• Short Summary

    HOPES OF A RELAXATION IN THE COLD WAR ARE HIGH WITH THE APPROACH NEXT WEEK OF THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF THE BERLIN WALL -- THE JAGGED LINE OF FORTIFICATIONS THAT SLICE THROUGH THE DIVIDED CITY.

  • Description

    GV MR. KHRUSHCHEV AND PARTY BEHIND BARRIER IN EASTERN SECTOR (JAN 17, 1962).
    STV...BARRIER LIFTED, KHRUSHCHEV WALKS TOWARDS BOUNDARY
    TGV..DITTO AND PEOPLE AT WESTERN SECTOR BARRIER.
    Background: HOPES OF A RELAXATION IN THE COLD WAR ARE HIGH WITH THE APPROACH NEXT WEEK OF THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF THE BERLIN WALL -- THE JAGGED LINE OF FORTIFICATIONS THAT SLICE THROUGH THE DIVIDED CITY.THOUGH THE WALL -- AND BERLIN ITSELF - REMAINS A THORNY PROBLEM IN EAST-WEST RELATIONS, ITS ANNIVERSARY WILL BE CELEBRATED AMID A MARKED SLACKENING OF INTERNATIONAL TENSION FOLLOWING THE SIGNING LAST WEEK OF THE BIG THREE NUCLEAR TEST BAN TREATY.

    THE WALL FIRST CAME INTO BEING AUGUST 13, 1961 WHEN THE EAST GERMAN REGIME SEALED THE EAST-WEST BERLIN CITY BORDER, THUS HALTING THE EXODUS OF EAST GERMAN REFUGEES INTO WEST BERLIN.THE BAN WAS ENFORCED BY SETTING UP BARBED WIRE BARRICADES ON THE EAST-WEST CITY BORDER AND BY REDUCING THE NUMEROUS CROSSING POINTS TO A FEW CLOSELY-GUARDED CHECKPOINTS.A FEW DAYS LATER, THE WIRE BARRIERS WERE REINFORCED WITH CONCRETE SLABS AND BLOCKS.THE WALL GREW TO A MASSIVE, 16FT-HIGH BARRICADE STRETCHING FOR 25 MILES ALONG THE SECTOR BORDER, FORTIFIED WITH TANK OBSTACLES AND WATCH TOWERS.

    EAST GERMAN LEADER HERR WALTER ULBRICHT, FILMED INSPECTING EAST GERMAN TROOPS AT THE BERLIN WALL DURING AUGUST 1961, TOLD THE WORLD THAT THE WALL WOULD REMAIN UNTIL RUSSIA SIGNED A PEACE TREATY WITH EAST GERMANY.THE WEST FEARED THAT SUCH A TREATY WOULD RESULT IN EAST GERMANY CUTTING ACCESS ROUTES TO WEST BERLIN ACROSS EAST GERMAN TERRITORY.WEST BERLIN NOW FOUND ITSELF FACING ITS WORSE CRISIS SINCE THE 1948 SOVIET BLOCKADE.

    WITHIN A FORTNIGHT OF THE WALL BEING BUILT, THE WESTERN POWERS BROUGHT IN TROOP REINFORCEMENTS TO STRENGTHEN THEIR WEST BERLIN GARRISONS.THE FIRST WESTERN MILITARY REINFORCEMENTS -- A CONVOY OF U.S.TROOPS -- DROVE INTO THE CITY AUGUST 20 TO A WARM WELCOME FROM WEST BERLINERS, REMINISCENT OF LIBERATION DAY, 1945.THEN CAME A SHOW OF STRENGTH BY BOTH EAST AND WEST WITH TANKS AND ARMOURED TROOP CARRIERS RANGED MENACINGLY AT CHECKPOINTS ON THE CITY BORDER.ONE OF THE TENSION POINTS WAS "CHECKPOINT CHARLIE" IN WEST BERLIN'S FRIEDRICHSTRASSE, WHERE ARMED TROOPS AND TANKS FACED EACH OTHER ONLY YARDS APART ON EITHER SIDE OF THE BORDER.

