Learning Targets • I will… • Outline the military history of Germany • Examine the way Germany was divided after the Second World War • Construct a timeline of the history of the Berlin Wall
Germany’s Geography: The Downside
Being at the center of Europe… • Has also meant that Germany was involved in many European conflicts/wars! • Examples: • 30 Years War • Franco-Prussian War • The Great War • World War II
The 30 Years War • 1618-1648 • Began as conflict between Protestants and the Catholic Church (The Holy Roman Empire) • Fought mainly in Germany • Ended up being a battle for control of land and people • Redrew the map of Europe with France and Sweden gaining power and the Holy Roman Empire losing it. • Germany left torn apart (not a united kingdom) and some towns/villages permanently abandoned!
The Franco-Prussian War • Very short war, 1870-1871 • German independent states united under Prussian (a region of Germany) military leadership to create the modern state of Germany. • France was quickly and soundly defeated to everyone’s surprise • Altered the balance of power in Europe permanently. • Germany=World Power • France bitter over the loss of Alsace-Loraine Region
The Great War (World War I) • 1914-1918 • Started out as a regional war resulted in a World War (28 nations from around the world involved) • Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, & Italy) Vs. • Allied Forces (primarily UK, Russia, & France and at the very end US) • Almost 8 million soldiers died: • Trench warfare lead to disease • New weaponry lead to blood shed (chemical warfare, machine guns, tanks, etc…) • Called “The Great War” or ‘The War to End All Wars” at the time • Led to Armistice Day (11/11), now Veterans’ Day
After World War I • Germany did not lose a single battle in World War I but they ultimately surrendered the war • Treaty of Versailles (ended the war) resulted in very damaging circumstances for Germany • War Guilt Clause - Public felt cheated, tricked & humiliated • Reparations – money that the loser has to pay the “winners” after war causes the German economy to collapsed • Germany’s army and navy reduced; no airforce • Looses a significant amount of land
After WWI Yep, that’s money!
After World War I • WWI ends in 1919 • Between then and 1933, Germany was in bad shape • In 1933, a rising star emerges and gives Germans hope for the future…
Nazism • Nazism: German brand of Fascism • Extreme nationalism • Racial purification (Aryan Race) • National expansion • The Third Reich • Thousand Year Reign Germans, Give your answer to the System! Elect Hitler!”
World War II • 1939-1945 • Even bigger World War: • 50 Countries Involved • Fought in two theaters (Europe & Pacific) • Again two alliances formed: • Axis Powers (Germany, Japan, Italy, & MANY OTHERS) Vs. • Allied Powers (primarily UK, France, Russia& MANY OTHERS and again, later US) • Germany & Japan eventually surrendered but not before 38 million people died!
It wasn’t just the soldiers who suffered! • But, World War II had another horrifying element …The Holocaust • Greek words meaning “whole” “burned” • Refers to the systematic extermination of 11 million people by the Nazi regime during World War II. • Groups who were exterminated—Jews, Communists, the mentally or physically retarded, homosexuals, and Gypsies • Took place in Concentration Camps where prisoners were: • Made to work as slaves • Experimented on by scientist who did not consider their health or comfort • Often starved to death and/or died from exposure/disease • Systematically exterminated using gas chambers
Germany Remembers: Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial • The memorial, opened in 2005 was built by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer BuroHappold. • Consists of 2,711 concrete slabs, varying in height from 8 inches to almost 16 feet, a grid pattern. • The names of the Holocaust’s Jewish victims are listed in a “Palace of Information” below ground. • It covers a city block.
Germany Remembers: Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial • What do you think the symbolism of the memorial mean? • What would you feel and experience as you walked through this memorial?
Germany Remembers: Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial • The slabs are designed to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere, and the whole sculpture aims to represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason. • Observers have noted the memorial's resemblance to a cemetery.
The Spoils of War • When Germany surrendered after World War II its land was divided among the Allies so that it could not threaten Europe again: • Americans, British, and French combined their pieces to form West Germany/Berlin • The Soviet Union controlled East Germany/Berlin
Great Britain Soviet Union France USA
Berlin • The Capital of Germany was located INSIDE the Soviet section of the country. • The Soviets begin to limit movement of East Germans and especially the movement of people INSIDE Berlin. • What do the Soviets do? Build a Wall
East German soldiers preparing for the construction of the Berlin Wall close off border between East & West
Building the Wall West Germans
Evolution of the Wall • Wire fence (1961) • Improved wire fence (1962–1965) • Concrete wall (1965–1975) • Grenzmauer 75 (Border Wall 75) (1975–1989)
Who could travel? • East Berliners and East Germans could NOT travel to West Berlin or West Germany with few exceptions: • Visits of relatives for important family matters • People who had to travel to the West for professional reasons • All had to be approved by the government • Could only take a small amount of money with you • 12 Checkpoints to allow people to move between East & West Germany • West Berliners could travel to West Germany (air, rail, road)
Fall of the Berlin Wall • East Germans begin escaping through Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland • East Germans begin protesting in the streets • The Communist Party leader (Günter Schabowski) in East Berlin made an announcement that East Germany would begin to relax border regulations… • Berlin Wall officially falls on: November 9, 1989
Tom Brokaw Günter Schabowski When? Ummmm… Immediately?