Grades 5+

It’s the fall of 1989, in Berlin, Germany. (1)

A 15-foot-high concrete wall runs through the city for three miles, dividing it in two distinct halves. (1)

Huge crowds, filled with excitement and anticipation, have gathered on both sides of the wall. People on the east side are about to experience the long-awaited freedom of crossing into the West. Those on the west side are eager to welcome friends and family from the East, people ready to rebuild their lives. (1)

To truly comprehend the significance of the wall, we must go back to the end of World War II. Germany, defeated in 1945, was occupied and divided into four zones. Berlin, Germany’s capital city, shared a similar fate. The western zone came under the control of the USA, Great Britain, and France, while the eastern zone suffered Soviet occupation. Life on both sides of the city has differed greatly. In the western zone, there has been economic growth and modernization, largely due to the capitalist system of the Marshall Plan. By contrast, East Berliners faced significant challenges and desired to cross the border and “illegally immigrate” to western Germany. The Soviets watched helplessly as East Germans fled to the other side. Then, during the night of August 12, 1961, East German soldiers, aided by the Soviets, received the order to begin building a high concrete barrier to separate the two zones. (1)

For nearly thirty years, this wall not only divided Berlin, Germany, and Europe, it divided the world. However, on the morning of November 9, 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall began. Some used heavy machinery to hack at the wall, others wielded hammers, and some even tore away chunks with their bare hands. Finally, the wall of shame crumbled down. (4)

The fall of the Berlin Wall was a pivotal moment in history. It symbolized the reunification of Germany, the end of Communism, and the triumph over division of a people. However, it was not an easy journey. After World War II, the country was in ruins, and then came the Cold War, the wall, and the division. Yet, each time, the Germans grew stronger. (2)

Germany has come a long way since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It worked diligently to distance itself from its Nazi past and heal its wounds. Today, the country has made remarkable progress. It acknowledges the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime and has taken steps to ensure they are never repeated. (4)

Germany Activity 1

Find the pronouns in each paragraph.  Determine if they are singular or plural.