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The Berlin Blockade ended in May 1949.
Many East Berliners and West Germans
were now convinced that life was better in
the west, and so many thousands of people
defected from East to West ­
Approximately 20-25,000 a month. An
estimated 3 million people defected from
East to West Berlin between 1945 to 1960.
Created by Helen Walford…read more

Slide 3

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Why did so many people defect
to the West?
· In the East life was dominated by the
Communist party. No other political
parties were permitted and when there
were elections it involved choosing from a
list of communists - there was no real
choice.
· The media was controlled by the
Communists. All people got was the
`official' version of events according to the
communists.
· East Berliners lived in fear of the KGB ­ the
communist secret police.
· In the towns and cities, consumer goods
Created by Helen Walford…read more

Slide 4

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People who did manage to leave
the East were often well-
educated professionals such as
Doctors, teachers etc, - the kind
of people the Communist
countries could not afford to lose.
· However, these people wanted
the higher wages and the better
standard of living which the West
offered. Created by Helen Walford…read more

Slide 5

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What were the advantages
of living in East Berlin?
· Low unemployment
· Low prices for goods
· Rent, electricity, gas and
telephone charges were
minimal
· Public transport was cheap
Created by Helen Walford…read more

Slide 6

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Khruschev had to do something ­
after all, how bad would it make
him look if over 20,000 people a
month are leaving just after he'
s taken 0ver? He had to find a
way of making the East
Berliners not defect to the West
­ but how?
Created by Helen Walford…read more

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