The Berlin Wall: 20 Years Later
The Berlin Wall—symbol of a divided city within a divided nation within a divided continent—was grounded in decades-old historical divisions at the end of World War II. At the Yalta Conference of February 4-11, 1945, the “Big Three” agreed that Germany would be divided into four temporary occupation zones, France being the fourth occupying power. Berlin lies 110 miles inside the Soviet occupation zone. At the Potsdam Conference (July 17–August 2, 1945) the Allies agreed to a similar four-power division of Berlin.
In June 1948, as the western Allies and the Soviets failed to agree on whether Germany should be rehabilitated economically, the Red Army blockaded West Berlin. British- and American-led Berlin Airlift ferried by air tons of food daily until Stalin lifted the blockade in May 1949. Days later, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was proclaimed in the western occupation zones. The German Democratic Republic (East Germany) was founded in the Soviet occupation zone that October. Then in August 1961, the GDR began to construct the Berlin Wall—at first it was barbed wire—soon it expanded into a 5 meter high 165 kilometer long network of concrete walls topped with barbed wire, and guarded with gun emplacements, watchtowers, and mines.
This book recounts how and why that wall crumbled. Published in English only, 64 pgs, color book.