Berlin’s long history

Berlin’s long history started in 1244. Visit for a thumbnail sketch of Berlin since the Weimar Republic. Over the next eight centuries, the city rose from a medieval trading post with a population of 8,500 to a metropolis of almost 4 million during the Weimar Republic (see September 2 post, “Berlin’s Colorful History”)

(1933) Berlin – National Socialist era
Hitler assumed power and the democracy ended. The National Socialist era ushered in Germanys darkest period, which included persecution of the Jews and lead the country into World War II.

The Berlin Bear is the city's coat of arms

The Berlin Bear is the city’s coat of arms

(1945) Berlin – Post World War II
Germany surrendered and the country was divided into four zones. Berlin, located entirely within the Soviet zone, was also divided into four sectors. Growing differences in ideologies among the four Allies sparked a Cold War, and Berlin became its focus. Initially, clashes over currency reform triggered a Soviet-imposed blockade. The western Allies responded with the Berlin Airlift. In 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany was founded in Germany’s western sectors, and Bonn became its provisional capital. But Berlin retained its special status as a territory under Allied supervision, which it kept until German reunification. The German Democratic Republic (East Germany) was founded in the Soviet sector with East Berlin as the capital. In 1961, the East German government built a wall that separated the city and the country.

(1989) Berlin – The fall of the Berlin Wall
In 1989, when Guenter Schabowski, East German Central Committee secretary, made an unclear reference to new travel regulations for East German citizens, the people forced the government to open the borders once and for all.

(1990) Berlin – Today’s Capital
The two Germanys were reunited on 3 October 1990. Berlin became the capital of Germany once again. Currently, the city’s population nears 3.3 million.


For a sneak peek at the first 20+ pages of my memoir, Walled-In: A West Berlin Girl’s Journey to Freedom, click “Download a free excerpt” on the home page of Walled-In is a story of growing up in Berlin during the Cold War.



Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply