the Berlin Wall.
    • Out of the estimated 10,000 people who tried to escape over the Berlin Wall, about 5,000 made it. Most used bribes and forged documents to leave.
    • On July 19, 1988, Bruce Springsteen performed a concert at the Berlin Wall for East Berlin. Speaking in German, the rocker told the crowd that he was there to play rock n' roll, and he hoped that, one day, all barriers would be torn down.
    • The fall of the Berlin Wall happened by mistake. At a press conference on the evening of November 9, 1989, East German politburo member Günter Schabowski prematurely announced that restrictions on travel visas would be lifted.
    • The Berlin Wall was erected more than 15 years into the Cold War. More than 2 million East Germans, most of them skilled laborers and professionals, fled to the West between 1949 and 1961.
    • The Berlin Wall was actually two walls. The 27-mile portion of the barrier separating Berlin into east and west consisted of two concrete walls between which was a “death strip” up to 160 yards wide that contained hundreds of watchtowers, miles of anti-vehicle trenches, guard dog runs, floodlights and trip-wire machine guns.
    • More than 100 people died trying to cross the Berlin Wall. The Centre for Research on Contemporary History Potsdam and the Berlin Wall Memorial Site and Documentation Center report that at least 138 people were shot dead, suffered fatal accidents or committed suicide after failed escape attempts across the Berlin Wall.
  4. Nov 8, 2019 · Learn how the Berlin Wall was constructed, why it divided Berlin and Germany, and how it was torn down in 1989. Explore the history, facts, and photos of the Cold War barrier that symbolized the end of an era.

  5. Learn about the Berlin Wall, the symbol of the Cold War that divided Germany and Berlin for 28 years. Discover how it was built, who tried to cross it, and how it fell in 1989.

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