The day the Berlin Wall fell – level 3
On August 13, 1961, East German police start to install barbed wire and cut off all ties between the eastern part and the western part of Berlin. Their work is very precise. They block tram racks, brick up metro stations, and cut telephone lines.
The activity is a response by East German government to the incredible amount of its citizens who are leaving East Germany. An estimated 3.5 million people have already fled since the division of Germany. It makes about 20% of the entire East German population.
In just a few weeks, the barbed wire is replaced by a concrete wall which is very well guarded by over 7,000 soldiers. Now, people can’t easily travel between the two parts of Berlin. It’s extremely difficult to climb over the 155-kilometer long Berlin Wall.
The Berlin Wall becomes a symbol of the Cold War. It divides one of the largest cities in Europe. It divides families, friends, and it symbolically divides the world into two parts of different ideologies.
28 long years after its construction, the situation in Europe starts to change. The Soviet Union is falling apart and this also affects East Germany.
On November 9, 1989, the borders are open. Thousands of Berliners from both parts of Berlin meet at the famous Brandenburg Gate. They are happy. Relatives and friends are finally able to live in one united city.
Difficult words: barbed wire (wire with short sharp points), ties (connections), brick up (to build a wall to block something), estimated (about), fled (one of four equal parts), entire (whole), fall apart (to break into pieces), ideology (a system of ideas).
What were the immediate effects of the fall of the Berlin Wall on East Germany and Europe?
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