THE BERLIN WALL By Mr Crowe www.SchoolHistory.co.uk

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THE BERLIN WALL By Mr Crowe www.SchoolHistory.co.uk
By Mr Crowe
Another Cold War crisis
• Background
• East – West rivalry
• Berlin divided – contrast the two halves.
WEST: Prosperous,
helped by US, attracted
people from the East.
Seen by USSR as
infection in the heart of
Communist East
EAST: Much less
prosperous and under
Communist control
Crossing Points
• There were twelve crossing points from East to
• West but only two were available to non• Germans
• Tourists from abroad, diplomats and military
• personnel were only allowed into East Berlin at
• one crossing point Berlin Friedrichstarsse
• This became known as Checkpoint Charlie
• The two other main crossing points were
• Helmstedt - Checkpoint Alpha
• Dreilinden - Checkpoint Bravo
• Total length around West Berlin
91 miles
• Border between East and West Berlin 43.1 km 27 miles
• Number of watch towers
• Number of bunkers
• Concrete wall height
• Anti –tank trenches
65 miles
Focus on refugees from East Germany or
East Berlin to West
1951- 165,648
1953- 331,390
1955- 252,870
1957- 261,622
1959- 143,917
1961- 207,026
1962- 21,356
1963- 42,632
1964- 41,876
What they wanted
The West
• Prevent USSR from
gaining control of East
• To see a united,
democratic Germany
The East
• Maintain control over E
• Make the West recognise
it as an independent state
• Stop the flood of refugees
especially the skilled and
professional ones – much
needed in E Germany
1958-Soviet demands
West should:
• Recognise GDR
• Withdraw troops from West Berlin
• Hand their access routes over to the East
German government
Khrushchev bluffed that he would hand East
Berlin over to the GDR. West refused and
Khrushchev backed down.
Events of 1961
• June-Vienna Summit
• Khrushchev pressured new American President
John F Kennedy
Demanded withdrawal of Western forces from
West Berlin – Kennedy refused
July – Western powers reject Khrushchev’s Vienna
July 23 – Flow of refugees from East to West =
1000 a day
July 25 – Kennedy repeats support for West Berlin
and announced increase in arms spending
Events cont’d
• 13-22 August – Khrushchev and East
German govt. orders barbed wire barrier
across Berlin, followed by a wall of
concrete blocks
• All of West Berlin encircled apart from
access points
• This was against the Four Power agreement
reached in Paris on 20 June 1949.
Did Kennedy really mind the wall?
He had protected West Berlin and
he never promised to protect East
• Important results for Berlin, Germany and
the Cold War
• Berlin was divided, free access ended
between East and West, many families split,
many attempted to escape to the Westbetween 1961 and 1989, 86 people died
trying to cross the Berlin Wall
Results cont’d
• Kennedy accepted the Soviet action. He refused to
use US troops to pull down the wall to avoid war.
Kennedy looked weak but West turned it into
propaganda – why if Communism was so
attractive was a wall needed?
1963 – Kennedy visited West Berlin – pledged
continued support – ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ (I am a
Berliner) – famous speech
Khrushchev lost face by failing to remove the
West from Berlin
LINK:CNN - Cold War-The Wall
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