The Influence Of The Berlin Wall

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On August 12, 1961, a wall was constructed through the night out of cement and barbed wire, cutting Berlin in half. Communist East Germany put up the wall as a way to stop the massive amount of people fleeing to West Germany each day. Most of the people leaving were productive working citizens which were having a devastating effect on the economy of East Germany. East Germans still tried to cross the wall, but thousands were captured and 191 were killed. The Berlin Wall separated families, affected the economy and took many lives, affecting all of Germany for years to come. The Berlin wall was constructed with such little notice that families were separated. On August 13, 1961, people wake up to a wall straight through Berlin cutting them…show more content…
The massive amounts of people fleeing to the west were causing a loss of productive citizens in the East. Over the years of 1949 to 1961 before the wall was constructed around 2.6 million people escaped to the west. When the wall was constructed people that lived in the east and worked in the west lost their jobs. All of the trade between east and west was completely cut off and massive deficits started to appear. The walls affect is still seen on the different living conditions in the east versus the west; the “Gross domestic product per head in the east in 2013 was still only 66 percent of that in western Germany”(Wagstyl). Though the balance achieved over the years has been very successful this proves that there is much more to be done. Unemployment rates are also suffering more in the east to this day. A study found that “East German unemployment last year averaged 10.3 percent versus 6 percent in West Germany”(Wagstyl). Unemployment rates are still averaging out and decreasing due to the German education system which combines college with real-world on the job training. The loss of a younger workforce in the east during the time that the wall was up is still showing up with the east having a high percentage of their population over age 65. Efforts will still need to be made to even out the differences and completely balance out Germany's economy. The east will still need some financial…show more content…
The wall was nearly impossible to cross because of the tight security. Starting on the east side, there were 2 fences, then a surface covered with spikes. Next, came the watchtowers above an illuminated strip and access road followed by an anti-vehicle crash barrier and the border wall. Still, many people tried to cross the border. An example of this is a “Young man was shot by machine guns on the East Berlin side”(Histoy.com Staff). This is one of the strongest examples of the relentlessness of the cold war. The man was just left there to bleed out and die. Other people were successful crossing the wall but most were captured while trying. Most caught were sentenced to prison for a few years if they were lucky. Many people were caught trying to sneak people over in a car or in the trunk. While trying to find a way to escape East Germany, many people died in the process due to drowning while trying to swim across the Baltic Sea or setting of one the booby-traps on mines. Some few were shot down and killed during a flight over the border in an aircraft. Crossing over to West Germany was the easiest place to do so before the wall was constructed. After it was, it because one of the hardest places and very few lived to make it across or ended up being successful. Knowing all the risks involved in crossing stopped many other people from thinking about trying to do

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