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Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Berlin Job - And the Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall

The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall is a TED-Ed lesson that was released last week. It's a fine primer on the basics of the Berlin Wall, but it is not anything that on its own is going to wow a history teacher. After watching the TED-Ed video I went back into my archives to find a couple of resources about the Berlin Wall that I find interesting and that some of my students did too.

The Berlin Job, hosted on the Google Cultural Institute, is a photo essay by Peter Millar. Millar was a a British journalist who lived in East Germany from 1981 to 1990. Millar's essay blends images and stories about the political aspect of life in East Berlin with stories and images of daily life in East Berlin. The essay concludes with stories of the lead-up and eventual fall of the Berlin Wall. The photo essay does a great job of helping readers understand East Berlin and the eventual fall of the Berlin Wall from a more human perspective and less of a "history lesson" perspective.

The Wilson Center's Digital Archive is a resource that I have used many times when I need primary source documents to use in lesson plans related to the Cold War. Within the Wilson Center's Digital Archive there is a collection of documents organized around the topic of the Berlin Wall. The documents in the collection are arranged chronologically as it relates to the building, maintenance, and eventual dismantling of the Berlin Wall.

And now back to the TED-Ed lesson that started this post. The video from the lesson is embedded below.