After World War II, Europe was in wreck. Germany was divided among the victorious allies in two blocks, West and East. West Germany was under the control of United States of America, France and England, whereas East Germany was led by the Soviet Union. The end of World War II was quickly followed by the birth of a new war, the Cold War. As a result, the situation emerging from 1945 and so on, was laying the foundations of a new chapter in history that would stamp European biography and global politics once and for all. .
According to Ross, this separation of Germany caused approximately 3.5 million people out of 18 million, many of them who were skilled workers and intellectuals, to head towards the western side of the country (459). "Moreover, the open border and possibility of flight to the West placed certain constraints on the entire 'construction of socialism' in East Germany" (460). These circumstances caused a loss of labor force, directly impacting the economy of East Germany. In order to prevent the migration of individuals, on 13 August 1961 the city of Berlin was segregated in two by a wall built under the orders of the GDR leader, Ulbricht ("A World Divided").
"The original wall erected in 1961 was improved upon over the next 20 years. The most heavily fortified section of the wall included electric fences, watchtowers, and automatic guns and a less-fortified wall encircled West Berlin completely, keeping all East Germans out of West Berlin" (Sara Ann McGill par 4). However at that time, no one believed it would take a total of 28 years to tear it down. This Wall separated families, friends and overall the whole population of the same city. Many people who were frustrated with the socialist regime tried to escape; only a small number of them managed to make it through by digging tunnels, flying above it or even crashing trucks into the wall, while the majority of them died trying ("A World Divided").