It’s part of the Berlin history

Berlin History: From World War II to the division of east and west, Berlin has seen some of the most turbulent times in history. To avoid a textbook-sized account of Berlin’s past, the following is only a snippet of this city’s immense record; however, it should be enough as you stand in line waiting to […]

Berlin History: From World War II to the division of east and west, Berlin has seen some of the most turbulent times in history. To avoid a textbook-sized account of Berlin’s past, the following is only a snippet of this city’s immense record; however, it should be enough as you stand in line waiting to buy your ticket for one of the many historical museums.

Nazi Germany: The economic situation in Germany was so severe, the government attempted to resolve the nation’s problems by printing copious amounts of money. However, inflation eventually became enormous with the employed and pensioners falling victim while a whopping 450,000 people were left unemployed.

By January 1933, Hitler became chancellor and in August 1934, declared himself Führer–the leader of Germany. Hitler demanded absolute loyalty, ceasing freedom of the press and creating a rule of controlled terror. In April 1933 Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda, announced a boycott of Jewish businesses. By autumn, hundreds of Jewish professors had lost their jobs and more than half of Berlin’s forty synagogues had closed. In January 1942, at Hitler’s request, a conference was held and the decision was passed to eliminate all Jewish, gay people, Gypsies, Priests and disabled (which was later known as the Holocaust) in order to create what Hitler believed would make a triumphant Germany. More than six million people perished in dozens of concentration camps, while only around 500,000 victims survived.

The final battle began in mid-April 1945. Soviet soldiers finally reached Berlin on the 21st of April, and by the 30th, the fighting had reached government quarters where Hitler committed suicide in his bunker behind the Chancellery. Two days later, Berlin surrendered to the Soviets when Red Army soldiers stormed the Reichstag and set it alight. On May 7th, 1945 Germany capitulated and a peace treaty was signed.

The Berlin Wall: By the 1960s, Berlin was a divided city. The Soviet Union controlled the east while the US guaranteed freedom in the west. Thousands of refugees escaped East Berlin each day. On August 13th, 1961 the East Government started building a wall, physically separating the West and East. However, on November 9th, 1989 the borders opened and were engulfed by people from both sides. The streets were filled with people who began chipping away at the wall with hammers and axes whilst huge celebrations took place with people hugging and cheering.

By Louise Cheeseman, Team Curso/CTR Berlin

Essentially, we hope to bring you inside Berlin, not only as a tourist but as a real Berliner, or “Berlinsider.”

Lily Prasuethsut, Team Curso/CTR Berlin

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