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5 Build the Wall: The Two German Economies are Now United!

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Chapter Summary

The Berlin Wall effectively gave the East Germans the heart and soul of old historic Berlin, although it was in ruins. This is a less explored and discussed issue in the Berlin Wall literature, probably because its admittance by the West would have delivered their adversary on the East a victory. Erection of the Berlin Wall and its significance for Germany's East-West divide seems to have been exaggerated and fantasized by the media and popular culture as the only physical barrier which prevented the unification of the two Germanys. However, the inner border between East and West Germany was relatively porous. The Wall was built as a defensive wall to protect the East German socialist system, albeit imperfect and repressive, from outside forces and a superpower (the United States) that embodied an expansionist global capitalist economy.

Keywords: Berlin Wall; East Germany; global capitalist economy; West Germany



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