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  • Importance of the Berlin Wall
    • Plans for a united Berlin and Germany were ended. The USA no longer feared a repeat of the Berlin Blockade of 1948. The USSR had clearly given up all hope of taking control of West Berlin.
    • It ended up as a propaganda victory for the Americans. The shooting of people attempting to defect added to this as the Americans criticised the tyranny of the communist rule, which had to use walls and force to stop its citizens from escaping
    • It removed a likely area of conflict between the superpowers. Berlin had been a problem area between the superpowers since it was divided and they had almost come to blows over it in 1948 - 1949 over the Berlin Blockade and Airlift.
    • It reduced the number of defections from East Berlin. There were around 5,000 successful escapes from East Berlin after the wall compared to over 3 million in the years before the wall
    • It was settled peacefully: Kennedy's reaction showed that he did no want to lose face, but he did not want to go to war over Berlin. He successfully overcame criticism from those in West Germany who wanted him to react in an aggressive manner.
    • It stabilised the economy of East Germany - only one currency existed. The economy of East Germany certainly grew after the building of the wall and the government of East Germany gained greater control of its citizens
    • The official number of deaths attempting to cross the wall was 136. Some say it could have been as many as 200.


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