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Khrushchev And The Berlin Wall


During the Berlin Crisis of 1961, the City of Berlin was occupied by both soviet and Western Forces causing serious tensions between Us and Soviet forces. The USSR subsequently demanded that the Western forces be withdrawn from the city, which eventually led to the overnight construction of an expansive length of wall, made of wire, barb wire, steal and concrete.

Khrushchev’s Reasons

During the time of this conflict, many citizens, including various, valuable professionals, defected to the west and this made Krushchevs very displeased with the situation, citing that they had already lost many engineers and that something had to be done. After an amount of propaganda, he eventually convinced the parliament of east Germany to construct the wall secretly, effectively cutting off movement into the west. Khrushchev is known to have said that some conflicts cannot be resolved with an open border. This is the first time that a nation has ever closed in its own population in this way.

Effect on the Population

Before construction of the barricade, over 3.5 million east Germans had defected to west Berlin, where they could then gain access to all of west Germany and Europe, after construction, this flow was almost ceased completely. Many people have used various methods to traverse the wall, resulting in near 200 deaths of during the time from 1961 to 1989. Often referred to as “The Wall of Shame”, it was a part of the so called “Iron Curtain” that separated Western Europe from Central and eastern Europe.

Western Forces

Despite having West Berlin under control, the western forces were under constant stress to deal with the possibility of an armed takeover by eastern forces a a result of the city being so far in East German territory. Despite the difficulty of maintain occupation, the US considered the city and its economic success a valuable symbol of the virtues of a capitalist society and so invested heavily in protection of this symbol. Despite many attempts to negotiate, the two sides could not come to a resolution and the Soviet party simply waited for the new US administration to come into power. Still, no resolve was met with the new government, in fact, the then president of the US stationed 130,000 more troops in west Germany. This resulted in the construction of the wall, effectively separating East and West Germany.

Thankfully the wall was officially demolished in June, 1990 and this ridiculous separation of people no longer exists.

 

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