31 Mar 2022


Analysis of the Berlin Wall

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The Berlin War was a rigid barrier that was constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR) who governed the East Germany. The wall constructed in 1961 divided the eastern and western sides of Berlin by completely cutting by land. War guards were also employed along the wall to protect unauthorized entry of individual towards the eastern side. Additionally, the GDR also circumscribed a wide area with defenses such as the “fakir beds”. The German society often describes the Berlin Wall as "Anti-Fascist Protective Wall" in which the GDR authorities. The GDR introduced some propaganda in which they claimed that the West Germany and the NATO countries are “fascists” (Molnar, 2010). 

The Eastern side of the war therefore claimed that the sole purpose of the wall was to prevent massive emigration of fascists from the Western block from destroying the “will of the people”. Activists in the Western side of the Berlin wall as well as the West Berlin city government also referred to it as a “Wall of shame” since it controlled the freedom of movement (Molnar, 2010). The wall represented the “Iron curtain” that separated the Eastern Bloc and Western Europe in the Cold War. The Eastern block was under the Allied powers of Soviet-controlled Germany that included Hungary Poland, and Czechoslovakia. The Eastern bloc often undermined The British occupation zone as well as their position in the society. The opposition was so strong such that the US later withdrew from the Bloc. 

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The Eastern side often adopted a communist society. The communist party in the Eastern Bloc integrated other Block parties and administrative apparatus to institute the Soviet orders to the internal measures. The Soviet bloc also nationalized industries and properties. Additionally, if any individual (or institution) deviated from decisions and statements ordered, and then such individuals would be reprimanded heavily. The individual would also be punished by being killed, tortured or imprisoned. 

The Soviet party also introduced the doctrines of Marxism by enforcing compulsory schooling. The residents of the Eastern bloc therefore created a political police institution to keep watch of its residents. The Berlin war therefore achieved a few of its targets of encouraging a communist society. Additionally, the wall also prevents capitalism as practiced by Western Europe and the migration of Western Berlin residents. However, the wall also had its shortcomings. First, the Eastern bloc experience massive brain drain in which, young professionals and academic experts (such as professors) were forced to move to the Eastern side. The wall led to massive migration and protest in the late 1940s when the leader of the Soviet party disagreed on the reconstruction of Germany and introduction of new currency to be used by both sides. Stalin, the leader of the Eastern bloc therefore instituted the Berlin Blockade of supplies and food materials arriving from the Western bloc (Wilke, 2014). 

Ultimately, nationalities in the Western sides introduced “airlifts” to send supplies to West Berlin. Although the Soviet government introduced public relation campaigns to justify the blockade, and airlifts, Berlin residents demonstrated against the blockade and instead pushed Stalin to lift the blockade and resumption of Western shipments in the Eastern Berlin. While the East Germany continued to operate under communism in which the GDR had autonomous control of the entire block, the western Berlin had Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) that encouraged socialism where the administration was managed by a democratic parliamentary government(Molnar, 2010). 

Massive immigration of professionals from East Berlin and free movement of recourses also encouraged economic growth and development. The Western Berlin also experienced improved living standards resulting to over 3 million emigrants from Eastern Berlin. In 1989, East Berlin residents protested over the authoritarian rule of the Soviet party. The activists complained about the political erosion of power and poor economic growth. Secondly, the activists also violently demonstrated against the elections. Moreover, the excessive migration of residents also reduced the GDR’s influence over its citizens (Wilke, 2014). 

Lastly, the frequent deaths of more than 5000 East Berlin residents also discouraged residents from participating in the communist society of the Eastern bloc where soldiers and wall guards deflected to join the West Berlin and allowing them to spy foe the Western block. Ultimately, the government demolished the wall in 1990 after several weeks of protests. The destruction of the wall marks the initial steps towards restoration and unification of the entire Germany. First, the GDR united with the FRG and formed the entire nation of Germany and Berlin. The short-term benefits included free migration of East Berlin residents to the west. Moreover, the united Germany also conducted democratic elections that promoted good governance (Molnar, 2010). 

Thirdly, the unified Germany also ensured that all human rights and freedoms are provided to the residents irrespective of their location. Ultimately, the GDR and FRG introduced the Unification Treaty that led to both parties signing the “ Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany” that led to the sovereignty of the two sides into one unified German state. In the long-run, the unified Germany has integrated with other nations o form the European union and NATO while relinquishing its membership in international organization such as Warsaw Pact which was only reserved for East Germany. The integration has improved the economy of the entire country. Moreover, the integration has promoted factor mobility between states (Wilke, 2014).


Molnar, V. (2010). The Cultural Production of Locality: Reclaiming the ‘European City’in Post‐Wall Berlin.  International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 34 (2), 120-267.

Wilke, M. (2014).  The Path to the Berlin Wall: Critical Stages in the History of Divided Germany . Berghahn books.

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