Reasons For The Cold War Essay

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The Cold War With the aim of preventing East Germans from seeking asylum in the West, the East German government in 1961 began constructing a system of concrete and barbed-wire barriers between East and West Berlin. This Berlin Wall endured for nearly thirty years, a symbol not only of the division of Germany but of the larger conflict between the Communist and non-Communist worlds. The Wall ceased to be a barrier when East Germany ended restrictions on emigration in November 1989. The Wall was largely dismantled in the year preceding the reunification of Germany. The victorious Allies agreed to give most of Eastern Germany to Poland and the USSR, and then divide the rest into four zones of occupation. However, they could not agree of …show more content…
"But there is more to the Wall than just this wall. Behind it, one hundred yards deeper into Communist territory, is another concrete barrier almost as formidable. The leveled area between the two is a desolate, dangerous no-man's-land, patrolled by kalashnikov-toting guards, dotted with free-fire machine-gun emplacements, and sown in places with landmines. It is punctuated with 285 elevated watchtowers, more suited to prison camps than city centers, and by a series of dog runs where ferocious, long leashed Alsatians effectively run free. It is not a safe place to be."(Gelb, p.4) Approximately 5000 people managed to escape to the West, 80 died trying. There is no known record of anyone trying to escape in the other direction. "The poor quality and construction is a result both of the speed with which the first sections were erected and the fact that no foundation was prepared."(Galante, p.8) On August 13, 1961, East German troops began stretching coils of barbed wire across the border checkpoints between East and West Berlin, inhibiting free transit between the two sectors as guaranteed under the Four-Power Pact that governed the city. Within days the wire was replaced by 28 miles of compressed rubble, "and now the historic Berlin Wall became a hideous symbol of the economic and political schism in Germany."(Cate, preface) For 28 years the Berlin Wall kept people in, and kept people out.

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