Friday, August 13, 2010

Iron Curtain – Berlin Wall

Today is the day back in 1961 that the Berlin Wall was started in what was then East Germany or more properly, the Eastern Sector of Berlin. At first the barrier erected were simple obstructions that prevented the free movement of people between Eastern Sector Berlin the open and free Western Sector of Berlin (and then escape further to Free Western Germany or other countries in Europe that were open to refugees). No one it turned out wanted to into the Eastern Sector except maybe spies but a lot of civilians (almost 4 million) had streamed out of Eastern Berlin and the Russian (known back then as the Soviet Union) controlled Eastern Block countries.

The original simple barriers were later replaced with an actual 12 foot tall wall that ringed the Western Sector of the city (87 miles worth) sealing off any hopes of people leaving the east to the west. This would be expanded upon with demolition of buildings near the border and the construction of more than 100 guard towers, an open lane and yet another fence on the inner perimeter. This created a kind of no man's land or a Free Fire Zone between the two. Between 100 and 200 people were killed trying to escape the east through these barriers.

I wonder why? Was not the communist run socialist paradise not good enough for them?

The whole of the Iron Curtain was used to seal the Eastern Bloc countries off from the West, entrapping people to live in the Centrally Planned communist run countries. Although each country had its own head of state, they were considered puppets of the masters in Russia. The Cold War was fought here and on the high seas as well. Most of the Cold War was a spy or covert war but it did heat up every once in a while. Usually it was someone sprinting across the no man's land attempting to get into the West.

There were no instances of people trying to escape the West into the East.

Pictures here and some history here. Picture above taken from "The Lost Border" by Brian Rose with my thanks!

BT: Jimmy T sends.

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