Berlin Wall

In 1949, the French, British and American zones amalgamated to become the Federal Republic of Germany and the Soviet zone became the German Democratic Republic. This amalgamation was reflected within the four zones of Berlin. The three zones of the western allies became West Berlin and the Soviet zone, East Berlin.

West Germany and West Berlin developed into a western capitalist society with a democratic parliamentary government and a social market economy. East Germany and East Berlin Established an authoritarian government with a Soviet- style command economy.

Whilst East Germany became one of the richest and most advanced countries in the Eastern bloc, many of its citizens looked to the West for political freedoms and economic prosperity.

From 1949 to 1961 large numbers of skilled workers and professionals commuted to work each day from East to West Berlin. Many West Berliners travelled into East Berlin to do their shopping as prices were much lower. Many East Berliners experiencing life Western Way either by visiting West Berlin or accessing Western TV and radio broadcasts decide to move to the West for a more comfortable way of life. To stem this flow the East German government closed the frontier between East and West in 1958. By July 1961, 30,000 East Germans were fleeing each month. Most of these refugees were young skilled workers whom the East could not afford to lose. The survival of East Germany was threatened and the solution to this problem was the Berlin Wall.