    NEXT MONTH, SEPTEMBER, 1961 THE COMPULSORY EVACUATION OF EAST BERLINERS ALONG THE CITY'S SECTOR BORDER SPARKED TWO INCIDENTS WHICH ILLUSTRATED THE TENSION AND FRUSTRATION ON BOTH SIDES OF THE DIVIDING WALL.WHILE EAST BERLIN POLICE WERE SUPERVISING REMOVAL OF OCCUPANTS AND FURNITURE IN THE BERNAUERSTRASSE DISTRICT, THEY WERE JEERED AND CATCALLED BY A WEST BERLIN CROWD GATHERED AT THE FRENCH SECTOR BORDER.THE POLICE TOSSED SMOKE BOMBS TO DISPERSE THE CROWD, WHO PROMPTLY THREW THEM BACK.THE EAST GERMANS RETALIATED WITH DRENCHING SPRAY FROM HIGH POWER WATER CANNON.

    MEANWHILE, IN ONE OF THE BUILDING BEING EVACUATED, A 77-YEAR-OLD WOMAN DECIDED SHE WOULD RATHER JUMP FROM AN UPSTAIRS WINDOW INTO WEST BERLIN THAN BE FORCIBLY REMOVED FROM HER HOME.THE HOUSE WAS IN EAST BERLIN BUT THE STREET OUTSIDE OPENED INTO WEST BERLIN.AS SHE HUNG OUT OF THE WINDOW, TWO EAST BERLIN POLICE HELD HER HANDS AND TRIED TO PULL HER BACK INTO THE HOUSE.

    A WEST BERLIN YOUTH PERCHED ON A LOWER WINDOW LEDGE, JUMPED UP AND GRABBED HER ANKLES.THE TUG-OF-WAR WENT ON UNTIL THE WOMAN FELL TO SAFETY INTO A CANVAS HELD BY WEST BERLINERS.SIMILAR EXITS IN BUILDING ALONG THE CITY BORDER WERE BRICKED BY THE EAST GERMAN WORKERS, BUT ESCAPE BIDS -- SOME DARING, SOME FATAL -- WENT ON FOR MONTHS.TODAY, FEW EAST GERMANS DARE TO BREAK THROUGH THE CORDON OF GUARDS AND CLAMBER THE WALL INTO WEST BERLIN, FOR TO DO SO MEANS ALMOST CERTAIN DEATH.

    ON AUGUST 13 LAST YEAR WEST BERLINERS MARKED THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THE ERECTION OF THE WALL WITH THREE MINUTES SILENCE AT NOON.AS THE FREEDOM BELL (SOF) RANG OUT FROM THE CITY'S SCHOENEBERG TOWN HALL, MANY THOUSANDS -- AMONG THEM MAYOR WILLY BRANDT -- STOOD IN THE SQUARE OUTSIDE, REMEMBERING RELATIVES AND FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WALL.THEN, WHILE THE CROWDS STOOD IN SILENT TRIBUTE, A NOISY CRESCENDO OF MOTOR HORNS AROSE FROM TRAFFIC -- AN EAR-SPLITTING BLAST VOICING WEST BERLIN'S PROTEST AGAINST THE WALL.(SOF).MAYOR BRANDT AND OTHER CITY DIGNITARIES LAID WREATHS AT A MONUMENT DEDICATED TO THE "UNKNOWN REFUGEE".

    LATER THAT DAY, CAME UGLY SCENES WHEN ANGRY WEST BERLINERS GATHERED NEAR THE WALL, SHAKING THEIR FISTS AND SHOUTING "DOWN WITH ULBRICHT" AND "DOWN WITH THE WALL".EAST GERMAN TROOPS DOUSED THE DEMONSTRATORS WITH HIGH-PRESSURE JETS FROM WATER-CANNON, THEN TRIED TO DISPERSE THEM WITH TEAR GAS GRENADES.THE WEST BERLINERS RETALIATED WITH A HAIL OF STONES.

