Germans were reassured and promised that a wall would not be built between East and West Berlin, but that was obviously a lie. Before this point, according to the video at 4:00, one person left every three minutes to go to Western Germany in order for political freedom. Eastern Germany did not want their economy to suffer, so a wall was built in the summer of 1961 in order to keep the work force in Eastern Germany and stop Germans physically. People’s front doors may have open into West Berlin, but they were technically Eastern Germans and were unable to use their front door. I found it to be absolutely ridiculous that the one family at 8:00 had to jump out of their first story window and cross the street in order to obtain freedom. But that shows just how bad things were in Eastern Germany under Soviet rule. People had to keep escaping for freedom, but soon the government caught on and things in Eastern Germany and Berlin got a whole lot worse as new measures were taken to avoid their citizens from running away to freedom. The Berlin Wall was an unnecessary creation in my eyes, even though Eastern Germany did have a legitimate reason for wanting to build the wall, because they went over board with each new addition to the Berlin Wall.

Eastern Germany was losing all of its workers to the democratic Western Germany, which would negatively affect their economy, but building the Wall was unnecessary. East Berlin was also afraid of the influence West Berlin would have on its people and government, which is a legitimate concern except people have the freedom to choose where they wish to live the rest of their lives without fear of political persecution and their freedom being taken away from them. The Berlin Wall negatively affected the entire nation of people. Families were spilt apart, spied upon by the Stasi, arrested and detained in prisons with poor conditions (such as Stasi interrogations, sleep deprivation, and psychological abuse). I think that the way Eastern Berlin handled this crisis of people leaving to go to West Berlin was handled poorly. They could have come up with a better way instead of essentially traumatizing an entire nation of people as well as making it difficult for these two halves of Berlin to come together after the Wall was destroyed.

The standard of living between East and West Berlin were insanely different. East Berlin had very little supplies. They had to wait seven years for a car that was already released to be made available for purchase in East Berlin, according to 26:50 in the video. Their shelves in stores were often bare, and garbage lined the streets in East Berlin. On TV, commercials were aired showing a high standard of living, like there was in Western Berlin, but that was not truly the case. This made it difficult for the two Berlins to merge when the Wall was knocked down. Western Germany had to help Eastern Germany economically, which the whole point of the Berlin Wall was to save Eastern Germany’s economy making it unnecessary, and the cultures were different for each Berlin. The people were not only kept from their families, trapped in a place they didn’t want to be, and were always fearful of the Stasi but they had to adjust to the merging with West Berlin. The Berlin Wall, which kept evolving to keep the successful escape attempts from being successful a second time, did not help Eastern Germany in the slightest, which was the whole point to building it. Instead, it negatively affected Germany and its people. Some effects are still felt today.

Michelle Kleine
Word Count: 616

ger/102/2012/winter/michelle_kleine-_the_wall.txt · Last modified: 2012/03/14 00:43 by mmkleine
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