The Wall: A World Divided

There were three main sections to this movie which was the rise of the Berlin wall, life with the wall, and then the fall of the Berlin wall. My initial reaction to this movie was that I had heard the story before and that it was going to be the same information that I have been told since high school. My reaction after the movie was that I was wrong; I was not completely knowledgeable of divided Berlin/Germany. The German people, at that time, were able to live through the torture and the suppression, but through the organization and peaceful movements, their voice was able to be heard, even though if it was by accident.

The first section was the rise of the wall, where tensions after WWII separated the country and its capital between the WWII victors the U.S., France, Great Britain, and the USSR. As we all know, East Germany and Berlin was controlled by the communist USSR where the West was controlled by the U.S, France, and Great Britain. What was happening was that the Germans that lived in East Germany were migrating to West Germany where the lifestyle was more pleasing, however, East Germany was losing valuable people that they needed to sustain an economy, it was basically a stampede to the West (5:00). It is not surprising to see people move to where they believe that they will have a better lifestyle. It is surprising, however, to see people suppress others from their beliefs, at least in my eyes. Even before the wall and was built, the police were forcing people to stay in East Berlin and the people took many risks to escape to the west (7:35). This is just a glimpse of how humans need to have freedoms and that if they are deprived of those freedoms, many people will revolt for their beliefs and for the people that they love.

The second section was the life with the wall. During the wall’s power, friends turned against each other. Ordinary people became members of the Secret Police and would spy on the people of East Berlin, even keeping detailed files that exist today on those citizens (24:00). This was a complete violation of their privacy. What was even more disturbing was that they even had plans for some of the citizen’s futures without consent (24:00). In this particular case, the person was not to be allowed to go to University (24:00). I would think that even if that person had committed a crime of speaking out against the government, they would want him to go to University in order to help the economy. I guess they were thinking that if he got a higher education, he would gain support to revolt against the government. But, the people still found a way to still gather and discuss the political crisis that they were facing; they would meet in the churches where religious freedom was given (29:00). They discussed politic, environmentalism, and reform. This was a critical step because it allowed the people to talk and exchange ideas as well as support.

The last section of the movie was the fall of the wall. In the late 1980’s new power came to the USSR and both the U.S. and the USSR wanted a new relationship with each other and in 1987 U.S. President Ronald Reagan visited Berlin and told them to take down the wall (31:38). This reminded the world that the wall was still there and that something still is needed to be done. Then Bush became President and also gave a speech which the Germans took as unifying Berlin which caused a mass movement of protesters in Berlin (34:00). The feet of 70,000 people walked the streets, but the police were ordered not to shoot (41:20). This led to new relaxed travel laws where the citizens were allowed to cross the border, but it was too little of freedom and the people wanted more (46:00). Then, accidentally, Gunther Chlebowski was announcing a new travel law and was asked when the law would be in act and he said immediately, this was interpreted as the wall was coming down (47:08). This did eventually happen through the movement of the people. The story of how the people were able to up rise against the government is an inspirational one. This is just an early example of how a country that was having an identity crisis became a unified nation. Hopefully this story can be an outline for other nations and their political reform.

Jason Roehrig Word Count: 764

ger/102/2012/winter/jason_roehrig-the_wall.txt · Last modified: 2012/03/09 18:07 by jvroehrig
 
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