The Berlin Wall lasted from August, 13 1961 to November 9, 1989. The Berlin Wall was constructed to stop the flood of East German citizens looking for a protection granted by their nation where they left their native country as a political refugee. “The wall itself-constructed of concrete, seven and a half miles long, and twelve feet high-was part of a 102 mile system of fortifications encircling West Berlin. The fortifications were built in stages and included military watchtowers, tripwires, and minefields. A constant stream of escape attempts highlighted the repression of the Communist regime,” (Berlin Wall). The purpose of the Berlin Wall was to keep Democracy from entering East Germany (where the Communists lived) and stem off mass defections from the East and the West. When the Berlin Wall fell, the Cold War began and German citizens were free to cross over the border. When the barrier collapsed, the East and West Berliners ran to the wall, drank beer and champagne, and cheered in excitement. “Less than a year later East and West germany were reunited,” (The Berlin Wall, 10 Years Later (Special Report)) One of the most remarkable events of the 20th century was the Berlin Wall. November 9, 1989 was the date when the Berliners stood around the newly founded wall, which represented a major shift in history. “On August 13, 1961, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev ordered that a thirteen-foot-high wall of steel and concrete to be built to divide the eastern half of Berlin, East Germany, from the western half, which had remained under the control of West Germany. Khrushchev wanted to stop unhappy East Germans from fleeing to the West,” (The Berlin Wall, 10 Years Later (Special Report)). He intended to ease border controls in an orderly fashion, but other East German disagreed with him and there was a news conference that day when they caught him off guard and told him that the border was open. The Berlin wall had a geographic slit where thousands of East Germans fled to the democratic West. The wall had many German authorities surrounding the West side, waiting for the East to cross over the border. Almost all of the people that were fleeing East Germany were workers that were young and skilled. About 200,000 people left for West Germany each year, when the Uprising occurred in East Germany. The number of refugees almost doubled to 400,000 people leaving East Germany that year. With all of these refugees fleeing, they caused so much traffic that they had to close the Brandenburg Gate, which was a huge deal because this was the division of Berlin and Germany during the Cold War and is now the symbol of peace and unity. “Some people tried to find ways to go over or under the Berlin Wall so that they could make a new life in the West. The government ordered that anyone trying to escape be shot on sight, and a line of machine guns placed along the top of the wall. Between 1961 and 1989, seventy-seven people were killed while trying to cross the wall, but forty thousand escaped successfully,” (The Berlin Wall Falls 2). In the late 1900’s, there was hope in the air and that hope was for greater political freedom found by themselves. Some Berliners seemed unwilling by these hopes. They thought those Berliners were out of their minds. They said “they seemed reluctant to use the force to maintain the hegemony of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and events gradually took on a momentum that overpowered his desire to merely reform the existing social and economic system,” (The Berlin Wall, 10 Years Later (Special Report)). The Berlin Wall led to criticism of the American nation. The wall divided families and neighbourhoods, created devastation, widespread destruction, and many unhappy refugees. The victors of the Second War, the US, the Soviet Union, Britain, and the French had divided Germany into four zones. Those zones were based off of occupations and its capital, Berlin, into four sectors. The victors thought that Germany was never to be allowed to be re-emerged and was to stay detached forever. “The standard of living in East Germany was better than that of most Eastern European countries, but poor compared to West Germany,” (The Berlin Wall Falls 2). After forty years of the East and the West being separated, they became one country, Germany. “On November 12, a new crossing point was set up at Potsdamerplatz, as Walter Momper, Mayor of East Berlin, shook hands with Eberhardt Karck, Mayor of West Berlin. The official end to the Berlin Wall came on December 22, when West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and the new East German prime minister, Hans Modrow, together opened the Brandenburg Gate,” (The Berlin Wall Falls 3). Almost immediately, many refugees from East Germany fled to West Germany. When they arrived, they realized everything was the same and no progress had been made. The laws became extremely confusing. All East Germans that wandered back West were considered citizens, which meant that they became automatically entitled to medical care and social services. “The East Germans became more and more unhappy with their own way of life,” (3). This occurrence was because the East Germans obtained television and watched programs that were being filmed from the West and those programs showed products that people only in the West could buy which made the East jealous. “In September, 1989, Hungary opened its border with Austria, letting East German refugees leave the east without exit visas (an endorsement on a passport indicating that the holder is allowed to enter, leave, or stay for a specified period of time in a country). About thirty-thousand people jumped at the chance,” (2). “The fall of the Berlin Wall was an important symbol of huge political changes,” (3). The fall of the Berlin Wall symbolized the lack of freedom, the Cold War, and the division of Germany. Germany became one country when the United States and the Soviet Union became friends during the Cold War. “Since the end of the war, Berlin had been a constant running score in East-West relations,” (The Berlin Wall). The government of East Germany made many important changes to the economy in the early 1900’s. The people of East Germany were promised free elections and improved housing. Foreign inventors were allowed to share only in East German industries, which meant that they had to be already owned and controlled by the state and they had to be on the east side of Germany. Almost all of the refugees from East Germany decided to leave West Germany and return to East Germany where they came from because they didn’t have the same expectations as they had back on their half. On the other half of the wall, the whole rule set changed for them and they didn’t understand half of them so they decided to return to their half of the country. “With so many refugees flooding in at once, the West German government had a hard time meeting all the needs,” (3). While the wall was still up and blocking the East from the West, the travel restrictions were lifted. Thousands streamed into West Berlin the next day and throughout the week, between twenty and fifty thousand fled the country. “On the evening of November 9, the East German government unexpectedly opened the borders to West Berlin and West Germany. Although those crossing the border were supposed to have a police permit, the government did not order the soldiers to stop people who had no permit. Once inside West Berlin, most East Germans headed for the banks, where they were given a money gift (about fifty-four U.S. dollars) as a welcome. Relatives and friends who had not seen one another in years embraced joyfully,” (2-3). The Berlin Wall’s job was to stop Democracy from entering East Germany. East Germany is where the Communists are that block many defections from the East and the West. The Berlin Wall fell and the German citizens were free to cross the border when the Cold War began. When the Berlin Wall fell, the East and the West Berliners ran to the wall and celebrated. The important things occurred that included the Berlin Wall are the East Berliners East of the wall trying to cross over to the West, when the Berlin Wall falls, and the consequences that occurred because of the impact of the fall. Today, some pieces of the wall are preserved as historic mentions in memory of the rough times and when Germany was separated. The pieces of the wall that still exist are located at Moscow, Washington D.C., NATO (a headquarters in Belgium), an Osaka factory, Japan, and main offices of Microsoft located in Redmond, Wash. “The Wall represents a uniquely squalid, violent, and ultimately futile, episode in the postwar world. And we know the subsequent international crisis, which was especially intense during the summer and autumn of 1961, threatened the world with the risk of a military conflict, one that seemed as if it could escalate at any time into nuclear confrontation between the US and the Soviet Union,” (The Berlin Wall).