Reasons for the break-up of the Berlin wall

The Wall:

  • After WW2, two peace conferences at Yalta and Potsdam determined the fate of Germany’s territories. They split the defeated nation into four “allied occupation zones” in 1945: The eastern part of the country went to the Soviet Union, while the western part went to the United States, Great Britain and (eventually) France. Similarly Berlin which was entirely in East Germany was divided among the allies.

  • The ‘wall’ was constructed by the German Democratic Republic(GDR) i.e East Germany(communist), in 1961
  • The wall completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin until it was opened in November 9, 1989
  • Though GDR claimed that the wall was to protect its population from “fascist” elements(capitalists) conspiring to prevent the “will of the people” in building a socialist state in East Germany. In reality it was built to prevent the massive emigration and defection from East Germany to West Germany.
  • It is part of the “Iron Curtain” which was the ideological conflict and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas

Reasons:

  • Reasons for the fall of USSR are the same for the fall of Berlin wall. Read them here.
  • The political revolutions which started in in Poland and Hungary, swept through East Germany as well. After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on 9 November 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin.
  • The reunification of East and West Germany was made official on October 3, 1990, almost one year after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
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