The Local City News

Special edition: The Fall of the Berlin Wall

by Jocelyn Lee


page 1............. What was the wall made of and why was it made from that specific material?

Who said the Berlin Wall had to be built splitting Berlin east and west?

page 2.............

What was the wall made of and why was it made from that specific material?

After World War II, Germany split into East and West Germany, and so did Berlin, Germany’s capital. At first, the wall was a barbed wire fence heavily guarded by armed guards. Another wire fence was then built and eventually, it was fortified with concrete to create a “wall”. In 1975, a more secure and stronger wall called “Border Wall 75” was built and it took five years to build. A second fence or wall was built on June, 1962. The area between the two walls became known as “The Death Strip”, anyone who attempted to escape East Berlin was shot on sight by the guards. Border Wall 75 had 45,000 sections of reinforced concrete, each section/piece weighed 3 tons, 3.0 ft. wide and 12 ft. long. This wall had seventy nine miles of fencing, nearly three hundred guard watchtowers, more than two hundred fifty guard dog runs, twenty bunkers, and sixty five miles of anti vehicle trenches. The Border wall 75 didn't break as easily as any other fences or walls.

Who said that the Berlin Wall had to be built splitting Berlin East and West?

In 1949, Germany became two countries, West Germany and East Germany. Berlin, Germany's capital, was in east Germany. Berlin was shared and owned between/by the countries Britain, France, America/the U.S.A, and the Soviet Union. During the Cold War, West Berlin became geographic loophole. The Cold War was when the U.S and it’s had a tense relationship with the Soviet Union, but they never fought directly when in battle. A loophole is a way of going around of or avoiding something. A geographical loophole is a place where people go to to get away or around something or someone. East Berlin actually put up the Berlin wall around West Berlin to keep people from going there and so East Berlin wouldn't lose it’s population.

How was life like? What were the two sides for? Did people really like it?

The East side/ East Berlin was the communist side and the West side or West Berlin was the democratic side. Life was hard, the Berlin wall had separated friends, families, and even loved ones. It even caused people to lose jobs if they were on the wrong side/ the other side when the wall was put up or built. No one liked the wall, they hated it. Luckily, more than five thousand people escaped from East Berlin, including more than/about one thousand three hundred guards. But many people died in the process of escaping to West Berlin including more than one hundred people.

Did East & West Berlin have an agreement to tear the Berlin Wall down?

On November 9, 1989, a spokesman from the East Berlin communist party declared/said that the citizens of East Berlin were free to cross the border wall whenever they pleased starting at midnight that day. He also said that the city’s relationship with West Berlin had changed. More than two million people were at the wall at midnight that day and more than two million people from East Berlin visited West Berlin that weekend. (November 9 was on a Thursday that year,1989.) A Berliner even spray painted on a piece of the wall, “ Only today, is the war really over.” A celebration took place in West Berlin on the following day, November 10, 1989.

What made the wall fall? And how did it fall?

November 9,1989, a spokesman from the East Berlin communist party declared that the citizens of East Berlin were free to cross the border wall whenever they pleased starting at midnight that day. At midnight, citizens of both East Berlin and West Berlin yelled at the wall/gates, “Tor Auf!” which means “Open the Gate!” in German. Even though more than 5,000 people successfully made it to West Berlin, more than a hundred people died trying to escape to freedom in West Berlin. Thousands of people used hammers and picks to break pieces of the wall off, these people were also known as mauerspechte or wall woodpeckers. Others used cranes or bulldozers to knock parts and sections of the Berlin Wall down one by one. Soon, the wall was gone and only pieces were left standing.The reunification of the two sides of Berlin (east and west Berlin) was made official about one year later, October 3, 1990. The Berlin Wall had been the symbol for Cold War for more than 30 years.

Since both sides didn't like each other,did they collaborate to build the wall or did East/West build it themselves?

East Berlin built the Berlin wall after East Berliners kept escaping to West Berlin after the Cold War. The Cold War was when the U.S had a “tense relationship” with the Soviet Union, but they never clashed or fought directly when in battle. The wall was also built because West Berlin became a geographical loophole during the Cold War. The Berlin Wall was put up at night so that no one would try or attempt to escape East Berlin or West Berlin while it was being built or before it was even built. East Berlin was the one that built the Berlin Wall.

Were there any other “walls” like the Berlin Wall?

Yes, there were lots of walls like the Berlin Wall, here are a few of them that are still standing today or were once separating countries or cities apart. Israel's Security Barrier, in 2002, Israel started work on a six hundred seventy km. long wall. It was mostly five meters of wire and mesh. A few young people even dug a hole through this barrier/wall. The Peace Walls, built by Northern Ireland, kept Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods apart or separated from each other. The U.S and Mexico Border, is three border fences used to separate the world’s richest country from its poorer neighbors. It was built by Arizona, California, and Texas. The Korean DMZ Border, is one hundred sixty miles long and two point five (2.5) miles or two and a half (2 ½ ) miles wide. It is so far the world’s most heavily armed border/wall. The Spanish Moroccan Fences, are used to separate Morocco from Melilla and Ceuta, two of Spain’s cities. They are 2 four- meter- high/tall steel walls that are used to prevent illegal migrants from entering Spanish soil. Morocco is installing a wall topped off with razor wire along its border.