The Berlin Wall Essay Research Paper For

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The Berlin Wall Essay, Research Paper For 28 years, 15 feet of concrete, metal pipes, barbed wire, mines, and trenches spreading 110 miles divided a nation. Those living in the nation named the barrier Schandmauer, the Wall of Shame. We know it better as the Berlin Wall. SCHANDMAUER – Wall of Shame In addition to the many destructive factors which led to the wall?s construction, including WWII, the Soviet Blockade, the Kennedy/Khruschev conflict, and opposing cold war views, the tragedy of the Berlin Wall?s construction caused the deaths of scores of east Germans trying to cross the wall into West Germany and ruined the East German economy. The triumphant fall of the Wall managed to break the impasse between the communist world and the democratic world, allowing for the

opportunity of possible political peace and economic growth between the feuding countries of the world. The Foundations An uneasy peace took effect as a war-weary world began to rebuild after World War II. Berlin lay in ruins, with nearly 1 1/2 million citizens dead. Both Berlin and Germany were subsequently divided into four allied sections, each controlled by the separate powers of Great Britain, France, The United States, and the Soviet Union. Even before the war ended, the Allied forces had decided that Berlin would be a separate division. Clearly Berlin was an important piece in the eyes of all allied members. To allow one member complete control would be giving away to much power. Thus, even though the city was located deep inside the Soviet Zone, the Western powers

expected free access to Berlin. The Soviets, however, had different plans. From the beginning of the occupation, the Soviet Union and Western powers clashed over Berlin?s government. The first clash came when the Soviets vetoed the election of Lord Mayor Ernst Reuter in 1946. This conflict culminated in June 1948 when the Soviets attempted a blockade of Western movement into Berlin to overpower the Allies and take full control of the city. The Soviet Tactics were simple: stop all movement of Allied trucks and trains to prevent food, coal, and medical supplies from reaching their zones, thus starving Berlin into submission. The Blockade commenced on June 24 with the announcement that no rail, water, or highway movement would be allowed through the Soviet Zone. However, to prevent

this, the Allied forces staged the largest airlift in history. Over 104 planes, carrying 2 millions tons of coal, food, and medicine, took part in this effort, costing the Allied forces 300 million dollars. This continued for 11 months, until the Soviets saw that their effort was futile and lifted their blockade. This effort greatly decreased the Soviet dominance in the Berlin struggle for the moment. Berliners began to dislike the Soviet rule, which became evident in the elections of 1950. Over 80% of West Berliners opted for a democratic government, and in a director contrast to previous Soviet intervention, Ernest Reuter was elected Lord Mayor, and he stayed. Thus began the transformation of the western half with his energetic administration. This opened a window of democracy

into West Berlin. The Soviets soon stopped any hopes of this in East Berlin by prevented their citizens to vote. In 1957, West Germany joined the common market, & Willy Brandt, a moderate socialist was elected Lord Mayor. Brandt laid the foundation for the upcoming climax between Kennedy and Khruschev by describing the conflict in its most lucid terms - This crisis about Berlin has been provoked arbitrary. It affects us all, not only Germans, but all persons who take to heart the cause of human Freedom and international peace. The Khruschev Era When Soviet premier Nikita Khruschev took over the Communist party in 1953 he began a new era for Berlin and Soviet/ US relations. The only major offensive on Berlin up to this point was the Blockade. But Khruschev managed two more,