The Berlin Wall/Crisis

  • Created by: Holly
  • Created on: 27-04-13 19:43

The Berlin Wall/Crisis


  • Emigration from East Berlin to West Berlin to escape communism and live a better life under capitalism. Mostly highly skilled workers and well qualified managers leaving. East Germany could not afford to lose such valuable workers. August 12th 1961, record number 4000 East Germans fled to West Berlin. August 12th 1961, record number 4000 East Germans fled to West Berlin.
  • Pressure on Khrushchev from China and Ulbricht (leader of East Germany). High emigration levels made Communism look bad. Khrushchev was being pushed to do something about it.
  • June 4th 1961, Vienna Summit, Khrushchev threatens Kennedy that if he does not remove his troops from Berlin, he will sign a peace agreement with East Germany, giving them full control of Berlin and the land corridors (forcing the USA to recognize East Germany and break the Hallstein Doctrine). Kennedy refused to let Khrushchev bully him and in response increased his troops in Berlin by 14%


  • Sunday 13th August 1961 at 2am, East German soldiers erected a barbed-wire barrier along the entire border between East and West Berlin, completely isolating it. It was later replaced with a concrete wall which was 4 metres high and 11 km long with 300 watch towers and 50 bunkers.
  • Families were divided. Berliners couldn't go to work. Chaos and confusion. Border guards had orders to shoot anybody who tried to cross the wall. 125 people killed trying to cross the wall over 3 decades.
  • During October 1961 US diplomats regularly crossed into East Berlin to see how the east Germans would react, but on the 27th October Soviet Tanks arrived at Checkpoint Charlie and refused to grant anymore access to the East. There was a tense 18 hour stand off between Soviet and US tanks, after which they began to edge backwards by 5 metres an hour.

Overall summary

Khrushchev did not like how East Germans were moving from East to West because it made capitalism look better than Communism. Kennedy refused to do anything about it so Khrushchev had the Berlin Wall built 'to keep spies out'. After the Checkpoint Charlie incident, Kennedy said that "a wall is a hell of a lot better than a war".


Miss E


These cause and effects tables are a great idea, they force you to think about the important parts of an event, not just that it happened and a date. This is a good example of a topic revised in detail, although it would have been even better with a few long term effects aswell.



  1. Thanks Holly ily
  2. You're great danke