Kennedy and the Berlin WallNovember 9, 2017 – 06:24 pm

Kennedy and the Berlin Wall

By Michael O’Brien After [the]Vienna [Conference], events turned sour for Khrushchev. Instead of retreating, Kennedy held firm. The Soviets were spending a fortune subsidizing the collapsing East German economy. The GDR’s leader, Walter Ulbricht, had few options as refugees took flight to the West, including physicians, engineers, teachers, and other professionals. Between 1945 and 1960 nearly 4.3 million Germans had fled the German Democratic Republic…

West Berlin WallOctober 10, 2017 – 05:38 pm

West Berlin Wall

Willy Brandt also called for prudence, but he held on to the hope of overcoming the separation, saying Never could man be kept permanently enslaved … We will never come to terms with the brutal division of this city, with the unnatural division of our country. Helpless onlookers in the West The East acts - and what does the West do? The West does NOTHING! read the headline of the mass-circulation Bild newspaper three days after the Wall went up…

Berlin Wall constructionOctober 7, 2017 – 05:22 pm

Berlin Wall construction

Editor s note: Originally published on Aug. 23, 1961, this article from the DER SPIEGEL archive was originally entitled, City Commanders: They Didn t Hear a Thing. For an analysis of the article by a Berlin historian, click here. Whatever happens in East Berlin, we stand by West Berlin. - British Ambassador to West Germany Sir Christopher Steel, after a tour of East Berlin. Applause followed the young men as they made their way slowly through…

Berlin Wall coming down videoSeptember 28, 2017 – 04:57 pm

Berlin Wall coming down video

The Berlin Wall forcibly split families and communities for decades and between 1961 and 1989, claimed the lives of 80 people trying to sneak across from the communist east to the democratic west. Passage through the wall was strictly controlled by guards equipped with machine guns, search lights and vicious attack dogs. These three men and one woman in the video had clambered over roofs and walls to sneak to the water which they needed to cross to…

Reagan and the Berlin WallSeptember 25, 2017 – 04:53 pm

Reagan and the Berlin Wall

Today marks the anniversary of one of the most important moments of the 20th century but an event that most Americans seem to barely remember. It was the day the Berlin Wall came crashing down 20 years ago. It was dramatic evidence that the Soviet Union was unraveling and that international communism was on its last legs. Perhaps most important, the fall of the wall was a conclusive sign that, after a titanic struggle spanning two generations after…

JFK Berlin Wall speechSeptember 16, 2017 – 04:39 pm

JFK Berlin Wall speech

At the end of World War II, the victorious Allied powers divided Germany into four zones. Three of those—controlled by the United States, the United Kingdom and France, respectively—became democratic West Germany, whereas the one controlled by the Soviet Union became communist East Germany. Berlin, the former capital, was similarly split despite being located squarely within East Germany’s borders, a situation that rankled the Soviet Union. In June…

Berlin Wall was builtAugust 26, 2017 – 03:54 pm

Berlin Wall was built

Few symbols better captured the Cold War divide between western Europe and the Soviet bloc than the Berlin Wall, a concrete and barbed wire barrier that divided Germany’s largest city for nearly 30 years. As World War II wound to a close, Germany and Berlin were divided into four zones, each administered by one of the allied powers. Because Berlin was in Germany’s eastern half, the city’s British, French and U.S.-administered zones were fully surrounded…

Berlin Wall collapseAugust 20, 2017 – 03:53 pm

Berlin Wall collapse

Palestinian activists damage the Israeli security barrier to mark the 25th anniversary of the demolition of the Berlin Wall, in Bir Nabala, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. Photo by AP Text size related articles By Nir Hasson | Sep. 23, 2014 | 2:33 AM By Geir Moulson | Nov. 8, 2014 | 11:29 PM As the world marks the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s collapse Sunday, Palestinians knocked a hole through an altogether different wall this weekend. Palestinian…

Why did the Berlin Wall fall?August 17, 2017 – 03:47 pm

Why did the Berlin Wall fall?

Sooner or later, of course, the Wall would have disappeared. “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this Wall, ” Ronald Reagan demanded in his speech in June 1987 in front of the sealed Brandenburg Gate. But no one listening that day could have dreamt that within two and a half years, precisely that would have happened. Only 24 hours before the crossing points were opened on 9 November 1989, Helmut Kohl, the West German Chancellor, was in Poland, assuring Lech…

Berlin Wall crisisMay 22, 2017 – 12:06 pm

Berlin Wall crisis

On November 10, 1958, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev delivered a speech in which he demanded that the Western powers of the United States, Great Britain and France pull their forces out of West Berlin within six months. This ultimatum sparked a three year crisis over the future of the city of Berlin that culminated in 1961 with the building of the Berlin Wall. The division of Germany and its capital city of Berlin among the four victors of the Second…