Berlin Wall was a barrier of barbed wire and, later, of concrete and minefields
built in 1961 between the eastern (communist controlled) sector of the city of Berlin and
the western sector. Berlin wall was built at the direction of the Soviet Union to prevent
migration from east to west and to minimize cultural contact between east and west Berlin.
With the uprising against communism in east Germany in 1989, the east German government
was forced to declare free rights of emigration for all citizens and in December of 1989
the Wall was opened for free passage.
Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall! Ronald
Ryan Bobst, International Affairs and German Senior Seminar, Fall 2006 Communism suffered
a constant decline beginning with Poland, then East Germany in 1989, and finally the
Soviet Union in 1991. The implementation of Solidarity in Poland, a political party
wanting sovereignty from the Soviet Union, led to future separation from the USSR. The
application of Glasnost in the Soviet Union, a political policy allowing freedom of
speech, permitted non-Communist governments, such as Hungary and Czechoslovakia, to break
away from Soviet domination. Gorbachev, the Soviet President, urged Honecker, the East
German President, to accept reform and allow certain freedoms in East Germany. After many
demonstrations by the East and West German people, East Germany collapsed thus leading to
the fall of the Berlin wall and the reunification of East and West Germany.
The building of the Berlin wall in 1961, the ensuing escape attempts, the tunnels under
the Berlin wall, and the later collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 are all highlighted in
the movie Das Versprechen (The Promise) .
The Economics of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall -
MANFRED TIETZEL, MARION WEBER, Universitšt Duisberg, Rationality and Society, Vol.
6, No. 1, 58-78 (1994)
The rise and fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain are explained in the context of
an exit-voice framework presuming rational actors. It is shown that the prohibition of
exit by establishing what we call "political costs of individual mobility" was a
conditio sine qua non for the effective suppression of internal political opposition in
Eastern Europe, and in East Germany in particular. The analysis of the costs of emigration
and of political protest as instruments of autocratic rule (mobility politics) leads to
interesting and surprising implications as to the general stability of dictatorial
Remembering the Berlin Wall: The Wall Memorial Ensemble Bernauer
Strasse, Gerd Knischewski and Ulla Spittler - German Life and Letters 59 (2),
Abstract: Remembrance and commemoration of the National Socialist past have always been
contentious issues within the political culture of West Germany. After unification this
process of 'coming to terms with the past' began to include the 'second German
dictatorship' in the form of the GDR. In the 1990s, GDR remembrance projects mushroomed,
mainly centring on the border and the activities of the 'Stasi'. It is tempting to view
these remembrance debates in a Left versus Right, or anti-fascist versus
anti-totalitarian, analytical framework. A case study of the Berlin Wall Memorial site and
'Documentation Center' in Bernauer Strasse shows that remembrance of the Wall indeed has
high potential for instrumentalisation in political-ideological conflicts. However,
several other factors have also contributed to the development of this remembrance of the
Berlin Wall, and its improvised form and content.
The influence of geopolitical change on the well-being of a population: the Berlin
V Heon-Klin, E Sieber, J Huebner and MT Fullilove, Medical University of Lubeck,
American Journal of Public Health, Vol 91, Issue 3 369-374
OBJECTIVES: Social cohesion is recognized as a fundamental condition for healthy
populations, but social cohesion itself arises from political unity. The history of the
Berlin Wall provides a unique opportunity to examine the effects of partition on social
cohesion and, by inference, on health. METHODS: This ethnographic study consisted of
examination of the territory formerly occupied by the Wall, formal and informal interviews
with Berlin residents, and collection of cultural documents related to the Wall.
Transcripts, field notes, and documents were examined by means of a keyword-in-context
analysis. RESULTS: The separation of Berlin into 2 parts was a traumatic experience for
the city's residents. After partition, East and West Germany had divergent social,
cultural, and political experiences and gradually grew apart.
