Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free

What Was the Soviet Union’s Perspective on the Berlin Wall?

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Walking Tour

When discussing the Berlin Wall, it is essential to understand the perspective of the Soviet Union during the construction and existence of this historic barrier. Let’s delve into how the Soviet Union felt about the Berlin Wall and explore the reasons behind its construction and eventual fall.

The Context of the Cold War

The construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 occurred amidst the backdrop of the Cold War, a period of intense ideological and political tensions between the Soviet Union and the Western world, primarily led by the United States. The Soviet Union, a communist nation, entrenched its control over Eastern European countries, forming what was known as the Eastern Bloc.

The Motivation behind the Wall

The Soviet Union had multiple motivations for building the Berlin Wall. One major reason was to halt the mass exodus of its citizens from East Germany to the more prosperous and democratic West Germany. By erecting the wall, the Soviet Union aimed to prevent the erosion of its influence and the loss of skilled workers.

The wall also served as a physical symbol of the division between communism and capitalism, enforcing the idea that the Eastern Bloc was a separate entity, isolated from the capitalist West. Additionally, it enabled the Soviet Union to exert control over the flow of information and ideas between East and West, further isolating its Eastern European allies from Western influence.

Life Under Soviet Rule

Living in Soviet-controlled East Germany was marked by restrictions on personal freedoms, limited opportunities, and economic hardships. The Soviet Union’s influence over Eastern Bloc countries was iron-fisted, with strict communist policies and surveillance systems ensuring compliance.

Repression and Surveillance

The Soviet Union employed a system of repression and surveillance in East Germany to suppress dissent and potential uprisings. The infamous East German secret police, known as the Stasi, monitored citizens, tapped phones, and encouraged neighbors to report on each other. This constant surveillance created an atmosphere of fear and limited individual freedoms.

Economic Struggles

While the Soviet Union attempted to present socialism as an advantageous system, East Germany faced economic challenges. The centrally planned economy failed to provide the standard of living witnessed in West Germany, leading to disparities in wealth and opportunities. This economic divide between East and West further fueled the desire of East Germans to escape to the West.

Change and Reunification

Throughout the years, the Soviet Union faced increasing pressure from both internal and external forces. Mikhail Gorbachev’s rise to power as the General Secretary of the Soviet Union in 1985 signaled a period of significant change.

Glasnost and Perestroika

Gorbachev implemented policies known as “glasnost” (openness) and “perestroika” (restructuring) to address the issues faced by the Soviet Union. These policies aimed to introduce political and economic reforms while fostering transparency and greater international cooperation.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Gorbachev’s reforms had far-reaching consequences, ultimately leading to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The Soviet Union’s willingness to allow democratic changes in Eastern Europe and refraining from military intervention signaled a significant shift in their perspective on the Berlin Wall.

The opening of the wall symbolized the end of the Cold War and the reunification of East and West Germany. The Soviet Union’s changing stance laid the groundwork for the transformation of Europe as a whole, fostering increased cooperation and the dismantling of the Cold War divisions.


The Soviet Union’s perspective on the Berlin Wall was initially rooted in maintaining control and preventing the mass exodus of its citizens. However, the winds of change brought about by Gorbachev and the pressures of a changing world eventually led to a shift in the Soviet Union’s stance.

The fall of the Berlin Wall stands as a testament to the power of the people and their desire for freedom and reunification. Understanding the Soviet Union’s viewpoint helps us comprehend the complexities that shaped this historic event and its lasting impact on the world.

Thank you for reading. If you're inspired by the stories of Berlin and want to delve deeper, why not join us on our Free Berlin Walking Tour? It's a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the city's rich history and vibrant culture. We look forward to welcoming you soon.



  • 3.5 hours walking tour
  • Berlin’s major highlights
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Reichstag and Berlin Wall
  • Historical sites

Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free