“For decades, German families had been separated from one another between East Germany and West Germany. Post-World War II, the East German government—the German Democratic Republic (GDR)—constructed this physical barrier to define their territory separately from the government of West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). The main distinguishing characteristic between the two governments? A generalized sense of freedom and liberty versus socialism and oppression.
The Berlin Wall served the GDR’s main purpose: “to permanently close off access to the West.” Between 1949 and 1961, West Germany provided East Germans with a pathway toward democracy and capitalism.”