“Don’t you wish you knew what was going on in here,” Principal Stephen Williams told parents. “Don’t you want to come in? Get the feeling?”
Before the wall was torn down, parents and students watched the documentary “Freedom Without Walls,” which showed the fall of the Berlin Wall.
“I learned that they broke down the wall because they wanted to be free,” student Celeste Chavarria said.
Speaking in German, students briefly explained Germany’s tumultuous history.
Germany was separated into four occupation zones after the end of World War II in 1945. But as a result of the separation, the Soviet Union’s communist German Democratic Republic group emerged in East Germany and unsuccessfully tried to push out Western powers from Berlin.
The move led to the start of the Cold War.
Meanwhile, West Germany was succeeding economically, attracting many East Germans to move there. But the German Democratic Republic sealed off its border and constructed the Berlin Wall in 1961, separating East and West Germany.
Nearly three decades later, border crossings were opened in November 1989, freeing thousands of East Germans from a deprived region. After that, the wall was gradually dismantled.
Franklin kindergarten and first-grade students used cardboard axes to break through their Berlin Wall replica.
Once the paper wall was taken down, students waved German flags and welcomed their parents into their classroom.
The German Consulate General Los Angeles’ Public Affairs program gave classrooms T-shirts, DVDs of the documentary, German flags and a stack of books, school officials said.
The students belong to the school’s German immersion program, which they learn how to speak, read and write German. As part of the program curriculum, students learned about the Berlin Wall.
“The German people wanted to break down the wall because they didn’t have any freedom,” first-grader Gabe Salas said.