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

What Were the Global Sentiments Surrounding the Berlin Wall?

by | Oct 17, 2023 | Walking Tour

The Berlin Wall was a symbol of the deep divisions that existed during the Cold War. Erected by the German Democratic Republic (GDR) on August 13, 1961, the wall not only physically separated East and West Berlin but also became a powerful metaphor for the ideological and political conflict between the communist and capitalist worlds.

The Cold War and the Berlin Wall

To better understand the global sentiment towards the Berlin Wall, we must first grasp the historical context of the Cold War. After World War II, Europe was divided into two political spheres: the Western Bloc, led by the United States, and the Eastern Bloc, led by the Soviet Union. Germany, which had been defeated and occupied by the allies, was also split into two: West Germany and East Germany.

The construction of the Berlin Wall came as a response to the mass emigration of East Germans to the more prosperous West. The GDR saw this brain drain as a threat to its political stability and economic viability. Consequently, they built the wall to prevent East Germans from fleeing to the West.

Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc Countries

The Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies, including East Germany, strongly supported the construction of the Berlin Wall. They saw it as a necessary measure to protect the socialist order and prevent the West from undermining it. The USSR depicted the wall as a defense against imperialism, framing it as a barrier that prevented the infiltration of capitalist propaganda into socialist territory.

Western Bloc and International Reactions

Within the Western Bloc, there was widespread condemnation of the wall. Western leaders, including US President John F. Kennedy, denounced its construction and called for its removal. They saw the wall as a physical manifestation of the oppressive nature of the communist regime and a violation of basic human rights. Western media portrayed the wall as a symbol of oppression, further fueling negative sentiments towards the GDR.

Internationally, the consensus among non-communist countries was predominantly against the wall. It became a stain on the global stage, representing the division of a city and a nation. Thus, the Berlin Wall came to symbolize not only the Cold War but also the broader struggle for freedom and democracy.

Impact on Germans and Berliners

The construction of the Berlin Wall had a profound impact on both East and West Germans, particularly those living in Berlin. Families and friends were separated, and people were cut off from their jobs, schools, and communities. The wall became a constant reminder of the political and ideological divisions, causing immense emotional distress.

In West Germany, the wall was viewed as a physical representation of Soviet oppression. West German citizens saw it as a stark reminder of the threat posed by the Eastern Bloc and a call for solidarity against communism. However, for East Germans, the wall was a symbol of confinement and suppression. They faced strict border control, limited personal freedoms, and constant surveillance by the Stasi, the East German secret police.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall and Global Joy

On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, marking an important turning point. The event was celebrated worldwide as a triumph for freedom and a symbolic end to the Cold War. The joyous scenes of Berliners crossing the wall and reuniting with loved ones were broadcast globally, generating a wave of enthusiasm and optimism.

The fall of the Berlin Wall was viewed as a victory for democracy and a step towards the reunification of Germany. It symbolized the power of peaceful protests and grassroots movements. The event had a significant impact on global politics, marking the beginning of the end for the Eastern Bloc.

Conclusion

The construction and eventual fall of the Berlin Wall triggered a range of emotions and reactions among people worldwide. While the Soviet Union and its allies supported its creation, the wall was widely criticized in the Western Bloc and internationally. For Germans, the wall was a constant reminder of the divisions within their nation.

Ultimately, the fall of the Berlin Wall brought immense joy and hope for a better future. It demonstrated the power of unity and led to the reunification of East and West Germany, symbolizing the end of the Cold War and the triumph of freedom over oppression.

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