Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free

How Did the Soviet Union View the Berlin Wall?

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Walking Tour

When it comes to understanding the history of the Berlin Wall, it is crucial to grasp the perspective of the Soviet Union. As a symbol of the Cold War era, the Berlin Wall represented the divide between communism and capitalism. In this article, we will explore how the Soviet Union viewed the construction and purpose of the Berlin Wall.

The Background of the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall was erected by the German Democratic Republic (GDR), commonly known as East Germany, on August 13, 1961. The primary objective of the wall was to prevent East Germans from fleeing to West Germany, which was more prosperous and offered greater political freedom.

From the Soviet perspective, maintaining control over East Germany was essential to preserving the Eastern Bloc’s influence and ideology. They saw the wall as a means of protecting socialism and preventing the loss of skilled labor and intellectuals to the West.

The Soviet Union’s Justification for the Wall

The Soviet Union, as the leading communist power at the time, supported the construction of the Berlin Wall. They considered it a necessary measure to safeguard the socialist ideals of the Eastern Bloc. The Soviet government justified the wall by highlighting several key reasons:

1. Protection from Western Influence

One of the primary concerns for the Soviet Union was the influence of the West on East Germans. The capitalist system and the democratic principles of the West were seen as a threat to the Soviet-led socialist states. By creating a physical barrier, the Soviet Union aimed to limit the contact between East and West Berlin, thereby reducing the potential for capitalist ideas to spread.

2. Preserving the Socialist System

The Soviet Union aimed to preserve the socialist system in East Germany and the entire Eastern Bloc. The construction of the Berlin Wall was perceived as crucial to maintaining control over the population and preventing any desires for a reunified Germany under capitalist principles, which would have posed a direct challenge to Soviet authority.

3. Internal and External Security

The Soviet Union and East Germany emphasized the need for internal and external security as a primary reason for the Berlin Wall. Internally, they argued that the wall was necessary to protect East Germans from the influence of the West and counterintelligence activities. Externally, the wall was justified as a response to the alleged threat of aggressive actions from NATO and West Germany.

The Political Ramifications

From the political standpoint, the construction of the Berlin Wall had several consequences for the Soviet Union. While it successfully prevented mass migration from East to West Germany, it also exacerbated the tensions of the Cold War. The wall became a powerful symbol of the Iron Curtain, further delineating the divide between the communist and capitalist worlds.

Though the wall was initially built to keep East Germans in, it also effectively prevented the infiltration of capitalist ideas into the Eastern Bloc. By maintaining control over East Germany, the Soviet Union upheld its influence over the entire region and continued to promote the expansion of communism.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Ultimately, the Berlin Wall became a symbol of oppression and sparked public outrage. The desire for freedom and reunification grew stronger, leading to peaceful demonstrations and protests. Eventually, on November 9, 1989, the wall was breached, leading to the reunification of East and West Germany.

The collapse of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 marked the end of the Cold War era. It symbolized the triumph of democracy over communism and the beginning of a new era in international relations.

Conclusion

The Soviet Union viewed the construction and existence of the Berlin Wall as a necessary measure to protect and preserve their socialist system. It was seen as a shield against the influence of the West and a means of preventing the loss of skilled labor. However, the wall also had political consequences, exacerbating tensions and eventually leading to its own demise. Understanding the Soviet perspective provides valuable insights into the historical significance of the Berlin Wall and its impact on the Cold War era.

Thank you for reading. If you're inspired by the stories of Berlin and want to delve deeper, why not join us on our Free Berlin Walking Tour? It's a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the city's rich history and vibrant culture. We look forward to welcoming you soon.

WHAT TO EXPECT

  • 3.5 hours walking tour
  • Berlin’s major highlights
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Reichstag and Berlin Wall
  • Historical sites

Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free