What Did the Berlin Wall Mean to Both Sides in the Cold War? Why Did It Mean so Much?

What Did the Berlin Wall Mean to Both Sides in the Cold War? Why Did It Mean so Much?

What did the Berlin Wall mean to both sides in the Cold War? Why did it mean so much?

From 1945 until early 1961 Berlin was run as four and then two separate states, run by separate powers but ultimately the same city. The Berlin Wall, built by the Soviets on 13th August. It was built along the dividing border between the Soviet-backed German Democratic Republic and the western Federal Republic of Germany. It was built with the consent of Stalin and later Khrushchev himself to bring an end to espionage carried out through East Berlin by Western Agents, as the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov proposed that the East Germans at the very least should “Introduce a system of passes for visits of West Berlin residents…[so as to stop] free movement of Western agents.” Stalin agreed, and advised the building of a wall separating the two states.

One of the main reasons that the Berlin wall was built was to stop defection to the West by East-Berlin residents and to maintain the population. The number of people defecting prior to the wall being built was in the thousands, in the late 1950s more than a quarter of a million people defected every year. The people defecting were usually skilled and young adults, and for them to be leaving meant that the East-German workforce was severely weakened. By the Russians putting up the wall, the failure of communism was effectively shown. If Russia and communism had to erect a wall simply to keep its residents in, and shoot dead people who try and cross it, it must have failed as they had to keep the people in the country by force. The Berlin Wall meant that the Soviets social experiment had failed, and was plain to see for all. The soviets were therefore embarrassed by the Wall, and even said prior to its building, “Niemand hat die Absicht, eine Mauer zu errichten!", no-one has the intention of building a wall.

The building of the Berlin Wall also meant that the East-Berlin economy would improve, as before the...

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