Berlin Wall Rhetorical Analysis

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The Political and Social Rhetoric of the Berlin Wall On November 9th, 1989, the Berlin Wall’s gates were thrown open, marking the end of communism in Eastern Germany, as well as the end of the Soviet Union. Construction to build the Berlin Wall began on August 13th, 1961. The Wall symbolized a way to separate communist ideals from capitalistic ideals. During its usage, West Germans took to defacing the Berlin Wall with graffiti, showing a stark contrast in freedom of expression versus the intended purpose of restricting the expression by those contained in the East. Keeping in line with this mindset, once the wall fell, pieces of the wall were taken as souvenirs. These pieces of memorabilia contain symbolic rhetoric that walls can only contain,…show more content…
One of the most prominent and notable men to make an attempt at crossing, Peter Fechter, was shot and bled to death, in full view of the Western media, on 17 August 1962, four days past a year since the erecting of the Berlin Wall. Fechter's death created negative publicity worldwide that led the leaders of East Berlin to place more restrictions on shooting in public places, and provide medical care for possible "would-be escapers." (Taylor). Keeping in line with the propaganda aspect, this methodology serves to win the argument for the respective side in question. As time progressed and primitive forms of social media began to surface, unrest began to stir in East Germany, for images depicting joy in Western Germany began to spring up. As this yearning for freedom grew, an opportunity arose for the United States to become international diplomats. With Reagan calling for the wall to come down, the voices of support in Germany led to the inevitable dissolution of the wall. Once the Minister of Propaganda, Gunter Schabowski, read out a note that allowed, “private trips abroad”, and the German people immediately gathered in their thousands by the checkpoints, demanding passage. (Berlin-Life). This mass influx at the borders caused the untrained and ill-equipped guard to allow the citizens passage into the west, signifying the walls

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