1960's Project: The Berlin Wall

By: Jamal Sayid

What is it, Why chosen, and Background Information

The Berlin Wall is a man-made structure that was erected the night of August 12-13 1961. It is the wall that separated East and West Germany due to educated professionals fleeing from East to West Germany, so East Germany build to the wall to stop people from crossing over to save there economy. I chose this structure due to its unique history, interesting and diverse facts on how it was a division of a unified country one day and two the next, the interesting escape attempts, and how it was actually deconstructed on November 9, 1989. AKA: My birthday!

How was the Berlin Wall created?

The original Berlin wall was constructed out of barbed wire and cinder blocks, but it was later replaced with a series of concrete walls. it was 15 feet (5 meters high), and was also topped with barbed wire, guarded with watchtowers, gun emplacements, and mines. On the East Germany side however, also had guards, guard dogs, and electric alarms. The Berlin Wall came to symbolize the Cold War's Division between East and West Europe. and The Soviet Union and United States. Democracy vs Communism.

Why was the Berlin Wall erected?

The Berlin Wall was erected to separate East and West Germany due to government and economic disputes after World War II. The two main superpowers were the United States and the Soviet Union, who had different beliefs on what kind of economy and government is the best. The United States backed democracy and helped many countries that were damaged severely due to World War II adopt some form of democracy, which is what they thought was the best government to have that represents the citizens the best with equal distribution of power among the different levels of government. However, The Soviet Union did not approve of democracy and helped other countries rebuild by cleaning up the rubble, rebuilding buildings, constructing roads etc, but they also helped them adopt a communist government, where most of the power goes to the government. In Germany, the United States and The Soviet Union both helped rebuild the nation, but it just happened to be that most of west Germany preferred to have a democratic government, while a small amount East Germans preferred a communist government, but had to reluctantly accept help from the Soviets. The wall was then built on August 12 and 13, to barricade all travel between the two countries due to their disagreements on a variety of topics. This is why the Berlin Wall was built from East Germany who is backed by at the time, The Soviet Union.

Effects of the Berlin Wall

The effects of the Berlin Wall were that many families were separated due to the Berlin Wall separating East and West Germany. After the East German government realized that many highly educated professionals were moving to West Germany due to the abundance to freedom and representation (which is what democracy is about). The East Germany were angered by this, and they knew that if they let this continue, that would hardly have a population left that would survive and thrive in the new nation. The decision then led to the construction of the Berlin Wall, which was built to stop all citizens to go from East Germany to West Germany, and vice versa. All citizens were trapped where they were, and thus resulting in families being separated, unsuccessful escape attempts, etc. Due to East Germany being strict about there country, many new technologies were not in East Germany. When the wall was removed, East German citizens then saw how much the world has changed while they were being held hostage in East Germany. During the time of the Berlin Wall, disagreements between the world's two superpowers surged tremendously, and many feared that a nuclear war was on the rise as a result of the many of issues, such as the Cuban Missile Crisis. These are the effects of the Berlin Wall.


The Berlin Wall signified the starting of the Cold War, which was all about which government is better, Democracy or Communism. The wall was the dividing factor that helped contribute to the winner of which government was better. That was what the entire Cold War was about, and once the wall came down, it signified a winner... the winner was Democracy. After the wall came down, families were united once again, and Germany became whole again with its capital being Berlin.

Fun Facts

  • East Germany was outdated with retro technologies
  • Between 1949 and 1961, 2.5 million people fled from East Germany to West Germany
  • Anybody who tried to get over or cross the wall was shot, kids included!!!
  • The making of the wall was the result of a decree passed on August 12, by what the East Germans called the Volkskammer which is the "People's Chamber"

  • East Germany pressured the Soviet Union to guarantee that the ongoing existence of a "Socialist State".

  • Another effect of the Berlin Wall was that the Soviets and US had tanks that confronted each other at the Allied Checkpoint Charlie. Both forces were put on high alert, and the Kennedy adminstartion pondered various nuclear war scenarions. Both powers eventually ceased.

Here are some photos relating to the Berlin Wall and the separation of Germany!

Berlin Wall Video

Citation/Source List

"Aerial view of a segment of the Berlin Wall." Photos/Illustrations. Department of Defense. World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 6 Nov. 2015.


"Berlin Wall." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2015. Web. 4 Nov. 2015. <http://school.eb.com/levels/middle/article/310181>.

"Berlin Wall." Photos/Illustrations. Department of Defense. World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 6 Nov. 2015.


Berlin Wall . Video. Encyclopædia Britannica. Web. 5 Nov. 2015. <http://school.eb.com/levels/middle/article/310181/media?assemblyId=198115>.

"Berlin Wall and Graffiti." Gale World History in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2012. World History in Context. Web. 9 Nov. 2015.


"Berlin Wall in 1961." Photos/Illustrations. Library of Congress. World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 6 Nov. 2015.


"Berlin Wall under construction." Photos/Illustrations. AP/Wide World Photos. World History: The Modern Era.ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 6 Nov. 2015.


Brandenburg Gate. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica. Web. 5 Nov. 2015. <http://school.eb.com/levels/middle/article/310181/media?assemblyId=89433>

"Checkpoint Charlie, the only crossing point for non-West Berliners along the Berlin Wall...."Cold War Reference Library. Ed. Richard C. Hanes, Sharon M. Hanes, and Lawrence W. Baker. Vol. 1: Almanac Volume 1. Detroit: UXL, 2004. World History in Context. Web. 9 Nov. 2015..

Croan, Melvin. "Berlin Wall." World Book Student. World Book, 2015. Web. 5 Nov. 2015.

Schaefer, Bernd. "Berlin Wall." World Geography: Understanding a Changing World. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 9 Nov. 2015.

"East Berliners cross into West Berlin." Photos/Illustrations. Department of Defense. World History: The Modern Era.ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 6 Nov. 2015.


"Fall of the Berlin Wall." Photos/Illustrations. Department of Defense. World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 6 Nov. 2015.


German Reunification Diagram


West and East Berlin Flag:


West and East Germany Flag:


"West German man takes a souvenir from Berlin Wall." Photos/Illustrations. Department of Defense. World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 6 Nov. 2015.