After the end of the war, the world was divided into the democracies of the West and the communist states of the East. Berlin became the border between these two ideologies and the front line of the Cold War. On the night of 12 August 1961, East German soldiers sealed off the border between East Berlin and West Berlin. Nobody was allowed to cross, and neighbourhoods, friends and families became separated. Some people made desperate bids to escape, and a few even died trying. Over the next few years, the authorities strengthened the barriers and it became known as the Berlin Wall.
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- First broadcast:
- 18 March 2010
The class should investigate the growing division between East and West Germany and particularly between the countries of NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Discuss why Berlin became such a flashpoint and the impact of the building of the wall on international relations. Hold a debate on the statement “The Cold War was not cold for the people of Berlin”.