after the success of the airlift, the Russians had come off appearing weaker and a ruthless nation who used the people in their sphere of influence as pawns in the their cold war. they had attempted to amend this by offering east German ration cards to the west, but most had refused these (only 20,000 accepted).
NATO had also been borne out of the aftermath of the airlift. this clearly separated the east and west, and introduced a military element as the countries who joined NATO were in mutual protection against any aggressors (Russia in mind).
finally, travel between east and west berlin was still free, and many did so for work. those from the east who travelled west were amazed by the difference in standard of living, employment etc. as many as 30,000 east Germans a month were leaving by 1961. these people were essential to the rejuvenation and reconstruction of east Germany as many of them were well educated people who were in professions of great significance to society and skill