Bringing Down A Wall: The Destruction Of The Berlin Wall

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‘Pulling down a Wall’

“Democracy must learn to defend itself…” - Mikhail Gorbachev, former leader of the Soviet Union.

This quote exemplifies the Soviet mentality at the time. The Berlin Wall embodied it.

25 years. A quarter of a century since the Berlin Wall was brought down. Its destruction was a massive victory for the Western superpowers. Their American-esque style of governance had finally prevailed over the cruelties of the regime imposed upon tens of millions in Germany and most of Eastern Europe. In the words of Ronald Reagan (former American President and instigator of the Wall’s destruction), the “Government 's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.” a direct jibe at Communism. Hence, it was a great surprise that such a well-known repugnance between the USA and the USSR yielded such an unexpected compromise. Even more unlikely was the fall of the Soviet Union, which occurred shortly after.

The Berlin Wall in itself was a remarkable and unique structure in terms of both its function and its functionality. The extent to which the entire Wall was protected made it seem like a fortress. The entire Wall stretched 155 kilometres in length, crossing railways, roads, and rivers. The list goes on. The intensity of the Soviet need to keep Germans in East Germany was exemplified by the nature of the security measures implemented. 302 watch towers, 20 bunkers, 259 dog runs, 124.3 kilometres of patrol roads, and 105.5 kilometres of anti-vehicle
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