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The Berlin Wall For twenty-eight years the Berlin Wall separated friends families and a nation After the second World War in 1945 the victorious Allies the US Britain France Russia divided Germany into four sectors each under the control of an ally The US British and French Sectors combined to form a democratic state The Federal Republic of Germany or West Germany The Soviet sector became a communist state The German Democratic Republic or East Germany on October 7 1949 A barrier now separated east and West Winston Churchill named this barrier the Iron Curtain Even though Berlin lay deep within the Soviet sector the Allies thought it best to divide this metropolis Therefore Berlin was also divided into four sectors Again the US British and French Sectors combined to form West Berlin The Soviet sector became the East German capital East BerlinThe governments of these two new countries were set up by the occupying forces not the populous Most of the residents of East Berlin and East Germany did not like the communist regime In fact most people were not communists The Berlin Wall though not part of the iron curtain was a reminder of it The wall was made of steel cement and barbed wire fences with traps and explosives There were guard towers with machine guns and other weapons It was almost impossible to cross this barrier without the communist governments permission Conrad Shuman was a nineteen year old border guard when he witnessed families tearfully separated He realized he was not protecting his country but imprisoning its people Three Days after the border was closed he leapt to freedom The people of East Germany became dissatisfied with the economic and political conditions of the German Democratic Republic GDR Private trade was outlawed as was the ownership of private land People were forced to work on collective state owned farms There were food and supply shortages Onehundred-sixty thousand
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