The 20th century saw historians place less attention on narratives of epic nationalists and focus more on the complex and more objective study of intellectual and social forces. History was treated less like an art and regarded more as a social science, though there were still some historians who felt otherwise. Several other ways of studying history have since come up ever since with Postmodernists in the recent times questioning the need to study history on the basis of personal interpretation of sources. This paper is aimed at providing a historiographical analysis of the Berlin war.
The Berlin wall attracted numerous different views from historians, depending on whether they viewed it from the West’s of East’s perspective. Both sides though, seemed to be at first seeking reasons to justify its construction before finally agreeing that the wall is a barrier (Ladd, 1998). The view of those supporting the East, according to Marxist theories, was that the Proletariat was using the wall as a defence against the influential bourgeoisie.
Particularly, the East felt threatened by fascism which they saw as against socialist progress as noted by Beattie (2008). They seemed to imply that the neighbouring West Germany still possessed some Nazism. The West however, termed the wall shameful for the way it restricted movement between the two sides. Historians supporting the West, of course, differed with this view. According to them, the wall came up due to the two system’s historical discrepancy. They have, in many instances, viewed the period of the wall’s existence as totalitarian. Liberal historians, like the Marxists, however reported the war to have been a progressive development.
From the East German’s point of view, the wall was some sort of a political embarrassment and a place to be avoided but the Western powers like Britain, US and West Germany held a different view about the wall. If fact, the ...