Berlin - A City Divided No More

Trip Start May 20, 2005
Trip End Jun 07, 2007

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Flag of Germany  ,
Thursday, June 2, 2005

Perhaps the most significant physical reality of post-war Berlin was the Wall.

The details of the agreement dividing Germany into four parts and Berlin into four parts provided for freedom of travel east and west across the boundaries. By 1960 the Soviets had recognized their client state, the Democratic Republic of Germany, DDR, and the West had recognized the combined American, British and French sectors as the Federal Republic of Germany with its capital in Bonn. The ability to travel across the boundaries made it possible for people in the East to emigrate almost at will and as the years passed, millions did. To stem the flood, the border between East and West Germany had been closed in all places except Berlin. More than 30,000 in July, 1961 alone left for a better life in the west through Berlin.

As East-West tensions built in the early years of the Kennedy administration, the DDR determined to do something about this embarrassing hemmorhage of humanity.

In the early morning hours of August 13, 1961, they began building a wall. It was an elaborate structure that wound through the city. Many people tried to escape through the wall, many died in the attempt.

The Wall came down in 1989, a symbol of the failure of the Communist system of oppression and inability to suppress freedom.
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