History of the Berlin Wall

Timeline created by MadisonManzo
In History
  • Introduction

    This timeline demonstrates the events leading to the creation of the Berlin Wall and the series of events that led to its removal. After World War II and as the Cold War was starting, the Berlin Wall, commonly referred to as the “Iron Curtain”, was not only a physical barrier, but it also served as a symbolic separation of western democratic ideologies from the eastern communist nations and ideologies.
  • Postdam Conference

    Postdam Conference
    The Potsdam Conference was convened the U.S., Great Britain, and Soviet Union to decide the fate of Germany post World War II.While the Soviets wanted to unify Germany under their government, the U.S. and Great Britain were suspicious of their intent.The conference resulted in Germany-as a country-and Berlin-as a city-were divided.This division created East and West Germany; the Soviets controlled the East, while the U.S., Great Britain, and France controlled the West.
  • Creation of East and West Germany

    Creation of East and West Germany
    The Potsdam Conference resulted in the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic; this marked the beginning of separation between western democratic and eastern communist countries. Western Germany wanted to revive their economy by combining their three zones. When these zones combined, Western Germany created a new economy and currency; this caused the Soviet Union to fear that the West would become too powerful, which resulted in the Berlin Blockade.
  • Berlin Blockade Starts

    Berlin Blockade Starts
    The Berlin Blockade started because Stalin wanted the U.S., Great Britain, and France out of Western Berlin. When West Germany united and created a new economy, this angered Stalin; he didn’t want his citizens migrating to the West for better opportunities. Stalin wanted to end allied presence in Western Berlin and erode their unity. As a result, Stalin cut all land and water routes into West Germany, isolating West Berlin; this ultimately failed due to allied intervention against the blockade.
  • Berlin Airlift

    Berlin Airlift
    The Berlin Airlift occurred as a result of Stalin’s measures to prevent East Germans from migrating into West Germany for better economic opportunities. Stalin’s blockade angered the U.S. and Great Britain because he was intentionally blocking off West Berlin from obtaining essential products: food, water, and fuel. Due to the Soviet’s blockade, allied forces- U.S. and Great Britain -began supplying West Berlin with food, fuel, and monetary aid which continued for eleven months.
  • An end to the Berlin Airlift

    An end to the Berlin Airlift
    Due to the blockade having been broken by a massive U.S./ British airlift of vital supplies, the Soviet Union was forced to lift it's eleven-month blockade against West Germany. This was a major win for the allies because they were able to reach West Germany without hostile escalations. While it would take several months for West Germany to recover from the blockade, this was a significant point in the Cold War where the U.S. proved their strength and resolve to counter communistic ideologies.
  • Building the Berlin Wall

    Building the Berlin Wall
    Due to a large number of East Germans continuing to illegally immigrate to West Germany in search for better opportunities and a less oppressive government, Walter Ulbricht led the East German Army in constructing a wall made of barbed wire and concrete. Within two weeks the wall was completed. There was now a physical separation between Eastern and Western Berlin.
  • Last Victim

    Last Victim
    Since the Berlin Wall was created in 1951, over 150 people were killed in their pursuit for a freer life in Western Berlin. In an attempt to leave the communist East Berlin, 20 year-old Chris Geoffrey was shot and killed. He was the last person known to have fallen victim to the Berlin Wall. In his remembrance, a cross has been placed at the Brandenburg Gate where he made his attempt at freedom.
  • Hungarian Border Opens

    Hungarian Border Opens
    After dealing with the Berlin Wall for 8 years, Hungarian border guards started deconstructing their side of the border and removing the barbed wire on Austria's side. This was a major step in taking down the Iron Curtain that had separated eastern and western Europe for almost a decade.
  • Start of Monday Demonstrations

    Start of Monday Demonstrations
    After eight years of dealing with the Berlin Wall and its economic, emotional, and physical damage, citizens of East Berlin began demanding change. Starting Monday, September 4th, 1989, until the Berlin Wall fell weeks later, Eastern Berlin citizens started freedom demonstrations in Leipzig, East Berlin; they demonstrated in Leipzig because it was a major travel thoroughfare.
  • Pro-Democracy Protest

    Pro-Democracy Protest
    After years of East and West Berlin's separation, East Berlin citizens began protesting for democratic measures to be instilled in East Berlin’s government. Nearly one million demonstrators in East Berlin gathered in Alexanderplatz to rally against their government's censorship and repression. Many had banners that demanded new leaders and free elections to make Eastern Berlin more democratic.
  • Fall of the Berlin Wall

    Fall of the Berlin Wall
    After political changes and pressure from Germany, East Berlin eased regulations to allow travel to West Berlin. While some directives would remain, East Germans were free from the communist Soviet Union and allowed to travel into West Germany.
  • Germany Reunified

    Germany Reunified
    With the border between East and West Germany torn down, Germany was once again unified. West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany) expanded their government to include the east. As a result of the fall of the Berlin Wall, all citizens could now benefit from a unified Germany.
  • Image Citations

    -->Introduction/ Potsdam Conference/ Creation of East and West Germany/ Berlin Blockade Start/ An end to the Berlin Airlift/ Building the Berlin Wall: https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/berlin-wall
    -->Last Victim/ Hungarian Border Opens/ Start of Monday Demonstrations/ Pro Democracy Protest:
    -->Fall of the Berlin Wall/ Germany Reunified: