When the Wall Came Down Alyssa Buren
Serge Schmemann Composition 117
Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006
“There are people in the world who really don’t understand, or they say they don’t, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin!”
This quotation is from President Kennedy’s famous speech to the West Berlin people when he went to Berlin on June 26th, 1963. He gave this speech to more than a million people. He gave a tribute to West Berlin and to freedom. After President Kennedy's speech many politicians came to West Berlin to show how much the wall was the most infamous barrier around.
When the Wall Came Down contines to explain that in East Germany, the rulers controlled everything part all life all the way down to religion. In East Germany, they rebuilt the country up and in became a strong economy. They had better living than most of Eastern Europe. At the same time, Western Germany was rebuilding into one of the most prosperous countries in Europe with the third-largest economy. The West Germans had a much better living life than the East Germans. All through the 50’s, there was no wall that separated west and east Berlin until the ruler decided that East Berlin people were leaving to the west to rapidly that they place a wall in between the city. After the wall got up, when people tried to escape the east, the border control had orders to shoot and during the walls time 244 people out of 5,000 died trying to cross.
In March of 1985, Gorbachev came to power in Russia. This began a revolution in eastern countries when people started to get more freedom. Countries started becoming freer and Hungary let off their iron wall allowing East Berlin people out to escape to West Berlin once again. Protest were now a normal thing in Berlin. Many of these protests weren’t able to be stopped by the Communists becoming a big turning point, showing their lack of power. When Serge wanted to cross from East to West, it wasn’t hard with his American Passport. It was just timely checks and sometimes they went as far as putting rods in his gas tanks to check for smuggled people.
East Politicians were having a conference about the travel laws. So people from both West and East Berlin were gathered on either side of the wall. The crowds grow so large the an officer on the East side had no choice, but to open the gates so people wouldn’t get crushed by what would soon be the collapsing of the wall in the pushing got any greater. People swarmed through the open gates. People didn’t stay in the west as they didn’t think the wall would ever be closed again. The people of Berlin began to chip at the wall as their obsession to bring the hated wall down. Reuniting Germany became a big debate. The leaders of Germany debated but then West Germany’s Chancellor decided it couldn’t wait and would work to get Germany reunited. Germany became on again to October of 1990. Once Germany was reunited, many Germans wondered if it was the right thing to do because of the large cost of reuniting.
What comes to mind when thinking of Germany reuniting? What came to my mind was the American civil war. The United States had a situation that is similar to the wall in Germany. The American civil war didn’t have a wall like Germany, but it was fighting between the same country. The American civil war was more of a physical battle than the cold war in Germany. The separation of the countries is very similar between these two events. Both of the countries had different looks on how their countries should be ran causing separation in the countries. Both of the countries had revolutions to reunite that countries into a whole again as they are today even though there still may be different views with the people.
I would recommend this book if you are interested in history and other countries. This book has a good viewpoint to look at the Berlin wall and separation from. This history has a lot more involved in it than I ever knew was all included and attached to the Berlin Wall making it interesting to read and find out new things.