Last week, Middle School students commemorated the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall by taking part in a powerful activity of reflection in the Student HUB. The Gilkey News also featured the following student article, which we’d like to share with all of you.
The Fall of the Berlin Wall
By Aidric N.
As World War II ended, the allied nations each took parts of Germany. The Soviets took the east and Britain, France, and the US divided the west. Berlin was in the east; however, it was divided into four parts among the allies. While the west got richer due to support from the US, Britain, and France, the east got no support from the Soviets. Instead, they got fewer well paying job opportunities. The Soviets decided to make a wall around all of eastern Germany due to ten thousand people crossing every few days.
Around the School students can find articles about what was happening in east Germany and how people tried to escape. More people died than survived trying to get to west Germany, and many families had split beliefs, often leading to one person trying to escape and the other turning them in. Often, the Stasi were involved, who were the communist police force of eastern Germany.
On November 9, 1989, the Berlin wall came down. Starting at midnight that day, citizens of the east were free to cross the country’s borders. East and west Berliners flocked to the wall, drinking beer and champagne and chanting “Tor auf!” (“Open the gate!”). Luckily, it was a completely nonviolent demonstration. When the wall finally came down, more than 2 million people from east Berlin visited west Berlin that weekend to participate in a celebration which was, one journalist wrote, “the greatest street party in the history of the world.” People used hammers and picks to knock away chunks of the wall (they became known as “mauerspechte,” or “wall woodpeckers”), while cranes and bulldozers pulled down section after section. Soon the wall was gone and Berlin was united for the first time since 1945. “Only today,” one Berliner spray-painted on a remaining piece of the wall, “is the war really over.” Since then, Germany has celebrated the fall of the Wall on October 3. This year is the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
History.com Editors. “Berlin Wall.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 15 Dec. 2009, https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/berlin-wall