A Wall Is Better Than A War

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade August 2001

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A Wall is Better Than a War Early in the morning of Sunday, August 13, 1961 the Soviets erected the Berlin Wall, effectively partitioning the city of Berlin and completing their own isolation from the non-communist world. The Wall stopped the mass exodus of people fleeing the Soviet East for West Berlin and the freedom of Capitalism. The Soviet's move was sudden and absolutely without warning. This unexpected action shocked the people of the world and who anxiously awaited the West's response. On June 26, 1963 John F. Kennedy gave his Berlin Wall Address, which expressed his sentiments towards the hardships of the Berlin people. (Kennedy at the Berlin Wall 1) Even though Kennedy's decision to accept a wall partioning Berlin was unpopular in much of the United States and throughout the world it was ultimately his best course of action at the time. Not only was a conventional military confrontation prevented but a possible nuclear war was avoided as well.

After World War II the United States, Great Britain, France, and Russia held the Potsdam Conference in order to determine the condition of post war Europe. From July 17 until August 2, 1945, Truman, Churchill, and Stalin met at Cecilienhof castle in Potsdam where they reached an agreement on how to contend with Germany. Germany was to be divided into four zones, each controlled by one of the four countries. They also agreed to partition. Berlin into four sectors. Russia was to control almost half the city as East Berlin and the western allies would share the other half as West Berlin. On October 6, 1949 the German Democratic Republic was established with East Berlin as its capital (Matthias 1). At first, Berlin's citizens could move freely between the zones to work or visit family and friends. However tension...