30,415 GDR citizens fled to West Berlin in July 1961, which was the highest number of refugees per month since 1953. After that event the GDR started with the building of the Berlin Wall on August 13th, even though just in June 1961 First Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party, Walter Ulbricht, had declared “Nobody intends to build a wall”.
After years of a divided Germany, dramatic events like the Berlin Blockade, and many frightening attempts of East-Berliners fleeing the repressive country GDR, the Berlin Wall fell on November 9th, 1989 .
Anchorman Hans Joachim Friedrichs proclaimed then on ARD’s Tagesthemen, “This is a historic day. East Germany has announced that, starting immediately, its borders are open to everyone. The GDR is opening its borders … the gates in the Berlin Wall stand open.”
The Berlin Wall was a phenomena not only for foreigners, but also for Germans who were non-Berliners. It seemed strange how within a country one part of a capital city belonged to a different regime. The Berlin Wall and its historical situation inspired writers and filmmakers around the world, and continues to stay a topic of great interest even nowadays .
“Deutsche Lese-Ecke” on California Germans
Stay tuned for quite a different Berlin Wall story by CaliforniaGermans’ author Dieter Kermas tomorrow.
“Welche Mauer?”, a short story written all in German, will also start our “Deutsche Lese-Ecke” category, where you will be able to find periodic new postings of short stories, poems and excerpts of larger works exclusively in German.Sources: Berlin.de, wikipedia Photo: wikipedia .
- Berlin Wall Dedication in Mountain View (californiagermans.com)
- Where’s the Berlin Wall now? 10 surprising locations (cnn.com)