Sedlacek and his wife made it outside, only to be greeted by harsh lights of two East German trucks. The bones of the previously celebrating people chilled, as their gaze fell upon brown-uniformed border police sporting carbines. They watched in awe as barbed wire was stretched across the street, like coiled rattlesnakes. People were crossing over the wire both ways, mostly to annoy the Grepos. Kurt and his friends recognized a friend from the Costa Rica, an East Berliner. They told him to stay with them, to not go back over to the East side of the barbed wire.Maybe the wire was there to stay? But their friend refused the idea. Promising his return the following week, he returned to the Eastern side and walked away. Sedlacek and his group didn’t see him again for a very, very long time. And thus, on August 13, 1961, the Berlin Wall was born(Cate, p.247-248). For the next 30 years, the Berlin Wall was an oppression upon the people (Gelb, p. 3-9). It was continually improved and altered. And finally, we are presented with a monster of a wall
Tipps 3made of reinforced concrete, standing eleven feet tall. Behind it is an area no one would sanely cross into: level ground filled with landmines, auto-triggered machine gun towers, and two hundred eighty-five watchtowers. People have tried crossing over from East to West Berlin, some successful. Countless others, however, weren’t so lucky (Gelb, p. 3-9). But, as time went on, people began to tolerate the Wall (Gelb, p. 286-289). An East Berliner man says that they are all well provided for, and they want for little. They simply wish they could go visit family. A West Berlin man has another story. He visits his mother who lives in East Berlin and struggles to bring her small luxuries like good coffee. He cannot visit his sister, who also lives in East Berlin,because she married a Vopo, who cannot have contact with anyone from West Berlin. The peoplemay have learned to tolerate the Wall, but they still despise it. It separates them from family, friends, and the rest of their city (Gelb, p. 286-289). Soon, with the arrival of Reagan and Gorbachev, they just may get their wish. June 12, 1989, United States President Ronald Reagan stands before the people of West Berlin, challenging General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall (Educational Video Group, YouTube). Gorbachev was a revolutionary leader of the Soviet Union(Kelly, p. 26-27). He brought in the idea of glasnost, which allowed the people of the GDR more freedom of speech. Corruption, which was a big problem in the Soviet government, would be eradicated. The idea of perestroika was also brought into play to downsize the government control in the economy, which allowed individuals to make more of a profit (Kelly, p. 26-27). Through advocacy from President Eisenhower to President Bush, and the new Western ideas brought to the USSR by General Secretary Gorbachev, the people of East and West Berlin would soon see each other once again.
Tipps 4A day like any other, the wall stood as it had for the past three decades. A snake across the middle of Berlin, separating family and friends and the general people. At a press briefing, an
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- Fall '19
- Cold War, West Berlin