Then and Now — II.
Back to Berlin.
As someone pointed out previously the Berlin Wall was built to keep people in; put a stop to those in East Berlin and East Germany as a whole trying to flee to the West. But did you know that it could have been built years earlier than it actually was?
A hardening of State Communist policy and Socialist labour measures in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in the early 1950s led to the Workers Uprising on June 16, 1953, which was crushed after two days with the help of Soviet intervention. It also led to a dramatic increase in emigration out of the GDR, and it was in 1953 that a request was made of the Soviets to build a wall between East and West Berlin that would also surround all four Western sectors of the city. This initial request was rejected by Moscow, but when defections to the West had reached 1,000 a day by the summer of 1961, Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR, eventually relented. Construction on the wall began in August 1961 initially with barbed wire fencing.
📷 Pictured (top) is an aerial view of the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate after its initial construction in 1961. Pictured (below) in 2014, is the same part of Berlin as it can be seen presently.
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