10 events you did not know about the Berlin Wall

10 events you did not know about the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall, which was demolished just 25 years ago, is one of the most powerful symbols of the 20th century, according to the extensive tribute to RT. But how much do we know about the wall separating the most important German city in Eastern and Western blocks?

1st Event

More than 3 million East Germans managed to flee to West Germany between 1945 and 1961, most of them through Berlin, while the German Democratic Republic (GDR) gradually stepped up its borders and restricted the movement of its citizens. The number of fugitives corresponds to one fifth of the then GDR population. They were the youngest, the most dynamic and belonged to the better educated class of East German society. 
Moscow was unhappy with this phenomenon of flight, and Soviet leader Yuri Adroop criticized the GDR leadership for failing to "speak the language of intellectuals."
2nd Event
50,000 Berliners - known as Graenzgenger - crossed the wall every day to work in the West, earning higher pay while living in social housing and not contributing to the Eastern economy. However, this was not the biggest problem. Thanks to West Germany's ability to market a wider range of consumer goods, a four to six-fold difference in the currency value of the eastern currency with the western currency was created. But as the socialist economy deliberately subsidized basic consumer goods in East Germany, coupled with the power of the western currency, the difference in commodity prices was even more noticeable. This has led Graenzgenger to exchange their money in the black market, and not only these but the Western Berliners, easily buy deceptively cheap East products, since of course they did not intend to buy Adidas shoes or Volkswagen cars.
3rd Event
The Berlin Wall divided the city and ideologically. Imagine half of London being transferred to the middle of Tehran, or half of Seoul to Pyongyang. The comparison was astonishing and indicative of the advantages and weaknesses of each regime. The very existence of a more desirable and prosperous city, a step from the East German leadership, has provoked its effectiveness. An ideological framework was necessary to substantiate the differences. The Berlin Wall was named from the Eastern Bloc as the Anti-fascist Defense Force, aimed at preventing entry into Berlin of enemy elements. Ultimately, however, they kept the Easterners from escaping to the West.
4th Event
On the other hand, William Brant, mayor of Berlin and then Chancellor of West Germany, baptized the fortification construction of "The Wall of Shame". The term was quickly adopted by the Western media.
Fifth Event
While the world powers were entangled in myriad geostrategic negotiations and ultimatums about the future of Germany, and in particular about the Berlin regime, the wall was designed and executed implicitly and speedily, with documents stating that precise architectural plans were communicated to senior executives of the GDR for less than a week before construction works commence.
6th Event
Here are the briefs that characterize the historic Wall, shortly before it was demolished in 1989:  
Total perimeter - 155 km. 
Electric fence: 127.5 km 
Prison Guard: 302  
Soldiers on the lookout: 11,000 

7th Event
In fact, the Wall was not built as a single pre-designed structure, but by a series of four different walls, starting with two barbed wire, and then with two concrete walls. The last of these, the iconic Grenzmauer 75, consisted of graffiti-adorned (on the west side) cement blocks that are still usually associated with the Berlin Wall.
8th Event
Inside the Wall, ironically, there was a church of the 19th century, the temple of Reconciliation. The flock of the temple was mostly West Germans and when the temple ended up on the atheistic east side, only the soldiers stayed to visit it. Thus, in 1985, the military leadership decided to demolish the religious monument with the use of dynamite, as they thought it prevented visibility in adjacent outposts.
9th Event
In total, about 5,000 people are believed to have escaped through the Berlin Wall during its existence while trying to escape about 10,000 more. For years, stories of daring getaways have become the favorite theme of the Western Media. The ingenuity of some cases really made the world around. Like the case of an acrobat hung from a high-voltage cable, or a driver who cut off his car's windshield and passed under the control bar, even hiding his mother in the trunk. But the absolute symbol of fugitives was Hans Strelczyk and Gunter Wetzel, who built an improvised balloon and flown over the wall in 1979.
10th Event
The Berlin Wall ceased to be by mistake. Günter Schabowski, spokesman for the collapse of the German regime, announced the release of travel - the citizens did not need to state the floor for crossing the border line - at a press conference at 18:53 on November 9, 1989. When asked when the regulations would come into force, said "Immediately!"
Later that evening, the government of the German Democratic Republic tried to revoke the announcement by inviting citizens to form a smooth queue in the immigration office the following morning. But it was already too late.
The media on the West, who had broadcast the Schabowski communication alive, spoke verbally with his statements, as did thousands of Berliners, from the east and west.
The result was that the Wall was occupied by thousands of people on either side, with the guards looking dimly and incapable of reacting to the lagoon that besieged them. After 28 years of not having to do anything, for the first time it was ordered that the troops take positions in full alert, but none of the commanders ever gave the command to shoot at the crowd. Besides, such a mandate might have been inapplicable.
Within a few hours of the opening of the Wall, as well as throughout the year, activists against the wall appeared with hammers and chisels trying to clear the part of the black story that led them. The fall of the Wall broke the hateful fortification symbol into tens of thousands of pieces that resulted in the personal collection of people who wanted to keep "a piece of history."

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