East german border wall

Finally, when it comes to fears of German domination over Europe, probably the most breathtaking change has occurred in its position toward the European Union. Former Chancellor Helmut Kohl fought for the euro and a United States of Europe, and he felt that the Germans stood to benefit from every deutschmark that went to Brussels. West Germany did not see itself as a complete entity, which it wasn't, but as a part of larger entities, like Europe and NATO. It was because of this attitude that Kohl had no objection to the notion of allowing his country to dissolve into the EU.

East Germany decided to upgrade the fortifications in the late 1960s to establish a "modern frontier" that would be far more difficult to cross. Barbed-wire fences were replaced with harder-to-climb expanded metal barriers; directional anti-personnel mines and anti-vehicle ditches blocked the movement of people and vehicles; tripwires and electric signals helped guards to detect escapees; all-weather patrol roads enabled rapid access to any point along the border; and wooden guard towers were replaced with prefabricated concrete towers and observation bunkers. [32]

In the years to come, the Berlin Wall became a physical symbol of the Cold War. The stark division between communist East Berlin and democratic West Berlin served as the subject for numerous editorials and speeches in the United States, while the Soviet bloc characterized the wall as a necessary protection against the degrading and immoral influences of decadent Western culture and capitalism. During the lifetime of the wall, nearly 80 people were killed trying to escape from East to West Berlin. In late 1989, with communist governments falling throughout Eastern Europe, the Berlin Wall was finally opened and then demolished. For many observers, this action was the signal that the Cold War was finally coming to an end.

East german border wall

east german border wall

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