Causes of the creation of the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall began to be built on August 13, 1961 to divide this German capital into two states: the East and the West. After the Second World War, after the collapse of Hitler, two powers of that confrontation had left strengthened, USA and Russia, therefore, both countries began to fight without direct confrontations for world hegemony. This period is what is remembered as the Cold War and the Berlin Wall is one of the most evident symbols of this historical period. In we are going to discover you the causes of the creation of the wall of Berlin so that you know the precedents that caused that this separation between the members of a same city was constructed. In addition, we will also tell you about his fall, 28 years later, a moment that symbolized the end of the Cold War and the beginning of peace.

Historical background

During the first half of the 20th century, the two most important wars in modern history took place: the First World War and the Second World War. These two warlike confrontations divided the world into two great allied powers that defended different interests and ways of life. During the last Great War it was when he had to stop the feet of the dictator Adolf Hitler who, with his invading politics, wanted to create a big, strong Germany and area.

Their pretensions, however, ended up being reduced to ashes and, after the war, the whole country was really affected by the incessant wars that had been lived throughout the territory. Berlin, the capital, also saw how it was divided in two due to the construction of a wall, known today as "the wall of shame", which differentiated the Western part of the city (allied to the United States, therefore, capitalism ) of the Eastern part (allied to Russia and, therefore, to communism).

Why the Berlin Wall was created

To understand the causes of the creation of the Berlin Wall, we have to talk about the Cold War that took place between the United States and the USSR just after the Second World War and lasted up to 50 years (from 1945 to 1991). . This war that did not entail any direct attack but that made the espionage services of both sides grow (the CIA and the KGB strengthened) did have a physical symbol in Berlin, the "saved" city of the Nazi regime, a feat achieved by both powers.

Thus, Berlin was divided between the German Democratic Republic or RDA (Eastern part, ie, USSR) and the Federal Republic of Germany or RFA (Western part, that is, USA), a division that was more than evident with the construction of the wall of shame. We must remember, however, that just at the end of World War II, Berlin was divided into 4 sectors of occupation, Soviet, English, American and French, but from 1949 the eastern area was completely in Soviet hands and Western in American hands

During the years after World War II, the western zone began to prosper but, nevertheless, the Soviet began to suffer economic problems, reason for which many Germans decided to migrate towards the western zone to procure a better life. This was the reason why on August 12, 1961 the leaders of the GDR began to create the Berlin Wall, thus closing 69 of the 81 control points that had been established on the border that divided the capital.

The next day, the wall already had a provisional fence of 155 kilometers that prevented the transit of people from one area to another: workers, people who studied in other parts of the city, etc., saw how their lives were interrupted. brutal way preventing a normal life without having to account to anyone. In order to pass to the RFA you had to pass strict police controls to indicate the reason why you wanted to go to the other area and, if they saw fit, they gave you permission, otherwise, you could not move from the city.

As the years passed, the initial brick wall ended up being a concrete construction that reached 4 meters in height and that had, inside, steel cables that prevented its collapse.

The consequences of this wall were that many families were separated, many people were forced to live in an impoverished society due to the misapplied communist system and, therefore, between 1961 and 1988 more than 100, 000 people residing in the Soviet part tried flee and more than 600 people were killed by soldiers who were on the border between the two Berlines to prevent their escape.

The fall of the Berlin wall

It was not until 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell after having been established in the city for 28 years. The 9th of November of that year was when the symbol of the Cold War came to an end and due to different causes that we will summarize below:

Social revolts

There were a large number of demonstrations in cities such as East Berlin, Dresden or Halle that demanded that all Germans take to the streets to demand the resignation of the government and to be able to opt for democratic elections that managed to lift the country and out of poverty brutal in which he lived. At the end of 1989, the revolution in the eastern bloc was decisive: the council of ministers ended up renouncing their power and the people began to gain strength in their territory.

Constant flight attempts

One of the maximum signs that the project of the USSR in Berlin was failing was the constant attempts of escape of its inhabitants. This had happened since the end of World War II but, after more than two decades, those of the GDR continued to want to flee from that impoverished state and with no possibility of growth. This did not stop being proof that the project had not prospered.

Collapse of the border with Austria

On May 2, 1989, the barriers of the Austrian border, which encouraged the closure of East Berlin, were overthrown by the Hungarians; this meant the opening to the western world of the GDR that saw how they could access the Western world through Austria (which was previously completely closed) and Hungary.

All this led to the November 9, 1989 Berlin Wall fell, finally, opening the borders between the German capital and allowing the inhabitants were, again, free.