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The Berlin Wall
Transcript of The Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall
1961: The Berlin Wall
June 26, 1963
JFK traveled to Berlin and gave a famous speech to challenge the soviet oppression. In his speech he made clear that the US supported West Germany
June 12, 1987
Ronald Reagan's speech asking President Gorbachev to tear down the wall, at the Brandenburg Gate
The wall represents the division in Europe, dividing the soviets and communism in the east from America and Democracy in the West.
October 3, 1990 Germany is reunited
Within the first few months of the wall being built the First Generation of the wall was erected: concrete elements and square blocks
The Second Generation of the wall was erected to prevent East German peoples from escaping to the West
Both the First and Second Generation of the wall are replaced by the Third Generation: concrete slabs between steel girders and concrete posts with a sewage pipe built into the top of the wall
The Third Generation of the wall was replaced by the Fourth Generation: a new type of concrete segment was used, it was easy building material and was more resistant to breakthroughs and to environmental pollutions
May 26, 1952
Border between East and West Germany is closed.
June 17, 1953
There is an uprising of East Berlin building workers in protest of increased working norms, they were suppressed by Red Army tanks.
December 11, 1957
Eastern bloc emigration and defection:
the East German government creates a law saying no East German person may leave the borders without permission and violations of this law will be prosecuted with prison up to three years
Within 10 days after the erection of the wall, checkpoints were created to allow diplomats and military personnel to cross from East to West. The most famous of these was Checkpoint Charlie.
The Berlin wall was practically built over night. It would evolve over time from barbed wire to concrete slabs with guard dogs, search lights, mine fields, bunkers, even including an area of no mans land left for soldiers to shoot Berliners attempting to escape.
September 10, 1989
Hungarian government opens border for East German refugees.
November 9, 1989
Berlin Wall is opened
December 22, 1989
Brandenburg Gate is opened
September 3, 1971
Four Power's Agreement over Berlin visiting: making visiting easier for West Berliners.
East German acrobat Horst Klein attempted to escape over the wall by tight rope, he fell off the tight rope in West Berlin
March 31, 1983, Michael Becker and Holger Bethke crossed the Berlin wall by zip line.
Countries Dividing Germany
May 5, 1963, Heinz Meixner with his mother escaped through Checkpoint Charlie by driving a convertible without a windshield under the gate.
A Los Angeles
piece by Gordon E. Rowley wrote about people crossing the checkpoints by simply flashing their membership card for Munich’s Playboy Club, it so closely resembled diplomatic passports that they were often allowed to pass .
A train engine driver named Harry Deterling drove a train through the wall. He and his passangers survived the crash into Berlin, but the trains engineer and six other passangers chose to return back to East Berlin.
Hans Strelczyk and Gunter Wetze with their wives and children escaped in a make-shift hot air balloon over the wall.
Led by a 81-year old man, a group of senior citizens dug 160 ft long 6 ft tall tunnel for sixteen days all the way from the east, under the wall, to the west.
Why the wall was built
One of the main reasons the wall was built was because of the floods of people escaping into west Berlin.
Between the time East Germany was established and the time the wall was built, over 2.7 million people fled to west Berlin. The sudden loss of workers caused problems in the Economy.