Why was the Berlin Wall erected in Berlin?

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I understand the divide between East and West, but why was the Wall erected specifically in Berlin?

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14 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because of the name, where else you gonna erect something called the Berlin wall!

But also the city was isolated into zones controlled by different powers, and people wanted to leave the Soviet controlled areas and the Soviets did not want this as it made them look bad; so they built walls to keep people from leaving as it was a bad look.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Germany was split into East and West but both sides wanted the capital Berlin even though it was in East Germany. So they split the city in half as well – and later a wall was built around the Western half (by the Eastern side) to stop Easterners getting in.

Anonymous 0 Comments

At the end of WWII Germany was divided into 4 sectors: British, Freach, American and Soviet. Berlin, also, was divided into 4 sectors in the same way. France, Britain and the US created the Federal Republic of Germany out of their sectors while the Soviet sector became the German Democratic Republic. The sectors of Berlin were associated with the respective sectors of the rest of Germany.

As Berlin is surrounded by the soviet sector outside the city, in 1949 West Berlin was blockaded by the Soviets to try to gain control of all Berlin but the allies staged the Berlin Airlift, to supply West Berlin, and the blockade did not succeed.

The border between the two parts of Germany was closed, but with the failure of the blockade of West Berlin, transit road and rail links between west Berlin and the rest of West Germany were established.

With the economic success of west Germany relative to the East, a lot of East Germans wanted to move west. They could not cross the border directly, but they could go to East Berlin, walk into West Berlin, and then use the transit roads to go to the west.

The Berlin Wall was built to close this escape route for East Germans wanting to escape to the west.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The whole Inner German Border was eventually closed off to prevent crossings, but the part in Berlin was first and highest profile

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because communism was working so great, they literally had to build walls to stop people getting the hell away from it.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The east west split came from the occupation of Germany after WWII. Towards the end of WWII the major allies had conferences where they decided not only how to invade Germany but what to do once Germany surrendered. It was clear that the peace deal after WWI was not working so they wanted a full occupation. It was decided that each ally would occupy the territory they captured. In addition to this Berlin as the capitol city would further be occupied by all four, each with their own sector. It turned out that Berlin was captured by the Soviets, not surprising considering how far east it is but there were a great effort by the American, British and French trying to capture Berlin before the Soviets. So Berlin ended up in the Soviet sector of Germany but the city itself was split into an American, British, French and Soviet sector. After some time rebuilding the cold war intensified which was when the Berlin wall started construction in order to prevent Germans living in the Soviet sector of Berlin from escaping into West Berlin and then possibly fly to West Germany.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Germany as a whole was divided between the western and eastern allies.

Berlin the former capital of Germany was inside the part that would become Eastern Germany. The city itself mirroring the country was divided between the allies.

This lead the result where there was half a city controlled by the western allies surrounded on all sides by communist controlled territory.

The soviets controlled the eastern half of the city and the surrounding countryside.

So you had this tiny island of capitalism inside a see of communism.

Initially Germans could move relatively freely between the different occupied zones.

Some even commuted for work from east to west Berlin or the other way around.

As things evolved over time, many people found that they might have a better life in the west than the east. Things might not be too bad for the common worker, but educated and skilled workers could get a much higher standard of living in western parts of Germany and Berlin.

There were some who went the other way going from the west to the east out of ideological reasons, but the number of people going from communist to capitalist were much higher.

The leadership of the communists thought this would be a problem things would look bad if their best and brightest kept leaving their country to go to the competition.

So they shut down the border and made it harder for people to freely move from one side to the other.

Eventually Walter Ulbricht the leader of East Germany declared that nobody had any intention of building a wall, which was a bit weird as nobody had asked about that.

Shortly afterwards a wall was build.

The wall primarily separated east and west Berlin. The border went straight though the heart of the city.

The border was also fortified around West-Berlin from the other side so it was completely encircled by a strong border.

Additionally the border between the two Germany’s was also build up.

It is just that there was more room to build traditional border fortifications on the border between two countries or the border separating West-Berlin from the surrounding countryside.

The Berlin Wall part that went right through the city itself was famous because it was so centrally located and right next to were people lived and worked.

For decades until the fall of the Berlin wall West Berlin remained a small island of western life inside the communist dominated territory.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It was to stop a brain drain. A big problem for the DDR (East Germany) was that a lot of their highly educated citizens could defect very easily by pretty much walking into West Berlin and applying for FDR (West German) citizenship.

So, the decision was made to build the wall around the western part of Berlin in order to prevent this from happening

Anonymous 0 Comments

The main thing to realise is that because Berlin was the capital, it was also divided into East and West occupation zones. So West Berlin was occupied by the western allies and treated as an outpost of west Germany, even though it was a 200km east of the main border and completely surrounded by Soviet occupied East Germany.

So the Soviet-backed communist East Germans had a pocket of western capitalist territory smack bang in the middle of their capital city. In the beginning people could literally just walk a couple of blocks across town to western territory and they could escape the DDR to the enemy west.

So the soviets built a wall around West Berlin, not to keep west Berliners in, but to keep the East Germans out.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The important thing to realise is that Berlin wasn’t on the border between East and West Germany, but was an Enclave deep into East Germany. The only access to West Berlin from the rest of West Germany was a single road through East Germany. This was controlled by East Germany but the East German government allowed West Germans (and other foreign visitors legally in West Germany) free passage along the road.

The border between East and West Germany was secured, patrolled and fenced/walled off, but Berlin had a particularly secure border, because this was a place where escaping to West Germany was very easy simply by walking across.