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4 Clash of Empires: Prelude to the Berlin Wall

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the historical conditions under which the Berlin Wall was built in 1961. It takes into consideration that Germany and Berlin's division into Eastern and Western territories and its maintenance until 1990 all took place under military occupation. An interesting aspect of the political process that eventually led to the erection of the Wall is that it increasingly became an East German project that was not always envisioned or supported by the Soviet Union. The closure of this border separated the German people for 28 years from each other. This action was not the inevitable result of the close of Second World War, but rather one that was a consequence of nearly a decade of escalation. The wall that divided Germany hindered and weakened its place in the political stage in the global power struggles for years to come.

Keywords: Berlin Wall; East German project; Eastern territories; military occupation; Second World War; Soviet Union; Western territories

10.1163/9789004260665_005
/content/books/b9789004260665_005
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