The Berlin Wall: Symbol of Fracture

The Berlin Wall was an undeniable and constant reminder of the high tensions that dominated the Cold War era. The Berlin Wall served as a symbol for the division of the world of East vs. West, communism against capitalism. The Berlin Wall was the crown jewel atop the iron curtain that descended across Europe, imposing a virtual blackout across the communist dominated east. The Wall eventually become one of the world’s modern marvels with its elaborate security measures designed for only one purpose; to keep people from escaping East Berlin to West Berlin. There was no other place in the world where the literal and symbolic nature of this isolation felt than in the city of Berlin itself, in both the eastern and western halves. For Germans the Berlin Wall served as a reminder of the occupation of Germany after the Second World War and how that occupation had carved up the country.

Germany was no longer allowed to stand as a unified country and was instead fractured and divided into sectors. The nature of this division was brought into sharp and crystal clear focus with the construction of the Berlin Wall. The Berlin Wall served as a stark physical reminder of the separation of East and West in Berlin, in Germany and in the world.

As the Berlin Wall grew from it’s simple initial barb wire and concrete construction into the massive death trap that is now infamous conjured up when an individual speaks of the Berlin Wall the desperation of the people grew. People would try until the day the wall fell to beat the wall and achieve freedom in Western Germany. This is a testament to the determination and power of the human will. It is said that when people work together they can move mountains. In Eastern Germany the people began to do just that. In Leipzig, Germany 70,000 people gathered to March in protest of the Berlin Wall, the Stasi, and the East German regime. The government of East Germany attempted to enforce a media blackout in Leipzig but a few protestors managed to sneak in a camera and film the event. The footage is awe-inspiring to see that many people in collective action. I was absolutely astonished at the presence these 70,000 individuals were able to peacefully convey and I am sure that as the East Germany officials saw this event unfold before their eyes they felt a cold shiver run down their spine. That singular even began to spell the down fall of the East German government in my opinion.

It is interesting to watch Germany during this time period and how the wall represented a fractured Germany, much like a fracture bone. After a bone is broken into two pieces a miraculous process begins to talk place. The bone beings to repair itself and while it is a slow process it is still miraculous. I saw a similar symbolic process happening in Germany. After the country was split it began to slowly bring itself back together, which it eventually did. While the fall of the Berlin Wall was without a doubt a globally significant even I believe President Bush said it best when he said “This is a German day.” Germany was able to reunite or repair itself to become a whole entity once more.

Word Count: 559

Chris LeClair

ger/102/2012/winter/chris_leclair_-_the_wall_comes_tumbling_down.txt · Last modified: 2012/03/14 06:57 by crleclair
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