    FOUR DAYS LATER - ON AUGUST 17 - CAME THE TRAGEDY OF PETER FECHTER, THE 18-YEAR-OLD YOUTH DOWN BY EAST GERMANY BORDER GUARDS WHILE TRYING TO ESCAPE OVER THE WALL TO WEST BERLIN.FOR ALMOST AN HOUR FECHTER LAY BLEEDING TO DEATH IN CLEAR SIGHT OF WEST BERLINERS BEFORE EAST GERMAN GUARDS CARRIED HIM AWAY.HE DIED A FEW HOURS LATE.INCENSED WEST BERLINER GATHERED AT THE WALL AND HURLED ABUSE AT EAST GERMAN GUARDS.WHO FORCED THEM BACK WITH WATER CANNON AND TEAR GAS.

    NEXT MONTH, 59 EAST GERMANS MADE A MASS FLIGHT TO WEST BERLIN THROUGH AND UNDERGROUND TUNNEL BUILT UNDER THE WALL.IT WAS THE BIGGEST GROUP TO BEAT THE BERLIN WALL SINCE ITS ERECTION A YEAR BEFORE.THE REFUGEES - MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN -- GOT OUT DURING A WEEKEND BEFORE WATER, LEAKING THROUGH A DAMAGED MAIN FLOODED THE TUNNEL.IT TOOK WEST BERLIN STUDENTS SEVERAL WEEKS TO DIG THE TUNNEL, WHICH BEGAN IN A CELLAR OF A HOUSE ON THE WESTERN SIDE OF THE BERNAUERSTRASSE AND LED TO A POINT 165 YARDS INSIDE EAST BERLIN.THE TUNNEL WAS ENTERED FROM A MANHOLE; WOODEN STEPS LED DOWN TO WHERE THE TUNNEL'S ROOF AND WALLS WERE BRACED WITH PROPS.A WINCH WAS USED FOR DRAGGING SOIL BY MEANS OF A WHEEL A BARROW THAT RAN ON RAILS.TOOLS, WORKCLOTHES AND A VENTILATION UNIT USED BY THE DIGGERS WERE FILMED A FEW HOURS AFTER THE BIG ESCAPE.

    IN JANUARY THIS YEAR, SOVIET PREMIER NIKITA KHRUSHCHEV PAID HIS FIRST VISIT TO THE BERLIN WALL.MR.KHRUSHCHEV AND HIS PARTY, INCLUDING EAST GERMAN LEADER WALTER ULBRICHT, WAS FILMED FROM THE WESTERN SIDE OF THE WALL AS HE VISITED FRIEDRICHSTRASSE CHECKPOINT.THEN SIX MONTHS LATER -- IN JUNE -- ANOTHER WORLD LEADER VISITED THE CITY.THIS TIME IT WAS PRESIDENT KENNEDY, ALSO ON HIS FIRST VISIT.MR.KENNEDY PAUSED AT CHECKPOINT CHARLIE, MAIN CROSSING POINT FOR FOREIGNERS, AND WALKED UP TO THE PAINTED BORDER LINE IN FULL VIEW OF EAST BERLINERS GATHERED A FEW HUNDRED YARDS AWAY ON THE OTHER SIDE.THE PRESIDENT DESCRIBED THE WALL AS A "MOST OBVIOUS AND VIVID DEMONSTRATION OF THE FAILURE OF COMMUNISM FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE."
    BUT SUCH EXCHANGES BETWEEN EAST AND WEST LEADERS HAVE FADED INTO THE BACKGROUND SINCE THE NEGOTIATIONS THIS MONTH IN MOSCOW BETWEEN THE BIG THREE POWERS.HOWEVER, DESPITE RENEWED HOPES OF INTERNATIONAL ACCORD.THE BERLIN WALL NOW TWO YEARS OLD STILL REMAINS - SOLID AND IMPENETRABLE - A STARK SYMBOL OF A DIVIDED CITY.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVADGETY0GF7K9TVKEZX05G71IYD
    Media URN:
    VLVADGETY0GF7K9TVKEZX05G71IYD
    Group:
    Unissued / unused
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    10/08/1963
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:05:14:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A
  • Part of…

    GERMANY: DIVIDED CITY: SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF BERLIN WALL GERMANY: DIVIDED CITY: SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF BERLIN WALL GERMANY: DIVIDED CITY: SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF BERLIN WALL GERMANY: DIVIDED CITY: SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF BERLIN WALL

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