THE WALL MUST FALL
In 1952, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium established the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), which was aimed to support economic growth and to ensure peace within the countries. The German Democratic Republic did not joined the ECSC in this time. While in the Federal Republic of Germany the people lived in freedom, the people in Eastern Germany suffered from the strict regime in GDR and began to demonstrate against it, but the regime stopped these demonstrations - sometimes violently. At least 55 people died during one demonstration on the 17th of June in 1953. More and more people left Eastern Germany and moved into the west.
As the founding countries of the ECSC wanted to extend the focus away from only Coal and Steel, they established the European Economic Commission (EEC) in 1958. Western Germany could benefit a lot from the economic growth brought by the EEC. Due to ongoing conflicts in the GDR and the fact that about 2 Million people flew from eastern Germany into western Germany within 1949 to 1961, a military-controlled wall around the area of the GDR was built in 1961. The western part of Berlin was completely surrounded by the Wall.
The Wall of Berlin became a symbol of the East/West conflict. Many people died when they tried to cross the Wall or were caught by the police and went to prison. In the same time, the European Community developed and Denmark, Ireland, United Kingdom, Greece, Spain and Portugal joined the European Community in the 1970s and 1980s. The people living in the GDR were aware of the fact that people in the West could live in freedom and the tension in the country grew stronger.
The peaceful so-called “Montagsdemonstrationen“ (demonstrations held on Mondays) took place, first stating “we are the country” and later changing to “we are one country”, hundred thousands of people participated and protested against the political situation in the GDR. In 09.11.1989, these peaceful demonstrations made the government open the border for the very first time and in 03.10.1990 Germany officially celebrated its reunification. With this reunification, the area of former GDR officially joined the European Community.
SPANISH RECREATION of this German historic periodArticle made by Spanish Participants
Today we covered the history of Germany, in particular, we started talking about the division of Germany after the Second World War.
After the Second World War, the territory of Germany, in fact, was divided into four parts spread among the victorious countries: United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union. This ended into the division of Germany into 2 parts politically different: the German Democratic Republic at the east, and the Federal Republic of Germany at the west.
Before we shared the information we knew about the topic, we had tried to accurate as much information as possible from the Internet and had created a project in power point.
We worked mostly trying to figure out the differences between the two territories, political changes and management of citizens’ freedom.
It was very interesting seeing this part of history and differences between the two parts of Germany and think that living on one side or the other was so different.
“I knew some things about Germany and the Second World War, but here there were some interesting details” – Angel.
“It was weird to think that you can live near and have so many differences...or not?”- Eduardo.
SPANISH RECREATION II of this German historic periodArticle made by Spanish Participants
In the second part of the work on the history of Germany we have focused onn the Berlin Wall and the fall of the Wall.
First we looked for information about this and then we thought on a way to explain this information. We decided to make a video with some pictures from the ancient period and some photos of us at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
In our city, Valladolid, there is a wall of graffiti which reminded us very much of the Berlin Wall. One morning we went and took pictures trying to represent as better as we can the atmosphere of that period.
As background we looked for a meaningful song As background we looked for a meaningful song for the moment of the fall of the Wall and we found “Wind of Change” by Scorpions and a poem / song “Mein Berlin” Rehinard of Mey who speak their emotions due to the Wall that divided Berlin in 2 .
“I have always heard about the Berlin Wall but I never stopped thinking about the meaning and the feelings that doors create in boundaries.”- David
“It’s so sad to think that for such a long time people cannot be free to leave Germany and to see their friends and family.” – Camino
ITALIAN RECREATION of this German historic periodARTICLE made by Italian Participants
We considered the work done by the young people from Frechen, marking the 25th Anniversary the fall of the Berlin Wall.
It was interesting to see how the press had commemorated the important event in European history.
First we browsed magazines, daily newspapers and online articles, then we chose particular pictures and articles, and finally we read and commented on them in the classroom, with our teachers’ help. Then we produced a collage of key words, which were used as a summary of the articles we had read.
It was a very interesting project, which allowed us to know and understand another important event in European history.
Our classmate Gabriel is a rapper because he is passionate about rapping. He was inspired by the theme, so he composed and sang a short rap, which comes at the end of our final video.
“It was interesting to look for information on the fall of the Wall 25 years ago”- anonymous
“I believe that all the walls that separate people have to be demolished” – anonymous
GERMAN RECREATION of this German historic periodArticle made by German Participants
In the module on German history from 1945 until 1990 – the end of World Warr II, the division of Germany into tow countries, the building of the Berlin Wall, the establishing of the European Coal and Steel Community and the first steps the European Union took, the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the Reunification of Germany – we spoke about all these events and then went to visit the “Haus der Geschichte” museum in Bonn.
German history and the development of the European Union are closely related and it is exciting to see the way East Germany and West Germany developed in their respective political context.
While Germany’s West has been a member of the European Community ever since it was established, the part of today’s Germany which used to be the German Democratic Republic only joined the European Union after Unification in 1990.
Within the framework of this module, we have also taken a closer look at the European Union’s other member states, we looked for flags, filtered out certain characteristic features of the various countries.
The module provided a good overview as to what happened during these decades apart from Germany’s division, the building of the Berlin Wall and the Unification of Germany.
“The topic was exciting and I liked the visit we did to the ‘Haus der Geschichte’ museum in Bonn.” - Jan.
“I liked the way we translated the module into action.”- Philip.
RAP 'THE WALL'
- Impuls: Some original pieces of the Berlin Wall are regularly designed and sold by modern artists: http://www.berliner-mauer-teile.de/index-eng.htm
Find more information about the History of the Wall on:
- “Good Bye, Lenin!”, by Wolfgang Becker, 2003
Shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the mother of 21 year old Alex, a confident citizen of the GDR falls into a coma after a heart attack - and sleeps through the triumph of capitalism. When, after eight months she opens her eyes again, she wakes up in a new country. Because of her weak heart that might react to any excitement, her son Alex decides to conceal what had happened in Germany. There´s no brake for Alex, who on the 79 m² flat ties to keep the GDR alive. He quickly notes that this plan can be implemented more difficult than expected... This movie can be used to present a historical topic in a very vivid way.
“The gate of history was open and we entered.”
Helmut Kohl (German chancellor 1982 – 1998) commenting on the German Reunification
"The Reunification is a life-line”
(German Newspaper called “Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung”, 12.3.1987)
"Everything is possible – Berlin is free!"
Bill Clinton, in his speech on the German Unification Day
in Berlin, 03.10.2002
“The Germans are the luckiest people on earth today.”
Walter Momper, governing mayor of Berlin, 09.11.1989