What are two outcomes of the construction of the Berlin wall?

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beardian eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Once the Berlin Wall was built, some Germans were isolated from their families, friends, and jobs on the other side of the wall.  The Soviets built the Berlin Wall around West Berlin in order to keep citizens of Soviet East Berlin (and East Germany in general) trapped in the Soviet Union and kept out of free West Berlin.  Some families were separated until the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.

Another outcome was the polarization of capitalism and communism during the Cold War.  The US and USSR already did not trust each other, and building the wall around West Berlin solidified this.  It also made communism seem weak - in order to contain its citizens, a wall needed to be built.  It strengthened the power of capitalism and western democracy and made communism seem weaker.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first and most obvious outcome was that people were no longer able to escape communism simply by leaving East Berlin and going to West Berlin.  This was important in human terms for the people who were caught, but it was also important in allowing communism to continue in East Germany.  If people had been able to keep leaving in huge numbers, East Germany would have had a hard time surviving.

The second outcome was that communism was badly discredited.  The fact that the communists needed to build a wall to keep people in was a major black eye for their cause.  This helped give the West the moral high ground in the Cold War.

gsenviro | Student

One of the main outcomes of the construction of the Berlin Wall was the segregation of families and the loss of employment for thousands of people. People used to cross over to the other side to meet family and/or for employment. Construction of the wall prevented that. Many people tried to cross the wall and were shot dead by the guards.

It divided the country into two parts, each with different methods of governance: capitalist vs. communist. The wall made sure that GDR survived for a few more decades. The wall was in fact built to prevent the people from migrating to West Germany and if the trend had been allowed to go on unchecked, it would have destroyed East Germany, since a large fraction of the young population was immigrating. If the wall was not constructed, it would have made matters simple, that is a large-scale exodus would have ensured the failure of East Germany and a united Germany would have risen much earlier. The fact that they had to build a wall to keep the citizens in says a lot about the conditions of the country.

jamiie789 | Student

Communism was disregarded and communism was not easy to escape from.