Internationally, the early 1980s were a tough time for the U.S. Arab nations became increasingly opposed to Western interference and terrorists hijacked planes and bombed buildings to make their point. The late 1980s ushered in the end of Communism in several countries and the collapse of the Soviet Union, an event that seemed impossible just a few short years earlier.
Questions and Answers
Question: Was the wall in Berlin a real wall?
Answer: Soviet leaders built the wall in 1961 to separate and contain Communist East Germany from West Germany, which was a democracy controlled by France, England, and the U.S. The wall was built over night and prevented anyone on the east side from escaping to the west. People were trapped. Some lost their jobs or couldn’t see their families who were on the west side of the wall. This wall was a literal symbol of the division between freedom and oppression.
Mikhail Gorbachev increased liberties and freedom in the Soviet Union. His ideas spread to other Eastern European countries. These countries, including Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and Romania, overthrew their Communist governments and demanded democratic governments. In November, 1989, Germans tore down the Berlin Wall. Throughout Germany – and the Western world – people celebrated their freedom.
Visit the BBC to learn more about the Berlin Wall.
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