Berlin Germany

August 4, 2007 at 8:39 pm Leave a comment

Today is one of the momorable day in my life. I got the chance to step my feet on the land of Hitler. Yup, trully my intention is to see myself how the Berlin Walls look like and to touch and feel it with my own hands. Though to other people it may sounds crazy but the heck with what they think…. Pertama kali saya melihat dinding yang telah rapuh dan usang itu, my heart started to beat faster. Though it is only 200 meter in length, it really showed the pain and the suffering of those who live at that time.. This is what Wikipedia said:

Construction begins, 1961

On June 15, 1961, two months before the construction of the Berlin Wall started, Walter Ulbricht stated in an international press conference, “Niemand hat die Absicht, eine Mauer zu errichten!” (No one has the intention to set up a wall). It was the first time the colloquial term Mauer (wall) had been used in this context.

The night of August 12, 1961, the leaders of East Germany attended a garden party at Döllnsee, formerly the hunting grounds of Hermann Göring. Construction of 45 km (28 miles) around the three western sectors began early on Sunday, August 13, 1961 in East Berlin. The zonal boundary had been sealed that morning by East German troops. The barrier was built by East German troops and workers, not directly involving the Soviets. It was built slightly inside East German territory to ensure that it did not encroach on West Berlin at any point; if one stood next to the West Berlin side of the barrier (and later the Wall), one was actually standing on East Berlin soil. Some streets running alongside the barrier were torn up to make them impassable to most vehicles, and a barbed-wire fence was erected, which was later built up into the full-scale Wall. It physically divided the city and completely surrounded West Berlin. During the construction of the Wall, NVA and KdA soldiers stood in front of it with orders to shoot anyone who attempted to defect. Additionally, the whole length of the border between East and West Germany was closed with chain fences, walls, minefields, and other installations (see GDR border system).

Immediate effects

Many families were split. Many East Berliners were cut off from their jobs and from chances for financial improvement; West Berlin became an isolated enclave in a hostile land. West Berliners demonstrated against the wall, led by their mayor Willy Brandt, who strongly criticised the United States for failing to respond. Allied intelligence agencies had hypothesized about a wall to stop the flood of refugees but the main candidate for its location was around the perimeter of the city.

John F. Kennedy had acknowledged in a speech on July 25, 1961, that the United States could hope to defend only West Berliners and West Germans; to attempt to stand up for East Germans would result only in an embarrassing downfall. Accordingly, the administration made polite protests at length via the usual channels, but without fervour, even though it was a violation of the postwar Four Powers Agreements, which gave the United Kingdom, France and the United States a say over the administration of the whole of Berlin. Indeed, a few months after the barbed wire went up, the U.S. government informed the Soviet government that it accepted the Wall as “a fact of international life” and would not challenge it by force.

The East German government claimed that the Wall was an “anti-fascist protection barrier” (“antifaschistischer Schutzwall”) intended to dissuade aggression from the West, despite the fact that all of the wall’s defenses pointed inward to East German territory. This position was viewed with skepticism even in East Germany; its construction had caused considerable hardship to families divided by the Wall, and the Western view that the Wall was really a means of preventing the citizens of East Germany from entering West Berlin or fleeing was widely accepted.

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Entry filed under: The Traveller.

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