The Wall: Detainer of Men

The pain and sorrow associated with the Wall never cease to amaze me. Growing up, I had heard of the Berlin Wall but I never knew what its actual goal was or the pain that it was causing the East and West Berliners. I thought it was somewhat like the Wall of China—a very incorrect thought I now realize. “The Wall: a World Divided” once again showed me the pain that the Berlin Wall caused the citizens of Berlin and also shows the desperation of the Soviets to try to keep the East Berliners in East Berlin. One fact that really amazes me is that ordinary German citizens took down the wall (1:10). It shows how much they hated the wall; they would remove it with their bare hands if they had to, and they did. When I first heard that thousands of East Germans tried to migrate to West Germany as soon as the Soviets took over, I was confused as to why so many wanted to leave so badly. After watching previous documentaries and this one, their need and want to leave completely makes sense. The Soviets did not allow free speech and watched their citizens very closely to see if they would do anything bad. That must be so incredibly scary for an East German to live in a place where someone is always watching you, waiting for you to mess up in some way and then detain you. The constant fear alone would make a person want to move immediately, nonetheless the amount of people one saw just disappearing. After hearing one man’s story about his imprisonment, one knows that the Stazi were not going to mess around at all. The fact that they made the person think that his family and friends had turned against him and then brought in a man that looked like his father to interrogate him just shows the extremes that they were willing to do. The Stazi were willing to completely break a person mentally, and they would do anything they needed to, to find out more information. The fact that they were even willing to break up marriages and families truly disgusts me and creeps me out. They were not concerned about anyone but Soviet East Germany. Then the documentary presented the story about the man who was on a business trip in the West and his family in the East when the Wall was built. Hearing that story greatly moved me because it is so sad and extreme. That man would do anything to protect his wife and children and to give them freedom. He had to shoot a guard, probably one of the hardest things he has ever had to do, in order to free his family. It breaks my heart to have to hear this. It also shows, though, how much the people hated the East Germany state. The complexity of the “wall” also amazed and greatly disturbed me. I cannot believe that the Soviets went to such great lengths to keep the East Berliners in the city. I find it greatly disturbing that they were willing to shoot and mangle anyone who wanted to leave their city through the barbed wire and multiple armed watch towers; I simply cannot believe that someone would be so extreme as to do that. The Soviets went to extreme measures to keep the East German and East Berliners from escaping to the West; these extreme measures both shocked and horrified the world and created the desire to help free East Germany.

Hannah Kramer 593 words

ger/102/2012/winter/hannah_kramer-_the_wall.txt · Last modified: 2012/03/10 14:17 by hckramer
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