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From the moment the DDR was formed in 1949, many of its citizens chose to leave to start a new life in the West. By the mid-1950s, the trickle had turned into a flood as large numbers rejected Walter Ulbricht's Communist paradise. His Workers & Peasants State could not afford to lose the skills and productivity from these key workers, so he proposed a radical solution - physically stop them leaving by fencing in the whole population. His plan would fortify the Inner German Border from the Baltic to the Czech border and would build a Wall around West Berlin to stop the flow of East German refugees to the West. It was a bold, innovative, and desperate move from a morally bankrupt and failing state. This book explores the background and build-up to this monumental decision, reviewing the dramatic geo-political developments of the 1950s and early 1960s as international tensions threatened the post-war peace.
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