Day School - The Berlin Wall: why was it built what and caused it's demise?

Ref: C2225021

In November 1989, after a series of remarkable events in Eastern Europe, the East German authorities decided to dismantle the Berlin Wall and so remove this most potent symbol of the so-called “Iron Curtain” between communism and capitalism. This course looks at the history of Berlin from the end of the Second World War: the early years when the city was administered by the four powers, the severing of links between East and West by the building of the Wall in 1961, and then the dramatic events of 1989 when the Wall was breached. We will look at the problems inherent within the Soviet bloc of East European countries that caused instability and affected the situation in East Germany, and issues specific to Germany that caused tensions always likely to undermine Soviet control. We will also consider the important changes in the Soviet Union, Poland and Hungary in the 1980s that brought pressure to bear on the hardline leadership of East Germany. Illustrated with slides and film clips.

Additional information about this course

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Course aim

To give an overview of why the Berlin Wall was built, how it affected people living in Berlin and Germany, and what factors caused its demise.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Explain why Stalin wanted to control East Germany
  • Identify problems for the Soviet bloc of a divided Germany
  • List three reasons why East Germany built the Berlin Wall
  • Discuss the roles of Pope John Paul II and Mikhail Gorbachëv in the fall of communism in Eastern Europe

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • Some means of taking notes would be useful

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information

Download full Course information sheet

Day School - The Berlin Wall: why was it built what and caused it's demise?


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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