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The Berlin Wall

For any of us who have a mild recollection of the Berlin wall, the imagery is that of a wall of concrete and people standing on it or chiseling their way through while camera’s flash all over the place. For the rest of the world the imagery is symbolic and really all anyone outside of Germany needs to know.

But the impact the Berlin wall had on those who wanted it down is still evenly felt with those who supported it fully. To understand that impact, here is a review of the wall’s origins, what it meant then and what it means today.

Construction Of The Wall

All references generally start from when the Nazis were in power. When Russian troops entered Germany, they held power over Berlin for a period of time until they had to split it up with the allies. France, the U.S. and Britain would take West Germany and Soviet Russia would take the East.

What eventually secured Berlin’s destiny was the tensions between power of the soviet influenced GDR party for East Berlin which cause East Berliners to leave for the West in droves, enough to create a weak workforce and threaten the economy. With the help of the Soviet Union, in August of 1961 a makeshift wall was constructed, sealing off 77 entry points under the watch of an aggressive military.

Twenty Eight Years Of Rule

With much time passed since the wall came down, vanish some of the details as to what kind of difficulty the wall presented for citizens. It’s reported that those who tried to cross the wall, in whatever way they could into the West were killed. This type of oppression intimidated citizens along with constant propaganda from within.

Over that time there was the condemnation of the wall from the West but very little involvement to stop soldiers from killing those who tried to cross. Many who were able to escape suffered family separation which caused a lot of trauma with the people. The wall surrounded East Germany and ran right down the middle.

Bringing Down The Wall

Those years of separation were constantly eating away and the East German government from a one directional propaganda war against it that would eventually weaken the economy and the government would have to concede to the West.

In November of 1989, citizens began to take hammers to the wall and wave banners to symbolize the fall of the oppressive government and its wall. It was widely televised and paralleled previous statements from president Reagan who demanded that Gorbachev tear down the wall.

The Influence Of The Wall Today

In the recent anniversary of the fall of the wall, there was much celebration as a reminder of a terrible time for Germany, under the current rule of a democracy. During this time however, those who were influenced by the former powers are still making attempts to preserve that legacy, either through Russian president Vladimir Putin or the rise of a new party descendants from the former GDP who are currently winning elections in Germany, slowly making their way back to power.