Ohlédnutí za Berlínskou zdí několik desetiletí po jejím pádu
Selected contents from this journal
Looking Back on the History of the Berlin Wall Twenty Years after Its Fall
Languages of publication
The Berlin Wall symbolized in concrete the global Cold War conflict between Communism and dictatorship, on the one hand, and democracy and freedom, on the other hand. The desire of East Germans to live in a free market economy with democracy, freedom of thought, and freedom of movement spurred a mass exodus westwards via West Berlin, which led to the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961. This essay addresses the question of what we have learned in the past two decades about these historic events since the opening of formerly closed Communist archives in Moscow, Berlin, and elsewhere. It also assesses how the passage of time has affected the views of Germans about the Berlin Wall and the history surrounding it. A close examination of now available documentary evidence shows that East German leader Walter Ulbricht was absolutely essential to the building of the Berlin Wall and to the harsh border régime that developed with it. The building of the Wall is a clear part of German history and cannot be deflected onto the Soviets/Russians, although they too definitely share the blame. The second part of the article examines the ongoing German process since 1989 of coming to terms with the history of the Berlin Wall and with responsibility for the Wall. It deals with the developments in reappraising the SED dictatorship and the commemoration of its victims as well as specific projects connected with the legacy of the Berlin Wall such as the creation of the Berlin Wall Memorial and its gradual expansion.
Publication order reference