The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall

After World War II, life in West Germany improved while life in communist East Germany declined. By the late 1950s, East Germany was losing its citizens at an extraordinary rate and its currency was worth a fraction of what it once was. On August 13, 1961 the Berlin Wall was closed, and would not reopen for twenty eight more years. This wall was built to keep citizens of East Berlin inside, and the rest of the world out. In 1989 East Germany was set free the moment when, for the first time, soldiers did not shoot at people climbing over the wall.

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  • The Berlin Wall - history of the wall categorized by its background, construction, measurements and its fall.
  • Why the Berlin Wall was Built Up - offers pictures, maps, time lines and other helpful information about the history of the Berlin Wall.
  • East Side Gallery - is a site dedicated to the preservation of the last remaining standing piece of the wall. Artists have turned it into a masterpiece.
  • German Propaganda Archive - actual information used to promote the wall, translated into English.
  • German Unification Case Study - discusses the building of the wall, what it was meant to accomplish and what kinds of issues developed.
  • The Wall -an essay that talks about the history preceding the wall and the politicians involved.
  • President Reagan - his statement on the 20th anniversary of the construction of the Berlin Wall.
  • The Berlin Wall - Nikita Krushev was the Soviet premier when the wall was built and this paper discusses why he ordered it.
  • The Presidency and the Cold War - photos and artwork of each of these men at the height of their presidencies.
  • Cold War Revisited - John Lewis Gaddis discusses the Cold War after almost twenty years and how today’s students view it.
  • Let Freedom Ring - offers information about Cold War times and also sound bites from the major players.
  • Politics, People, and the Berlin Crisis - daily life of the people behind the wall, including living with informants and troops.
  • Timeline of Berline 1871 - Present - gives a little perspective on why things turned out like they did.
  • Fall of Communism - US Dept of State’s official paper on the fall of Communism.
  • Berlin Crises - gives a time line of the events after World War II until the building of the Berlin Wall.
  • Berlin Crises - How policing in East Germany changed as the wall was erected.
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