Thursday, August 13, 2015

54 Years Ago Today in Cold War History - The Berlin Wall

In response to the flight of tens of thousands of German citizens to the West, East Germany decided to close their borders and started construction of the Berlin Wall 54 years ago today. It was the start to physically construct the figurative Iron Curtain that Winston Churchill spoke of in his 1946 speech.

Most of the border crossings across the divide between east and west had been closed and Berlin became a place that an East German citizen could cross successfully. It was closed eventually also, first with barbed wire, then a block wall with guards, open zones, a shoot to kill order, and then a very tall concrete wall . It stayed in place for a little over 38 years, finally being opened on November 9, 1989. As they say, the rest is history.

Here is the best website I found that explains it all -

Freedom cannot be contained by a wall, it came down eventually!

Here is a compilation of photographs from that era -

At first it was just barbed wire

Then a block wall hastily erected
and open areas with mines

Shoot to kill orders came next

A taller wall was constructed

A fortified border to keep citizens in against their will but they still kept leaving

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Where did you serve? Military or Civilian? Stateside or Overseas. Fulda Gap? Berlin? NATO? CIA? State Department? The Dew Line? On a Missile Battery? Down in a Silo? At Sea? Under the Sea? In the Air? According to the VA over 26 million Vets are still alive. I'd bet that most served in the 1945-1991 time frame and I'd like to share your story on this blog. As long as it isn't still classified, email me with your story and I will post it here.