• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Importance of East Germany in the Cold War

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Berlin Crisis of East Germany was a defining period of the Cold War, during which both superpowers fought for control over the most highly contested nation in Europe. It can be seen that the major factor in this crisis was the division of Germany into two sectors; East and West Germany and the subsequent attempts by the two superpowers to control both. Following the rapid spread of the Soviet grip over Europe, it was in the interests of the USSR to gain control of Germany in its entirety; that is East and West Germany. Their interests were parallel to the desires of Capitalist America which also sought a degree of control over Germany. This resulted in the divisions of Berlin becoming the ground on which the Communist-Capitalist struggle was most profound and the region over which control would seemingly determine the outcome of the Cold War. Another important factor was the Berlin Blockade and the subsequent Berlin Airlift which was a turning point in Soviet control over East Germany. With the shift in Soviet control over East Germany, so too, came the shift in Soviet control over the Cold War. The Cold War was a twentieth century ideological conflict between the two world superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, as well as their respective allies over political, economic and military issues; often depicted as the struggle between capitalism and communism. ...read more.

Middle

In East Germany, the economy dragged and individual freedoms were severely restricted. Tampke (1988) believes ?East Germany suffered insurmountable economic difficulties.? Efficient deep-sea ports were non-existent and there was also no ship building. Both however were badly needed for the development of foreign trade.? By the late 1950s, many people living in East Germany wanted out. No longer able to stand the repressive living conditions of East Germany, they would pack up their bags and head to West Berlin. Cowie (1979) is strongly of the opinion that ?West Berlin had become a ?shop-window? for Western Liberalism and an escape route from East Germany and the communist bloc.? Although some of them would be stopped on their way, hundreds of thousands of others made it across the border. According to the Editors of Salem Press (1992:34), ?between 1961 and 1989; 77 people were killed while trying to cross the wall, but about 40,000 escaped successfully.? Once across, these refugees were housed in warehouses and then flown to West Germany. Soviet leader Khrushchev, who called the wall a "hateful thing,? believed he had to construct the wall due to the appalling East Germany economy. Khrushchev felt that industry would have collapsed if he did not do something soon to prevent the mass flight of East Germans to the West. Consequently, the Berlin Wall was constructed. The division between East and West in the long run helped stabilise East Germany, and the Cold War, by stopping the drain of workers which eased pressure off of the economy. ...read more.

Conclusion

His text was non-bias and very accurate; however, he did not provide adequate conclusions or opinions. Ostermann, C. 2001. Uprising in East Germany, 1953. Central European University Press, Budapest. Ostermann offered extensive conclusions regarding the economic and social hardships within East Germany during the Cold War. The text gave me an extensive range of information regarding the problems faced by East Germans which helped me develop a personal opinion regarding the war. Ostermann is a very reliable and accurate source that made reference to other texts I have used. Phillips, S. 2001. The Cold War: Conflict in Europe and Asia. Heinemann, Melbourne Phillips was a very useful source as it contained a great definition of the Cold War as well as thorough conclusions regarding the division between East and West. Phillips is a reliable author that wrote an accurate, non-bias text that helped me in the essay. Smith, J. 1989. The Cold War: Second Edition, 1945-1991. Blackwell, Malden. Smith is a reliable author that has been cited in other history texts. His novel was very accurate and reliable as it provided me with many conclusions that helped in the creation of my thesis. Tampke, J. 1988. Twentieth Century Germany: The Weimar and Nazi Years. Thomson Publishing, Melbourne. Tampke was a very reliable, relevant and accurate source as it provided a wide assortment of facts and opinions regarding the economic, social and political state of East Germany without being bias. His text has been referenced in other novels, which has proven his credibility as a historian. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE International relations 1945-1991 essays

  1. Reasons for the end of the cold war

    Only Romania experienced a violent revolution, in which the communist dictator Ceausescu and other members of his government were executed. Elections brought democratic parties to power in Poland, East Germany, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia, and reformist communist governments to power in Romania and Bulgaria.

  2. The Cold War - major events. Revision notes.

    to end the war * 1953 - Stalin death made NK less confident * July 1953 - an armistice signed Was containment the right policy? * No doubt - communism must be stopped but question is how to do it * Some favored violent tactics as Mac Arthur and they

  1. How Far Was Gorbachev Responsible For The End Of Soviet Union?

    Perestroika was created by Gorbachev but its application onto the USSR was done many others in addition to Gorbachev. This policy was damaging to the Soviet Union because it was "not being practised consistently and firmly enough" (AtG P254), a view echoed by Zubok: "perestroika was vague and could not be a practical guide for reforms" (ZA P75).

  2. Why did the Cold War End?

    These were major steps to reform the Soviet Union and eventually this movement toward openness helped end the Cold War. The all new Sinatra Doctrine was also introduced by Gorbachev in 1989 renouncing the Brezhnev Doctrine. Introduced by Alexander Dubcek in 1968, the Brezhnev Doctrine declared that every socialist country in Soviet bloc belonged to the Soviet Empire.

  1. Cold War Short Essays - Questions and Answers.

    Germany itself would be split into four zones. The USSR?s zone would be located in the Eastern half and the others would be located in the Western half. Briefly explain the key features of the events of the Hungarian Uprising in 1956 (6 marks) One of the key features was the introduction of Khrushchev as the new soviet leader of Eastern Europe (he replaced Stalin).

  2. Edexcel Cold War 1943-1991 Revision (Detailed)

    however, Stalin believed that Soviet control of Poland was essential to prevent future invasions. Churchill was more suspicious when in Apri, 1943, German troops discovered mass graves containing the bodies of 10,000 polish officers. August 1944 Polish resistance organized an uprising in Warsaw against the German forces occupying the city.

  1. How important was the nuclear arms race in the development of tensions during the ...

    world...causing sabotage and riot.? However, from an outside and unbiased perspective into the Berlin wall, a modern world textbook states ?the Wall was built to prevent the loss of many well educated East Germans. This was bad publicity for the East and Communism.? This shows how far the USSR would

  2. Cold War Summary, quotes and revision notes.

    was possible that these two superpowers would eventually clash - Occupied most of central and Eastern Europe Series of Clashes * Territorial clashes in Europe because of its industrial wealth and closeness to the Russian border * In the Far East because of its closeness to the Russian border and

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work