13 August 2021 - 60th Anniversary of the Berlin Wall

DaManBugs

LE
Book Reviewer
The erection of the Berlin Wall began on 13 August 1961, along with a hardening of the border to West Germany and other countries sharing a border with the GDR. It was breached on 09 November 1989 with no-one particularly missing it once it had gone.


It's construction, although roundly condemned at the time, probably made an important contribution to the Cold War remaining that way and not turning "hot". For there were many incidents on the borders to West Germany and West Berlin that could easily have triggered an all-out war.

Although the Berlin Wall is mainly known for the many family tragedies associated with it, there were also a few comical and even farcical incidents. Finally getting rid of it on that fateful evening in November 1989 should remind us that nothing is forever.

MsG
 
"nothing is forever" A Carrington Event could put us all back to the stone age tomorrow. All good fun.

Random tube reference for Carrington Event.
 
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The erection of the Berlin Wall began on 13 August 1961, along with a hardening of the border to West Germany and other countries sharing a border with the GDR. It was breached on 09 November 1989 with no-one particularly missing it once it had gone.


It's construction, although roundly condemned at the time, probably made an important contribution to the Cold War remaining that way and not turning "hot". For there were many incidents on the borders to West Germany and West Berlin that could easily have triggered an all-out war.

Although the Berlin Wall is mainly known for the many family tragedies associated with it, there were also a few comical and even farcical incidents. Finally getting rid of it on that fateful evening in November 1989 should remind us that nothing is forever.

MsG
Truth be told I know quite a few people in the one-time west zone, who mourn the wall, and would be quite happy to build a bigger one on the foundations of the old.
 

DaManBugs

LE
Book Reviewer
Truth be told I know quite a few people in the one-time west zone, who mourn the wall, and would be quite happy to build a bigger one on the foundations of the old.
That's right! I know quite a few such folks too. But there were also a fair number on the "East" side who wanted the same.

MsG
 
I still remember the night it came down, all those who had suffered under capitalism could finally flee to the Socialist East.
 
It's construction, although roundly condemned at the time, probably made an important contribution to the Cold War remaining that way and not turning "hot". For there were many incidents on the borders to West Germany and West Berlin that could easily have triggered an all-out war.
.

MsG
Utter shite.
 
Truth be told I know quite a few people in the one-time west zone, who mourn the wall, and would be quite happy to build a bigger one on the foundations of the old.
I lived in Marxzell (irony overload) in the Albtal when it came down. I remember the fireworks and celebrations being reported on the TV on re-unification day, but the atmosphere in the village was sombre. No one was partying there.
 

DaManBugs

LE
Book Reviewer
Utter shite.
That seems very much like a knee-jerk response, but you might want to revise that opinion.

Although various western governments made a lot of loud noises and sent diplomatic notes at the time expressing their outrage at such a drastic measure, they were, in truth, totally thankful and breathed a huge sigh of relief, since the demarcation line that became a border was a constant source of high tension between East and West. That was in the time of the Cold War. Certainly it was “cold”, but it was still a war, with two implacable and opposing rival political and ideological forces facing each other. With a nominally open border, there was a very real danger that the Cold War could easily become “hot” in those days. There are many historic examples of wars started by clashes on borders.

The West German government, led by Chancellor Conrad Adenauer, also weakly protested, but he couldn’t even be bothered to visit the now choked-off city of West Berlin. Instead, he simply carried on with his electioneering. In fact, although he remarked that the Berlin Wall was: “a tiresome and unpleasant affair”, he also said that it was: “being played up more than was necessary” and he asked the Soviet government to tone down its statements.

Even the Chairperson of the US government’s Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, J. William Fullbright, stated that: “the East Germans have every right to close their border to West Berlin”. The American President John F. Kennedy also conceded that while the Berlin Wall wasn’t very pleasant, it was a thousand times better than war.

MsG
 
To be fair, if it wasn’t for the IGB we would have started WW3 after a mega night on the piss in a gastaette during the course of a border patrol. 3 Shock Army - bunch of pussies!
 
That seems very much like a knee-jerk response, but you might want to revise that opinion.

Although various western governments made a lot of loud noises and sent diplomatic notes at the time expressing their outrage at such a drastic measure, they were, in truth, totally thankful and breathed a huge sigh of relief, since the demarcation line that became a border was a constant source of high tension between East and West. That was in the time of the Cold War. Certainly it was “cold”, but it was still a war, with two implacable and opposing rival political and ideological forces facing each other. With a nominally open border, there was a very real danger that the Cold War could easily become “hot” in those days. There are many historic examples of wars started by clashes on borders.

The West German government, led by Chancellor Conrad Adenauer, also weakly protested, but he couldn’t even be bothered to visit the now choked-off city of West Berlin. Instead, he simply carried on with his electioneering. In fact, although he remarked that the Berlin Wall was: “a tiresome and unpleasant affair”, he also said that it was: “being played up more than was necessary” and he asked the Soviet government to tone down its statements.

Even the Chairperson of the US government’s Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, J. William Fullbright, stated that: “the East Germans have every right to close their border to West Berlin”. The American President John F. Kennedy also conceded that while the Berlin Wall wasn’t very pleasant, it was a thousand times better than war.

MsG
Nope- still shite analysis.
 

