The Berlin Wall | A city divided between East and West by the Cold War
CHANNEL | BBC Television Service
FIRST BROADCAST | 11 May 1959
DURATION | 15 minutes 11 seconds
It's with surprising ease that Robert Kee steps across the border from East to West Berlin as, before the erection of the wall, the division that split the city was all but invisible. In his report for 'Panorama', Kee hears from young Berliners, a generation facing a crisis that is not of their making. As East Berlin tries to make the best of the situation, West Berlin undergoes extensive reconstruction. But one significant building project is yet to come...
In November 1958, Nikita Khrushchev issued an ultimatum to the Western powers to make West Berlin a 'demilitarised free' city. Although Khrushchev gave them six months to reach an agreement on how this was to be done, the deadline lapsed. As mentioned in Robert Kee's report, at the time this programme was broadcast, the Western powers were in talks in Geneva to find a peaceful solution to the crisis, but to no avail. Further meetings in Paris (May 1960) and Vienna (June 1961) were similarly unsuccessful. In the meantime, the torrent of evacuees from East Germany gave Khrushchev the excuse he needed to put into place his plans to close the East-West Berlin border for good.
Is war the only solution to the rising tensions between East and West?
British Prime Minister Clement Attlee visits an embattled West Berlin.
Mass airlifts break Soviet hold on Berlin.
Interviews with refugees from the Russian zone in Berlin.
Life in Berlin before the wall.
'Berlin presents the most crucial problem which faces mankind today.'
A BBC dispatch from Berlin on the military build-up there.
Ed Murrow is interviewed on his return from West Berlin.
The BBC reports from the scene as the Berlin Wall is constructed.
Robin Day reports on the newly built Berlin Wall.
Edward Kennedy slips quietly into East Berlin.
A Christmas truce for the people of Cold War Berlin.
HM Queen Elizabeth II visits West Berlin at the height of the Cold War.
Andrew Sachs shows his wife around East and West Berlin.
Reporting live from Berlin at the dawn of a new era for the city and the world.
The formal reunification of Germany ends 45 years of divided nationhood.
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