So you vaguely recall hearing something about an upcoming anniversary in Germany, but you’re embarrassed to admit that you don’t really know what all the hoopla is about. Sure, you know Berlin is the capital of Germany, and you’ve come across the notion of some kind of “Wall” being there, but that’s about the extent of your knowledge.
That’s what I’m here for, to help you learn a bit o’ history. Here are three links to help you understand what this upcoming anniversary is all about:
- The BBC maintains a series of pages dedicated to helping British students study for their GCSEs (General Certificate for Secondary Education). For their history coverage they include a set of pages on the Berlin Wall. This is a very short (a few paragraphs) summary of why the Wall was built. If you wish to go further in understanding the historical context, view the other pages in their “Back to International relations 1945 – 1991″ series.
- The website of the German Mission to the United States features a page titled Looking Back at the Fall of the Berlin Wall”, which is a nice, succinct, single-page summary of the Berlin Wall. A short timeline covering 1945-1990 is also provided, as are several suggested links to other pages.
- Last but not least, there is always Wikipedia and their comprehensive entry concerning the Berlin Wall. This makes for longer reading than the links above, but provides a great deal of historical context.
And now for a little bonus. Do you want to “feel” the Berlin Wall, in an emotional sorta way? I find the video below to be absolutely goose-bumpy! It features video clips concerning the Wall, accompanied by the song “Wind of Change” from the German band The Scorpions. The song is relevant: it was written with the revolutions of 1989 in mind. Put on your headphones, turn up the volume, kick back and immerse yourself in the Berlin Wall experience:
No excuses! Now you know about that infamous Wall and you’re prepared to talk about it in the coming week!
P.S. You can always read a book, too, if you find yourself more interested! Here is one wholly dedicated to the topic of the Berlin Wall. The book came out this year specifically because of the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, which is celebrated on 09 November.
It’s Jeffrey Engel’s The Fall of the Berlin Wall: The Revolutionary Legacy of 1989. That link is for Amazon.com, but the book is also available via Amazon UK, Canada and Germany.
The photo of the Berlin Wall that accompanies this blog post is from Flickr user “vivaopictures”, who has graciously made it available to all of us via the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license. The suggested attribution is as follows: