字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント November 9th, 2015 marks 26 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It represented not only a physical barrier for the people of Germany, but an ideological divide that split the world in two. What many people don’t know about the Berlin Wall is that it did not run along the border between East and West Germany. Actually, it only encapsulated West Berlin, which was located deep in the heart of East Germany. So we wanted to know: why was the Berlin wall built in the first place, and how did West Berlin end up as a political island? Well, to put some of this in perspective, it's important to note the state of Germany just after World War Two. The Germans lost the war, ceding the former Nazi power to the victorious Allies. The US, The UK, France, and The USSR carved up Germany. The easternmost portion, running along what was called the Oder Neisse line, was allocated to Poland to make up for land lost during the war. The rest of the country was split into four zones. The Soviet Union took over the zone to the east. The US, the UK, and France occupied their own zones in the Western half of the country. This just left Berlin. Technically, Berlin was in the Soviet Union’s territory. But since Berlin was the capital of Germany, as well as the former home of the Nazi regime, it held significant historical and political value. So to keep things fair, Berlin was carved up into four zones, mirroring the rest of Germany. Now, this arrangement worked … briefly, but soon, the USSR began planning to take over the rest of Berlin, then Germany, then Europe. At the time, the USSR was making a big push to expand socialism throughout its territories, including East Germany. So to accomplish this, the Soviet Union started restricting access to West Berlin, creating one of the first flashpoints of the Cold War, known as the Berlin Blockade. And things only got worse from there -- the USSR began restricting emigration from their half of Germany. They built a massive wall, known as the “Inner-German Border” running down the middle of the country, with barbed wire, alarms, mines, and thousands of East German soldiers… By many accounts, life in the socialist, East Germany was pretty abysmal, particularly compared to the democratic and prospering West Germany. Thousands of East Germans defected, using a direct subway line between West Berlin and West Germany to bypass the closed border. To put an end to this, the Soviets erected the Berlin wall in 1961, running nearly 100 miles long. It completely surrounded West Berlin, which may seem counterintuitive because you’d think they’d create a border to protect their own territory. But actually this wall was to keep their citizens from defecting to the West. The wall would stay in place for nearly three decades. Even though this wall was much smaller and less elaborate than the “Inner-German Border,” the Berlin wall came to symbolize the conflict between socialist and democratic nations. In 1989, the Berlin Wall came down, marking an end to the USSR’s stranglehold on East Germany. If you want to learn about what actually brought down the Berlin Wall, check out this video by Seeker Daily up at the top. And to see more of me, check out my videos on Fusion, including this one about how robots and avatars can be used to treat depression down at the bottom.