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Which Side of Berlin Was Communist?

by | Mar 7, 2024 | World War Tour Berlin

Welcome to our blog post on the division of Berlin during the Cold War! This historical event played a significant role in shaping the political landscape of Germany and the world. If you’ve ever wondered which side of Berlin was communist, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive in and explore the details.

The Division of Berlin

Following World War II, Germany was divided into four occupation zones controlled by the Allied powers: the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and France. Berlin, the capital city, situated within the Soviet zone, was also divided into four sectors among the Allied powers.

The Communist East

The Soviet Union established a communist government in East Germany, which included East Berlin and the surrounding areas. East Berlin became the capital of East Germany, officially known as the German Democratic Republic (GDR). The communist ideology strongly influenced the policies and daily life in the eastern part of the city.

The Democratic West

In contrast, West Berlin, situated deep within East Germany, was controlled by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. It became an enclave of Western democracy and capitalism surrounded by the communist East. West Berlin became part of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), commonly referred to as West Germany.

The Berlin Wall

The division between East and West Berlin became physical with the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The wall was built by the East German government to prevent the mass migration of East Germans to the more prosperous West. It effectively sealed off East Berlin from West Berlin for almost three decades.

Life in Communist East Berlin

Living conditions in East Berlin were vastly different from those in the West. The communist regime controlled many aspects of daily life, including media, education, and employment. Citizens of East Berlin faced restrictions on travel, limited access to goods and services, and constant surveillance by the state security forces.

Tensions and Cold War Politics

The division of Berlin was more than just a physical separation; it was a symbolic representation of the broader ideological conflict between the Communist Bloc led by the Soviet Union and the Western Bloc led by the United States. The presence of two opposing systems in close proximity resulted in frequent tensions, including the Berlin Crisis of 1961 and the Berlin Airlift of 1948-1949.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall stood as a stark symbol of the Cold War until November 9, 1989, when it was finally opened. The fall of the wall marked a turning point in German history and led to the reunification of East and West Germany. The communist government in East Berlin crumbled, and Germany became a fully reunited democratic country.

Legacy and Reunification

Germany’s reunification brought challenges and opportunities. The people of East and West Germany had to navigate different economic systems, political ideologies, and cultural differences. Despite these obstacles, the reunification has resulted in a stronger and more prosperous Germany, offering a glimpse into the power of unity.


The division of Berlin during the Cold War was a visible representation of the broader East-West divide. East Berlin was communist, aligned with the Soviet Union, whereas West Berlin stood as a symbol of democracy allied with the Western powers. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent reunification of Germany marked the end of a turbulent era and brought hope for a brighter future. Understanding this historical context can deepen our appreciation for the struggles and triumphs of the people involved.

Thank you for reading! We hope this article has shed light on the question of which side of Berlin was communist and provided you with a solid introduction to this crucial period in history. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, feel free to explore our additional resources or leave a comment below.

Which Side of Berlin Was Communist?