I wrote this poem in 2004. I was a sophomore in high school. Little did I know that on this day being Sunday, 60 years ago that the wall was built! It is crazy to think so many lives were displaced overnight.

The Berlin Wall

Berlin, Germany

At the end of World War II,
Germany was divided and Berlin was cut right through!
Berlin was separated into four occupation zones,
All under the control to each of the allied thrones!
The Soviet Union, United States, Great Britain and France;
All signed the terms of agreement giving Germany no chance.
The Soviet Union controlled the East,
And the Allied forces to the West;
Knowing all along they controlled the best.
The cooperation was supported by the Federal Republic of Germany,
While in the East, the Soviets began to rage in fury!

There were no limitations of migration from West to East or East to West,
As Berliners passed through the borders on their different quest.
Most refugees were flocking from East Germany,
To begin life anew with the special journey.
However, to the political discontent,
It created great repent.
With a first attempt to close the border,
In May of 52’ barbed wire was placed to keep the order.
Still, with an authorized pass or sneaky way of escaping,
Through checkpoints, East Berliners were still scraping.
To stop the flow and enforce the system,
In 61’, Ulbricht established a final ultimatum!

In the midst of the night, East Germans worked through to the morning,
As West Berliners awoke, on August 13th without any warning.
A temporary barbed wire barrier was placed around West Berlin,
Which was soon, quickly replaced by a symbol of sin.
The majority of crossing points and the underground trains,
Were sealed off completely and closely watched by Great Danes.
Neighborhoods were divided by steel and stone,
As West and East families and friends were left all alone.
Within weeks, West Berlin was entirely surrounded,
And the international opinion was simply astounded.
Separating highways, streets, rivers, railways, and parks,
The Berlin Wall left its’ true marks!

There were only two crossing point including Checkpoint Charlie
That was heavily guarded, searching every car and certainly every Harley.
To get to the other side, you had to have a good reason,
Including visiting a sick family member during the Christmas season.
To get into West Berlin you needed a special permit to cross
But without any authorization it was a deadly loss.
Escapees were often at times strapped to the chassis of a car,
Where as other fugitives would dig and crawl very far.
Among the unsuccessful to get to the West side of the wall,
The death toll amounted to at least 239 victims in all;
From either buried mined explosions or shot by guards,
It was all a fatal result of brainwashed boys who had disregards!

The distance between the West Wall and the East Wall was 27 miles,
Yet being constructed from concrete slabs each had its own styles.
The West Wall, towering over 11 feet tall,
Enclosed West Berlin by 96 miles of solid wall.
In between and around the two walls stood miles of wire fencing
With over 65 miles of anti-vehicle trenching.
All around the wall, was a section 20-50 feet wide of open land,
That was more or less often covered by sand.
And under the sand, mines were buried,
To be ignited and the results varied.
Wire entanglements were also included, as the armed patrols,
Watched for any movement, eliminating all loopholes.
The 302 watchtowers, over saw all,
But the dream of getting to the other side was no simple fall.

West Berlin began to view the wall as a part of their landscape,
But on the other side, every East German wanted to escape.
People traveled from far and wide,
To make their mark on the wall was in their mind.
Signing their name on either side,
Or stating something that wasn’t necessarily bona fide!
Even Ms. Barrett signed and gave her opinion to the USSR,
And we all know that her saying wasn’t bizarre!
For 28 years, the Berlin Wall stood as a symbol of tension,
But in 1989, the fall was all that was mentioned!
November 9th marked the day of its destruction,
And reunited the lost German people of its construction!

Drew Smith
June 2004