DaManBugs

LE
Book Reviewer
A tale about a particularly farcical incident and the Berlin Wall:

A rather curious feature that was only possible in the divided city of Berlin was the notorious “Lenne Triangle" (Lenné Dreieck) in the West Berlin district of Tiergarten, adjacent to the Berlin Wall in what had once been the diplomatic quarter of the city. It was a triangular area of grassland, brush and small trees about 300 metres to a side that stuck out from the Berlin Wall into West Berlin just below Potsdamer Platz and was actually East German territory. It had been tacked onto the Berlin Mitte district in 1938 in the context of a city-district reform and when the city was divided up, it became a part of Berlin, Capital of the GDR. No-one quite knows why, but when the GDR authorities were building the Berlin Wall, they didn’t include the area and merely continued with construction of the wall straight along Ebertstraße that formed the eastern boundary of the triangle, while simply erecting a flimsy fence around the rest of it. Perhaps they thought they could save a few hundred metres of bricks and mortar by doing so, who knows?

By the time I arrived in West Berlin in 1975, various forms of accommodation had been erected there, with some enterprising souls throwing up greenhouses and cultivating weed in them. There was always a very friendly and hospitable atmosphere there and it was a good place to obtain drugs of any description while being completely risk-free for the "entrepreneurs", since the East Germans had no interest at all either in the site itself or the conflict it was causing because it was on the other side of the wall, and the West Berlin "Polizei" had no jurisdiction there because it was GDR territory, indeed they weren’t even allowed to set foot on the site. Any mention of the Lenne Triangle to the West Berlin Old Bill was guaranteed to cause them to spit their dentures into their Corn Flakes in frustration.

Quite surprisingly, that bizarre situation continued until 1988, when East and West Berlin came to an agreement on an exchange of land, and it became rather Monty-Pythonesque at the end. The handover of the various bits of land was scheduled to take place on 01 July 1988, but the whole site was swamped with alternativos and anarchists from the West Berlin scene at the end of May 1988, allegedly to preserve the flora and fauna that had sprung up. There was nothing that the West Berlin authorities could do to stop that, since the Lenne Triangle was still legally GDR territory. When the day finally arrived, hundreds of West Berlin Old Bill stormed the area at dawn, but they couldn't stop almost 200 of the occupiers scaling the Berlin Wall on ladders and dropping down into Berlin, Capital of the GDR, where they were picked up by trucks belonging to the Stasi, who'd been informed about the event by sympathisers in West Berlin. After being driven to a works canteen and treated to a hearty breakfast, the “escapees” made their way back to West Berlin in dribs and drabs via the official crossing-points.

MsG
 
Truth be told I know quite a few people in the one-time west zone, who mourn the wall, and would be quite happy to build a bigger one on the foundations of the old.
Too true. My In laws lived in a village called Phillipstahl Werra which was divided by the IGB. There was an East German watch tower right in the middle of the bridge over the River Werra and the town on the other side (Vacha) was in “Ossieland”.
The contrast between the rich West and the run down East was obvious to me in those early days of my relationship with my wife to be - this was in the late seventies. I was fascinated by it all and often used to walk up to the top of a nearby hill just to stare at the other side.
When the Berlin Wall came down, the town of Phillipstahl was featured on the front page of a number of German Newspapers - it was a happy, amazing time for many people living in the area.
One of the first things my In Laws asked me to do for them was to drive over the bridge and up into the hills beyond - it was where they had spent much of their youth when they were courting.
My Mother in Law was particularly happy with events, although Father in Law was more cautious and actually said “let’s wait and see”.
Roll on a year after the fall of the Wall, my in Laws were not very happy, as their lovely village was no longer crime free and burglaries were rife. There were numerous arrests of scumbags who were coming across from what used to be the East, in order to burgle houses to augment their meagre incomes.
I still recall my Mother in Law saying loudly one night, “they should put the whole bloody lot of it back up and add another metre on top!”
Then add the “Ossie Tax” into the equation!
Having said all that, the fall of the Wall, the dismantling of the IGB and the reunification of Germany was a great thing imho.
 
That seems very much like a knee-jerk response, but you might want to revise that opinion.

Although various western governments made a lot of loud noises and sent diplomatic notes at the time expressing their outrage at such a drastic measure, they were, in truth, totally thankful and breathed a huge sigh of relief, since the demarcation line that became a border was a constant source of high tension between East and West. That was in the time of the Cold War. Certainly it was “cold”, but it was still a war, with two implacable and opposing rival political and ideological forces facing each other. With a nominally open border, there was a very real danger that the Cold War could easily become “hot” in those days. There are many historic examples of wars started by clashes on borders.

The West German government, led by Chancellor Conrad Adenauer, also weakly protested, but he couldn’t even be bothered to visit the now choked-off city of West Berlin. Instead, he simply carried on with his electioneering. In fact, although he remarked that the Berlin Wall was: “a tiresome and unpleasant affair”, he also said that it was: “being played up more than was necessary” and he asked the Soviet government to tone down its statements.

Even the Chairperson of the US government’s Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, J. William Fullbright, stated that: “the East Germans have every right to close their border to West Berlin”. The American President John F. Kennedy also conceded that while the Berlin Wall wasn’t very pleasant, it was a thousand times better than war.

MsG

But the mine fields were there to deter people leaving East Germany for the West not to stop the cold war going hot
 
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