#ThisDayinHistory 1961, Shortly after midnight on East German soldiers begin laying down barbed wire and bricks as a barrier between Soviet-controlled East Berlin and the democratic western section of the city – @AceHistoryNews

#AceHistoryNews – Aug.13: After World War II, defeated Germany had been divided into Soviet, American, British and French zones of occupation. The city of Berlin, though technically part of the Soviet zone, was also split, with the Soviets taking the eastern part of the city.

https://t.me/HistoricalPics/6818 After a massive Allied airlift in June 1948 foiled a Soviet attempt to blockade West Berlin, the eastern section was drawn even more tightly into the Soviet fold

Over the next 12 years, cut off from its western counterpart and basically reduced to a Soviet satellite, East Germany saw 2.5 -3 million of its citizens head to West Germany in search of better opportunities. By 1961, some 1,000 East Germans were leaving every day. In August, the Communist leader of East Germany, got the go-ahead from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to begin the sealing off of all access between East and West Berlin. Soldiers began the work over the night of August 12-13, laying more than 100 miles of barbed wire. The wire was soon replaced by a 96-mile-long wall of concrete blocks, complete with guard towers, machine gun posts and searchlights. Many Berlin residents on that first morning found themselves suddenly cut off from friends or family members in the other half of the city. Led by their mayor, Willi Brandt, West Berliners demonstrated against the wall. The Berlin Wall became one of the most powerful and iconic symbols of the Cold War.

From 1961 to 1989, a total of 5,000 East Germans escaped; many more tried and failed. High profile shootings of some would-be defectors only intensified the Western world’s hatred of the Wall.

Finally, on November 9, 1989, masses of East and West Germans alike gathered at the Berlin Wall and began to climb over and dismantle it. As this symbol of Cold War repression was destroyed, East and West Germany became one nation again, signing a formal treaty of unification on October 3, 1990. #Berlin #BerlinWall #ColdWar #AceHistoryNews

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