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Why was Berlin such a trouble spot in the period 1945 - 1963?

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Introduction

Why was Berlin such a trouble spot in the period 1945 - 1963? After the end of WWII the victorious powers decided to split defeated Germany into four occupied zones, British, French, American and Russian. However Britain, France and America felt that having Berlin, Germany's capital, in the Soviet zone would give Stalin too much power, so Berlin was also split into four zones. Stalin felt this was unfair, as there were no Soviet troops in the other zones, yet from their zones in Berlin the British, French and Americans could easily keep an eye on what was happening in the Soviet zone. This suggested, even early on, that their was going to be conflict over Berlin, as the East and the West felt differently about the West's right to be there. Part of the reason the Western powers wanted to be in Berlin in the first place was that they knew how Stalin's intentions towards Germany differed from their own. Whilst the West intended to build Germany up and make it prosperous once again, the USSR still saw it as a threat and wanted to make sure that Germany was never again in a position to invade Russia. ...read more.

Middle

These thoughts prompted him to begin the Berlin blockade, which meant that he closed the rail, road and canal routes between West Germany and West Berlin, stopping all traffic. The Allies responded by flying supplies into Berlin, as they were not willing to allow Communism to spread any further. They believed, correctly, that Stalin would not be willing to risk war by shooting down their planes, and in May 1949 Stalin called off the blockade. However the Berlin Blockade was very significant as it created further divisions between the East and the West, and prevented the possibility of a united Germany. There was such aggression over Berlin in particular because it was the most important city in Germany, and particularly East Germany, and both the Eastern and the Western powers felt that having control of it would show them to be more powerful than the other. It would also give them more influence over the rest of Germany, allowing them to spread their ideology. The Berlin Blockade represented the huge power struggle going on between the USA and the USSR, and Berlin was a particular trouble spot because it was the area in which they both had control, yet neither was very willing to accept the other. ...read more.

Conclusion

Britain and the USA refused to recognise East Germany, as that would defeat their aim of an eventually united Germany. The USSR demanded in 1958 that Britain and America recognise the state of East Germany, but they refused. Kruschev knew that he wanted to stop the people of East Berlin fleeing, and he resented having to share a city with the people whom he was participating in a Cold War against. This led, in 1961, to hundreds of workmen constructing a wall between the East and West sides of Berlin. Kruschev had decided that a physical solution was the answer to the problems of Berlin, the problems of conflicting political situations living side by side. In conclusion, Berlin was such a trouble-spot in the period 1945 to 1963 because it was the one place where the two main countries involved in the Cold War both had a great deal of influence. The city was strongly divided and the situations in the East and West were vastly different. The USA and the USSR had clashing ideologies and opinions over how to treat Germany, and placed side by side these were basically in direct competition, which could only lead to conflict. Lula Teunissen, 11H 07/05/07 ...read more.

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