The Division of Berlin

by Ted Kelly

Biographical Information:

On August 13th, 1961, East Germany, in cooperation with the Soviet Union, erected a barrier around West Berlin in order to curb the flow of East German refugees into West Berlin and West Germany.

  1. Building a wall which divided the city of Berlin was a major task with major implications for the citizens of East and West Germany and the world. Nikita Khrushchev and Walter Ulbricht were uncontestedly able to construct the Berlin Wall only through a breakdown in Western Allied resolve to prevent them from doing so.
  2. Western Allies' failure to respond to the construction of the Berlin Wall caused much suffering and anxiety for West Berliners who assumed that the West had abandoned them in the face of Eastern Bloc aggression.

  3. The West had accepted the presence of the Berlin Wall form the very start and had therefore indirectly contributed to a divided Berlin.
Interesting accounts of the Berlin crisis of 1961: