The end of the Allied occupation of West Germany meant a full recognition of the republic as a member of the western alliance against the Soviet Union. While the Russians were less than thrilled by the prospect of a rearmed West Germany, they were nonetheless pleased that German reunification had officially become a dead issue. Shortly after the May 5 proclamation was issued, the Soviet Union formally recognized the Federal Republic of Germany. The two Germany’s remained separated until 1990, when they were formally reunited and once again became a single democratic country.
The Wall generated international outrage and became one of the most poignant symbols of the Iron Curtain and the Cold War division of Europe and Germany. The Wall actually existed in three different incarnations, each intended to make breaches of the border more difficult. Nonetheless, escapes through, around, over and under the Berlin Wall occurred throughout its existence. Some ingenious methods were devised for circumventing it, many of which are on display at the Checkpoint Charlie Museum in Berlin. From the sealing of the border on August 13, 1961, to the fall of the Wall on November 9, 1989, 192 people were killed in escape attempts, and at least that many were wounded.