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Behind the Berlin Wall – East Germany and the Frontiers of Power - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Behind the Berlin Wall: East Germany and the Frontiers of Power

Patrick Major


Few historical changes occur literally overnight, but on 13 August 1961 18 million East Germans awoke to find themselves walled in by an edifice which was to become synonymous with the Cold War: the Berlin Wall. This new history rejects traditional, top‐down approaches to Cold War politics, exploring instead how the border closure affected ordinary East Germans, from workers and farmers to teenagers and even party members, ‘caught out’ by Sunday the Thirteenth. Party, police, and Stasi reports reveal why one in six East Germans fled the country during the 1950s, undermining communist rule and ... More

Keywords: Berlin Wall, East Germany, German Democratic Republic, GDR, Socialist Unity Party of Germany, SED, open border, Republikflucht, emigration, freedom of travel, exit, voice, loyalty, popular opinion

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780199243280
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243280.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Patrick Major, author
Professor of History, University of Reading
Author Webpage