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How far do you agree that, for the GDR (East Germany), the results of the building of the Berlin Wall proved to be mainly negative?

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Introduction

How far do you agree that, for the GDR (East Germany), the results of the building of the Berlin Wall proved to be mainly negative? The building of the Berlin Wall impacted East Germany in many different ways, some economical and some social. Some people would argue that it was mainly negative because it showed further the repressive lifestyle of the GDR regime while others would argue that it wasn't all negative because it meant everyone worked towards making a successful society. Overall I think the building of the Berlin Wall could actually be seen as positive for the GDR. On one hand, it could be argued that for the GDR, the results of the building of the Berlin Wall were mainly negative because it led to a lot of tension because the GDR and West Germany. For four months in 1961 the USA and the Soviet Union had a stand-off in Berlin, at one point both sides had tanks facing each other at Checkpoint Charlie and war seemed inevitable for divided Germany. Although war was avoided, the tension still remained prominent for decades, until immediately before the fall of the Berlin Wall. ...read more.

Middle

In the West an additional 40,000 soldiers were mainly sent to West Germany and compulsory military service was extended. Feeling threatened by the obvious display of anger, the GDR felt they needed to strengthen the wall in order to protect themselves. The material of the wall changed many times during its long existence, initiating as a small barbed wire border in August 1961 and finishing as a concrete structure. As well as this 40,000 small guns were used, 5000 machine guns and 60 tanks- all for the defence of East Germany so the results were mainly negative for the GDR. Finally, the wall divided families and friends. It was put up almost overnight and even divided households in certain circumstances. Children were separated from their parents and if someone had gone shopping in West Berlin just for a day, once the wall was up they were stuck there. Many people in West Berlin felt trapped, since they were encircled by the wall and decided to leave for West Germany to avoid this, separating friends and families further. Phone lines were cut by the GDR government linking them to West Berlin. ...read more.

Conclusion

The wall also solved the labour crisis in the GDR because people couldn't leave and get a job in West Germany- they had no choice. Due to this newfound labour supply more goods could be made. As well as this a 6 day working week was introduced but reduced control by the government so that locally, people could make their own decisions. This freedom shows that it wasn't entirely bad and for those hoping for a job in technology or science, the government tried to make career prospects appealing by giving people certain benefits. Overall, there are many reasons why it could be argued that, for the GDR, the results of the building of the Berlin Wall proved to be either mainly negative or actually seen as positive. Personally, I think that it could be seen as positive, so I don't agree with the statement, because it meant that after a time of war people were working together and it improved certain aspects of life for people living there as, for example, people contributing highly to society couldn't leave and get a job in the West. As well as this, wages were actually rising so conditions in East Germany weren't as bad as some people make it out to be. ?? ?? ?? ?? Devon Harper 12Jxm ...read more.

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