A different political forum - East German theatre and the construction of the
Laura Bradley, University of Edinburgh
Journal of European Studies, Vol. 36, No. 2, 139-156 (2006)
Using new archive material, this article explores how East German theatre responded to the
construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. East Berlin's theatres and opera houses faced
serious logistical difficulties, as they had previously relied heavily on Western
practitioners. Even so, dramatists, directors and actors rallied in a strong public show
of support for the Wall. Behind the scenes, most dissenters fell silent, in contrast to
other professionals in East Berlin.
Driving the Soviets up the Wall: A Super-Ally, a Superpower, and the Building of
the Berlin Wall, 1958-61 Harrison H.M
Source: Cold War History, Volume 1, Number 1, August 2000, pp. 53-74(22)
Abstract: For understanding the key events and dynamics of the Cold War, it is
insufficient to study just the policies of the superpowers; the new archival evidence
increasingly reveals the importance of the goals and policies of the superpowers' key
allies, or 'superallies', in the Cold War. Based on archival research in Moscow and
Berlin, this article examines the Berlin Crisis of 1958-61 during which a 'superally',
East Germany, used direct and indirect means to persuade the reluctant Soviets to build
the Berlin Wall.
A German Heimat further east and in the Baltic region? -
Contemporary German film as a provocation
Alexandra Ludewig, University of Western Australia - Journal of European Studies,
Vol. 36, No. 2, 157-179 (2006)
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, unification and the subsequent reinvention of the
nation, German filmmakers have revisited their country's Heimatfilm traditions
with a view to placing themselves creatively in the context of its intellectual and
Symbolic Uses of the Berlin Wall, 1961-1989. Bruner, Michael
Source: Communication Quarterly, v37 n4 p319-28 Fall 1989
Abstract: Examines samples from public discourse during the period 1961-1989, which reveal
several different symbolic uses of the Berlin Wall. Suggests these differences reflect the
never-completed struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Inverting Images of the 40s: The Berlin Wall and Collective Amnesia. Loshitzky,
Source: Journal of Communication, v45 n2 p93-107 Spr 1995
Abstract: Examines images of World War II invoked in two live, international music
concerts (one rock, one classical) celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall. Argues that
Western television's choice of imagery represented the Wall's demise as a marker of the
end of the Cold War rather than a vanishing monument of Germany's conflicted struggle with
Twelve Years After: The Berlin Wall as Will and Idea
Journal Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless
Robert J. Kelly1 and Robert W. Rieber, City University of New York, New York
Abstract The Berlin Wall at different times in its ignominious history has been demonized
by Western opinion less because of its real paltry role in the Cold War tension in Europe
than because of the fears and frustrations it generated within Europe. This is the central
theme and claim of this paper. We attempt to show through an excursion of personal and
institutional events how the perceptions of Soviet communist realities were refracted
through the icon of the Wall as a Cold War symbol.
"The Fall of the Wall"
On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall the ORB broadcasted
one of the longest documentary series in the history of television.
The ORB has extended "The Fall of the Wall" into an ambitious tri-medial project
involving television, the internet and radio. This provides a special opportunity for the
ORB, a young east Germany station, to make a significant contribution to the recollections
of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The expansive German language internet site, with over 2000 pages covering background
information, documents and chat rooms, is without doubt the most comprehensive archive on
the fall of the Berlin Wall available on the internet.
The Berlin Wall organized Berlin and gave meaning to lives. In recognition of
this, Joseph Beuys proposed that the Wall should be made taller by 5cm so that it might
have better proportions.
A Swedish woman, was so captivated by the Berlin Wall that she married it on June
17, 1979, taking Wall W. Berliner-Mauer as her name. Against those who saw the Berlin Wall
as divisive, Wall W. Berliner-Mauer argues that the Wall allowed peace to be maintained
between East and West.
As soldiers looked over the Berlin Wall to the other side, they saw men just like
themselves, with families they loved and wanted to protect. In allowing these human
relationships to take place, the Wall created a bond between men who would otherwise be
But Berliner-Mauers love for the Berlin Wall is not abstract. On the
contrary, she understands objects as alive and possessing souls and is sexually drawn to
the Wall by its horizontal lines and sheer presence.
Collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989