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2 - Operation "Wall of China"

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  International reactions

It was only after ensuring that the border closure elicited no formal protest from the western powers that East Germany on 15th August began to replace the temporary barriers with a solid wall 1 metre 50 (5 feet) high. The delay enabled thousands more East Germans to cross over to West Berlin, with 6 904 crossing the border on 13th and 14th August.

Although forewarned by their intelligence services that the East-West Berlin border was about to be closed, the western powers reacted with moderation, to the disappointment of 250 000 West Berliners who gathered outside Schöneberg City Hall on 16th August.

Holding that the Wall did not call into question the three essentials set out by President Kennedy on 25th July (free access to West Berlin, a western presence in the city, freedom for West Berliners), the United States were content to despatch Vice-President Johnson to the scene, accompanied by the hero of the air-lift, General Lucius D. Clay (1897-1978).

Meanwhile, the USSR abandoned thoughts of signing a peace treaty with East Germany, thereby upholding Berlin’s Four Power Status.

 

Berlin
Berlin

 

 A solid wall
A solid wall

 Checking the barbed wire
Checking the barbed wire

 Families separated
Families separated

 

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