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The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall is an engineering-equipped and fortified state border of the German Democratic Republic and West Berlin (from August 13, 1961 until November 9, 1989) with the length of 155 km, including the precincts of Berlin 43.1 km.

The Berlin Wall was built on August 13, 1961 on the recommendation of the meeting of the secretaries of the communist and workers’ parties of the Warsaw Pact and based on the decision of the GDR People’s Chamber. During its existence, it was rebuilt and improved several times. The last major renovation was made in 1975.

On the night of August 12-13, 1961 the construction of the wall began. At 1 a.m. the troops were pulled to the area of the border between West and East Berlin that within a few hours completely blocked all border areas, which were in the city. On the morning of the 13th, the inhabitants of East Berlin, who as usual were rushing to work to the western part of the city, were stopped by paramilitary and police patrols. By August 15, the entire western area was surrounded by barbed wire and the construction of the wall began. The same day, four lines of the Berlin Underground were closed. Construction and refurbishment of the Wall lasted from 1962 until 1975.

When in May 1989 under the influence of perestroika in the Soviet Union, East Germany’s partner of the Warsaw Pact – Hungary – destroyed the fortifications on the border with its western neighbor Austria, the GDR leadership was not going to follow the example. But soon it lost control of the rapidly unfolding events. Thousands of GDR citizens flocked to other Eastern European countries in the hope to get from there to West Germany. In August 1989, the German diplomatic representation in Berlin, Budapest, and Prague were forced to stop taking visitors from the influx of East Germans who sought entry into the West German state. Hundreds of East Germans fled to the West through Hungary. When on September 11, 1989 the Hungarian Government announced the full opening of borders, the Berlin Wall has lost its meaning: 15 thousand citizens left the territory of the GDR through Hungary within three days. There were mass demonstrations demanding civil rights and freedoms.

As a result of the mass protests, the leadership of the SED resigned. Gregor Gysi became a new chairman of the SED, Manfred Gerlach became the chairman of the State Council of the GDR, and Hans Modrow became the President of the Council.

On November 4, Berlin held a mass rally with the requirements of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, which was agreed with the authorities.

The Berlin Wall is an engineering-equipped and fortified state border of the German Democratic Republic and West Berlin (from August 13, 1961 until November 9, 1989) with the length of 155 km, including the precincts of Berlin 43.1 km.

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Assignment ID
100002271
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CREATED ON
October 18, 2016
COMPLETED ON
October 19, 2016
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$49
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