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Miteinander Leben Ossis und Wessis. Deutsch III Notizen. der Wachtturm (-¨, e). die Mauer (-n). der Grenzpfahl (-¨, er ). die Grenze (-n). der Soldat (-en). der Grenzübergang (-¨, e). die Teilung (-en). das Niemandsland. die Besatzungszone (- n ).

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After WWII ended in 1945 = Germany divided into 4 Besatungszone

  • Berlin = also divided into 4 sectors
  • Western Allies = wanted to rebuild their zones as quickly as possible to prevent oppressed people from falling victim to another dictatorial government
    • Able to accomplish this with the Marshall Plan
  • Soviets = did not provide this kind of aid
    • Increasing difference in the standard of living arose between East and West

1955 = Bundesrepublik Deutschland (BRD) became politically independent

  • AKA “Westdeutschland”
  • Developed own Grundgesetz (constitution)
  • Developed own currency = Deutschmark / D-Mark
  • Still closely tied economically to the West

Ostdeutschland = the Deutsche DemokratischeRepublik(DDR)

  • Part of the Communist Block owned by Soviet Union = allowed very little economic or political independence
  • Currency = Mark commonly called Ostmark – had little value
  • Most of the DDR’s products had little value outside its own borders

Increasing disparity in standard of living led to a drain in workers from East to West

  • Most people used the city of West Berlin as their route
  • Soviets = didn’t like this little spot of prosperity in their midst
  • Soviets = set up a Blockade of all land and water routes to West Berlin

Western Allies = did not want to give up this chance to show the major difference in lifestyles between Communist and non-Communist countries

  • Luftbrücke organized that brought in everything West Berlin needed for survival  food, clothing, medicine, building materials, etc.

Some pilots felt they needed to do something to lift the children’s spirits, as well as feed them

  • They started making little parachutes and attaching things to them for the kids  little boxes of raisin, chocolates, etc.
  • These planes became known as Rosinenbomber (“Raisin Bombers”)

Most famous of these pilots = Gail Halvorsen

  • Knew children couldn’t tell the difference between the planes  so said he’d wiggle his wings before dropping the parachutes
  • Children were ready when they saw planes coming in and when they saw “Uncle Wiggly Wings” they ran to get their gifts
  • Children and groups across the U.S. made these parachute gifts for pilots to drop

At the height of the blockade, planes were landing at a rate of more than one per minute

  • Soviets finally gave in, and goods could finally reach West Berlin by land and water routes

End of die Blockade did not stop exodus of people from East to West

  • Only measure left for the East = a wall
    • Building began on August 13, 1961
    • Began with just barbed wire
    • Concrete wall followed
  • Attempting to flee = now considered treason
    • Escapees = shot
    • Most famous victim = Peter Fechter shot and left to bleed to death; Western soldiers could do nothing but watch

Any attempt to “mingle in the affairs of another state” = could be an excuse to go to war

  • Fear of WWIII
  • Fear of nuclear holocaust

Soviet and American tanks face off at Checkpoint Charlie


People found more and more clever ways to escape

  • Result = the DDR found more and more ways to stop them

World famous picture of an East German guard jumping over the barbed wire during the early days of the war


From right to left:1 - East Berlin2 - Border area3 - Backland Wall4 - Signal fence5 - Different kind of barriers6 - Watch towers7 - Lighting system8 - Column track9 - Control track10 - Anti-vehicle trenches11 - Last Wall, known as the "Wall"12 - Border13 - West Berlin


Anti-tank obstacles

  • Anti-car trenches
  • Beds of spikes
  • Mine fields
  • Patrol cars
  • Search dogs
  • Low tension fences
  • Tripwire alarms
  • Multiple other “walls” to give escapee feeling they had actually made it
  • Shrapnel guns attached to trip wires on fences

Government that has to resort to such desperate measures is bound to fail

  • October 1989 = height of protests in Berlin, Dresden, and Leipzig
  • November 9, 1989 = news broadcast = DDR residents no longer need exit-visa to leave the country

In a very short time = all the checkpoints in Berlin were swamped with people wanting to go West

  • Wanted to visit family and friends, sightsee, and go shopping
  • Department stores wiped clean of items like microwaves, color TVs, computers, etc.
  • One woman in labor crossed so that her baby could be born in the West

Things changed very rapidly in both East and West

  • DDR tried to maintain its independence  but it was inevitable that they’d join again with Westdeutschland
    • Economy collapsed; money worthless; no quality goods
    • Education system fell apart
    • Unrealistic promises made by politicians
  • October 3, 1990 = die Wiedervereinigung

die Mauerspechte


Prejudices in society surfaced

  • Not united “Germans” – but rather “Wessis” vs. “Ossis”
  • Wessis = “think they know everything and are better than us” ; “are coming East and taking over our schools and businesses”
  • Ossis = “coming West and taking our jobs” ; “are lazy and greedy and want government hand-outs”