Historians have long argued over whether East German leader Walter Ulbricht or his Soviet counterpart Nikita Khrushchev was ultimately responsible for the construction of the Berlin Wall. A newly discovered Russian document from August 1961 provides some answers.
Never before had a regime locked up its own population. The border between the two Germanys had been sealed off for some time, but when the Wall went up, the loophole into West Berlin, through which East Germans had been able to flee to West Germany, was also closed.
From then on, anyone who wished to leave East Germany was risking his or her life. At least 136 people died in the attempt to surmount the Berlin Wall. They were shot by border guards, ripped to shreds by landmines or they drowned in the Spree River.
Was this sinister method of border control created at the urging of Ulbricht, because his state of workers and farmers was threatened by a brain drain, as former Soviet diplomats claimed after German reunification? Or did Khrushchev order the Wall's construction, as former senior members of the East German communist party, the SED, claim?
For years, historians have been trying to clear this contradiction, and now an answer may be in the offing. It appears in a Soviet document that Matthias Uhl of the German Historical Institute in Moscow has discovered: a previously unknown record of a conversation that took place between the two leaders on Aug. 1, 1961.
simply shows gross ignorance.
Has anyone told you lately, Foofie, that you're a pain in the ass?
You seem to have this unreasonable animus against history in general and recent historical events in particular if they don't relate somehow to the Holocaust. To call a documentation of an important historical fact "a maudlin article" simply shows gross ignorance.
A maudlin article, in my opinion, for a Germany that is looking forward, and assisting the rest of Europe to move forward into this new century. That was the context of my opinion relating to "maudlin." It can naturally be of great interest to many; however, I believe I do have a right to an opinion, if I give my context. You need not agree with me. I am not arguing with you or anyone on this. Notice that I said the article was maudlin, not those that enjoyed it.
And, it is not the Holocaust that piques my interest most, but the general observing of Gentiles and their mostly bourgeois attempts at being bon vivants, even though many tend to be exceptionally sensitive, and that negates a truly bon vivant persona, in my opinion. I used to watch birds. Birds get along much better than humans, I believe.
Why might the article not have given President Reagan credit for asking for the wall to be torn down, directing his request to the Soviets?
I added a "building the Berlin Wall" tag.
That might help Foofie understand what the article was about.
You are being too condescendant on that A-hole.