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Berlin Wall listening

Page history last edited by bertaalvarez 6 years, 9 months ago


Before you actually do the listening, here are a few questions for you to familiarise yourself with the topic:


1. Who is Helmut Kohl? What did he do between 1982 and 1998? What party did he belong to? Paste a picture of him below. (Lluís F)


Kohl was born in Ludwigshafen am Rhein (Germany).He is the third child of Hans Kohl (1887–1975), a civil servant, and his wife, Cäcilie (née Schnur; 1890–1979). His family was conservative and Roman Catholic, and remained loyal to the Catholic Centre Party before and after 1933. His older brother died in the Second World War as a teenage soldier. In the last weeks of the war, Kohl was also drafted, but he was not involved in any combat.
On 1 October 1982, the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) proposed a constructive vote of no confidence which was supported by the FDP (Free Democratic Party). The motion carried. Three days later, the Bundestag voted in a new CDU/CSU-FDP coalition cabinet, with Kohl as the chancellor, he persist in this position from 1982 to 1998.

2. Who was Margaret Thatcher? What was she known as? (What was her "nickname"?) What party did she belong to? Paste a picture of her below. (Martín)

Margaret Hilda Thatcher was born on October 13th 1925. She was a British politician who was the Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1979 to 1990, which is the longest time someone has been in power and the only woman that had this position. She belonged to the Conservative party, which she took the leadership of from 1975 to 1990. She was known as the “Iron Lady” because of her strong opposition against the Soviet Union .

The policies she implemented were known as Thatcherism, for example the privatisation of state-owned companies and reducing the power and influence of trade unions


3. Who is Mikhail Gorbachev? What did he do from 1988 until 1991? What party did he belong to? Paste a picture of him below. (Dani)

Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, he served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the country's head of state from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991. He was the only general secretary in the history of the Soviet Union to have been born during Communist rule. Gorbachev is one of the last surviving leaders of an Eastern Bloc nation as of 2013. Nowadays he is the president of the independent Democratic Party in Russia.


4. What was the Perestroika? What does the word actually mean in Russian? (Mercè)

Perestroika ( http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/90/Ru-perestroika.ogg)  was a political movement within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during the 1980’s. It’s mainly associated with soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his glasnost (openness) policy reform.

Perestroika means “restructuring”  as a way of reforming  the Soviet political and economic system.

Perestroika’s main aim was to make socialism work more efficiently to satisfy the needs of soviet costumers.

Perestroika is often argued to be the cause of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the revolutions of 1989 in Eastern Europe, and the end of the Cold War.




5. Who was Erich Honecker? What was his connection with East Germany? Paste a picture of him below. (Aleix)

He was a German Comunist who, given that he was communist and membre of the Communist Party of Germany, faced the nazis and was arrested in consequence. He spent ten years in prison, until the World War 2 ended. He was one of the people that led the unification of the sociodemocrats. He also became the president of the National Defence Council, of the State Council and one of the most important leaders of the GDR. He was replaced by Egon Wenz in 19th October of 1989.




6. What was the Eastern Bloc? What countries belonged to it? Paste a map illustrating the Eastern Bloc here. (Berta Ll)


The Eastern bloc, also called Sovietic bloc, was formed by  several countries which after the second world war adopted a comunist government due to the influence of the Soviet Union.  The countries that belonged to this bloc were:  Poland,  Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, East Germany, Alabania and Yugoslavia. The last two are sometimes not considered part of the Eastern bloc as they broke with the Soviet Union through  the Tito-Stalin Split (yugoslavia)  in 1948 and in the Sino-Soviet split  in 1960 (Albania).



7. What did the Iron Curtain refer to? (Berta A., Quique, Lluís B.)

The iron curtain was the boundary dividing Europe after the 2 wold war. It divided Europe in two diferent areas the soviet part and the allies part. This separation started in 1945 and it ended in 1991. Each side had their own economic and military alliances. Physically, the Iron Curtain took the form of border defenses between the countries of Europe in the middle of the continent. The most notable border was marked by the Berlin Wall and its Checkpoint Charlie which served as a symbol of the Curtain as a whole.


8. FDR is the English acronym for Bundesrepublik Deutschland. What does it actually stand for? What was its capital? How was it different from GDR?  (Berta A., Quique, Lluís B.)


FDR, the English acronym for Bundesrepublik Deutchland stands for  Federal Republic of Germany . When Germany was still divided, Bonn was the capital of West Germany (the Federal Republic).  A tremendous difference between the FDR and GDR ( German Democratic Republic) can also be seen in the way that men and women were treated in the labor market ...


9. What about GDR? What does it stand for (related to Germany)? How do you say it in German? What was its capital? How was it different from FDR? (Berta A., Quique, Lluís B.)


What about GDR? What does it stand for (related to Germany)? How do you say it in German? What was its capital? How was it different from FDR? (Berta A., Quique, Lluís B.) GDR stands for German Democratic Republic (East Germany). In German yo say it Deutsche Demokratische Republik [ˈdɔʏtʃə demoˈkʀaːtɪʃə ʀepuˈbliːk]. The capital was Berlin, like nowadays. A tremendous difference between the FDR and GDR ( German Democratic Republic) can also be seen in the way that men and women were treated in the labor market ...


10. What does NATO stand for? Which countries belong to it in the first place? And nowadays? When did Germany join NATO as one country? (Berta A., Quique, Lluís B.)


NATO stands for "North Atlantic Treaty Organization".  An international organization created in 1949 by the North Atlantic Treaty for purposes of collective security. In the first place (1949) Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United States belonged to NATO. Bringing the membership to 26, in 1952 Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United States, Greece ,Turkey , Germany, Spain , Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Brussels belong nowadays to NATO. Germany joined Nato in 1952.



11. What does Anscluss mean in German? What historical event does it usually refer to?


12. When was the Berlin Wall built? When did it fall?(MARTIN FANEGAS)

The physical  Berlin wall was built on august 13th 1961 and it was demolished in 1990.



November 8, 2009 marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. On the streets that November night in 1989, Germans celebrated the demise of the barrier, but had no way of knowing what political and cultural fallout would follow. On NPR All Things Considered Host Guy Raz recaps the events from 20 years ago and talks with Mary Sarotte, author of 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe, about the fall of the wall and what came after.


Here's a listening task to go with it (fill in the gaps) and the transcript for you to read and check your answers. Thanks to Tomeu Aloy for designing the task!

Berlin Wall NPR Transcript


Finally, here's a video on the fall of the Berlin Wall. Thanks to Tomeu Aloy for it!


The Berlin Wall, 20 years gone
Twenty years ago, on the night of November 9, 1989, following weeks of pro-democracy protests, East German authorities suddenly opened their border to West Germany. After 28 years as prisoners of their own country, euphoric East Germans streamed to checkpoints and rushed past bewildered guards, many falling tearfully into the arms of West Germans welcoming them on the other side. You can visit The BBC Archive for more videos on this subject.



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