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Berlin Wall W Essay

2121 words - 9 pages

To what extent was the fall of the Berlin Wall a result rather than a cause of the end of the Cold war?

The dismantling of the Berlin Wall in Nov 1989 was one of the most symbolic acts of the Cold War. It was a symbol of the changes that had swept through Europe in 1989 and of the end of the divisions that had marked the essential character of the CW: the ideological split between capitalism and communism.

In 1989, the DDR was 4o years old and the East German leadership was prepared to celerbraite its anniversary. At what should have been an event to consolidate the country, the tide was turning against the regime. Gorbachevs reforms had important consequences for the existence of E ...view middle of the document...

Gorby clearly saw East Germany needed change, but Honecker remained hostile and antagonistic about Gorby

Honecker decided to meet further protest with politce action. He was in favour of using the tactics followed by the Chinese government in june 1989, when protests in Beijing were massacred. Fortunately, the east german politburo overuled honecker and he was sacked. Krenz was now aware of the need for reform but as a former head of the secret police Stasi, his reputation did not endear him to the public. With popular pressure forcing events to run out of his control, on nov 1989, krenz decided that the wall should be opened. It is evident that the fall of the wall was largely as a result of ’peoples power’ as mike dennis explains ’the popular pressure was so intense that the final lifting of the iron curtain could not have been long delayed’ thousands had cheered and danced at the fall of the wall even though krenz was not a genuine reformer.similarly, bahr states ’the citizens of the DDR had run out of patience. They were running the show now in their demands for democracy’ now seems that it is the people in control, the route of thecause was probably gorby.

Events followed quickly from the fall of the berlin wall. The government of the DDR was shocked by the revelations of corruption and pace of events.
The future of germany remained in gorby hands. He wanted a neutral germany. Thek soviet union gae up occupation of germany, possibly due to his relationship with the german chancellor Kohl. In 1990, german reuinification was completed.

Many percieve the fall of the berlin wall to have occurred by accident. However, the popular people pressure and inevitable collapse of the DDR suggests otherwise. If krenz hadn’t taken off the wall, the people would have done it themselves. I think gorbys reforms and the collapse of Czech, hungary and romania suggest that the berlin wall was a result of the end of cold war tensions, however, it was also the physical yardstick which caused a finalization of cold war.

Examples of the result of ‘people power’:

Hungary:

Was not as a result of people power, instead the pressure came from within the communist party itself, in 1988, Kadar, the leader was sacked, the government was instead dominated by reformers and elections started in conjunction with an opening of the Hungarian borders to the west in sept 1989. Thouands from the east germany was now free to travel to the west in hugnary.

East germany:

The end of the Brezhnev doctrine was of particular concern to the east german regime. The creation of east germany had been as aresult of superpower tension after WW2. When gorby visited e germany in oct he was overcome with e germans who thrived for reform of the contry. The leader refused to contemplate reform but the pressure of reform seemed unstoppable by mass demonstrations. Honecker saw the massacre of Beijing demonstrations as a way to act, but instead he was opposed by the...

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