“No one has the intention of building a wall.” A sentence said by Walter Ulbricht on the 15th of June 1961, which nearly everybody knows today. A sentence which was one of the biggest lies in the German history. Two months later the GDR regime began with the building of the Wall. And this Wall determined for 28 years the life of the people in East and West Berlin.
The historian Hans-Hermann Hertle, who deals with the GDR and the Berlin Wall in numerous books, writes an interesting book about the Berlin Wall. It’s a biography of this monument that was more than anything else a sign for the SED dictatorship and the control and the monitoring of the own people. The book starts with plans of the route of the wall and the locations where the wall stood and what you could find there today. In total there are 9 chapters:
1/ Where the Wall stood
2/ Before the Wall went up
3/ Building of the Wall
4/ Escapes/ Escape Helpers/ Resistance
5/ Confrontation and Détente
6/ Perfecting the Border Barrier System
7/ Deaths at the Berlin Wall
8/ The Wall in the Honecker Era (1971-1989)
9/ The Fall of the Wall
At the end of the book you can find museums and memorial regarding the Berlin Wall, so you can learn more about the history of the Berlin Wall at authentic places. Besides that you find a reference to the Chronicle of the Berlin Wall, a homepage inter alia of the “Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung”, which is also involved in this book.
The book is really interesting and informative with a lot of pictures and quotations of contemporary witnesses. It’s recommendable for everyone who is interested in the history of the Berlin Wall or the GDR in general. Especially for students it is an easy-to-use reference book, because of its structure and the bibliography at the end.
The book was published by the Ch. Links Verlag in 2011 and the ISBN is 978-3-86153-650-5.