Tensions with the Soviet Union

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What are two outcomes of the Berlin Wall's construction?

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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.

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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.

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