The berlin blockade
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The Berlin Blockade. IB History of the Americas. Before we start with the Berlin Blockade, here’s some background we need to discuss…. A Divided Germany Denazification Democratization Demilitarization Germany after WWII The Allied Fallout. Germany… Post WWII.

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The Berlin Blockade

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The berlin blockade

The Berlin Blockade

IB History of the Americas


Before we start with the berlin blockade here s some background we need to discuss

Before we start with the Berlin Blockade, here’s some background we need to discuss…

  • A Divided Germany

    • Denazification

    • Democratization

    • Demilitarization

  • Germany after WWII

  • The Allied Fallout


Germany post wwii

Germany… Post WWII

  • Germany was divided into 4 zones:

    • American Zone

    • British Zone

    • French Zone

    • Russian Zone

  • Berlin, the capital, which was in the Soviet Zone, was also divided into 4 zones.


The berlin blockade

Iron Curtain –

A term used by

Winston Churchill

to describe the

separating of

Those communist

lands of East

Europe from the

West.

Divided Germany


Berlin after wwii

Berlin After WWII


Improve your knowledge

Improve your knowledge

The Russians took very high casualties to capture Berlin in May 1945. They spent the early occupation trying to take over all zones of the city but were stopped by German democrats such as Willy Brandt and Konrad Adenauer. Reluctantly the Russians had to admit the Americans, French and British to their respective zones.

Divided Berlin


Germany divided

Germany Divided

  • The 4 Zones were very different from each other.

    • American Zone: mixture of rural and industrial areas; removal of Nazis with great thoroughness

    • Soviet Zone: agricultural, dependent on coal; belief that it was the result of capitalism that Nazism flourished, so they changed the economy completely

    • British Zone: had majority of the coal industry, but relied on other zones for food; tolerated Nazis in key economic positions

    • French Zone: fairly self-sufficient; had limber, industry and food


Nuremburg trials

Nuremburg Trials

  • The trials of 22 former Nazi leaders

  • Somewhat controversial: some thought they were for show or acts of revenge

  • They made public the actual atrocities committed during the Holocaust and rid Germany of Nazi leadership

  • Of the 22 accused:

    • 12 sentenced to death

    • 7 sentenced to various terms of imprisonment

    • 3 were acquitted


The allies fall out

The Allies fall out

  • The four allied nations in control of Germany disagreed on reparations

  • These disagreements led to the western sectors agreeing to unify (American, British, and French) and the Eastern sector remaining alienated (Soviets)

  • The unification of the western zones to form Bizonia in 1947 began the process of economic reconstruction and handing back to the Germans the responsibilities of their own affairs (in capitalist fashion)


Stalin during all this

Stalin during all this…

  • Stalin watched what was happening in Bizonia with mistrust and countered the moves with his own initiatives.

  • The battle over money:

    • Stalin’s introduction of the East Mark

    • Western governments refused to allow it to be circulated in West Berlin

    • Stalin’s response to this was… THE BERLIN BLOCKADE


The formation of nato

The Formation of NATO

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization

    • Permits countries to use force for the purpose of self-defense against armed attack. (Military Alliance)

    • Marked significant militarization of the Cold War conflict

    • West Germany became a member of NATO

  • Warsaw Defense Treaty: when West Germany joined NATO in 1955, the Soviet Union countered by creating its own alliance system in eastern Europe


The berlin blockade1

The Berlin Blockade

  • On June 23, 1948, a message from a Soviet news agency was sent to a newspaper in Berlin. It read: “The Soviet administration is compelled to halt all traffic to and from Berlin tomorrow at 0600 hours because of technical difficulties.”

  • These technical difficulties closed the roads and canals.

  • Berlin had only enough food and supplies to last for 6 weeks

  • The aim was to force western forces out of Berlin

  • America believed that if West Berlin fell to Communism, the next to fall would be West Germany


What was the berlin blockade

What was the Berlin Blockade?

The Berlin Blockade was when the Soviet Union blocked off supplies from Western Germany to Western Berlin.


Causes of berlin blockade

Causes of Berlin Blockade

Divisions over future of Berlin dating back to Yalta & Potsdam

Tensions of economic differences – West zones benefited from Marshall Aid

Differences in living standards

Failure of Council of Ministers

Introduction of new currency – Deutche Mark

Merger of Western zones


Why did the berlin blockade occur

Why did the Berlin Blockade occur?

The Original plan: split Berlin into quadrants and bring them back together when Germany gets a new government.

Stalin wanted Germany to pay the damages they have done in the Soviet Union. He took reparations from East Berlin and Germany.

The United States didn’t want Germany to become a communist country.

USSR wanted to kick the allies out of the area so they could control Germany.


The berlin airlift

The Berlin Airlift

  • British and American forces organized a 24 hour-a-day airlift into the city providing food, supplies and other goods

  • Britain also stationed B-29 planes with atomic bomb capability within short distance of Berlin to ward off ideas of shooting down British and American airlift planes

  • On May 12, 1949, the blockade was lifted


Berlin airlift

Berlin Airlift

The major problem of the other three countries was during the winter, since they needed an enormous amount of coal.

The Berlin Blockade was ineffective, and also it contributed to the conflict in between the US and the USSR.


The berlin problem

The Berlin Problem

  • People passed from East to West Berlin daily for work and pleasure

  • Some left the east never to return

  • 4 million citizens fled from East Germany


Berlin crisis of 1961

Berlin Crisis of 1961

  • Meeting between Kennedy and Khrushchev in Vienna

    • Insisted that the US withdraw from Berlin by the end of the year

    • Kennedy declared that the national security of the US was directly linked to that of Berlin

    • Khrushchev lost his temper and said “I want peace but if you want war that is your problem.”


August 13 1961

August 13 1961

  • Barriers were erected to prevent free movement between the Western sectors of Berlin and the Soviet sectors

  • On the 17th, Barbed wire began to be replaced with stone

  • And thus… the Berlin Wall had begun

  • Kennedy considered a nuclear attack, but decided against it


Checkpoint charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

  • General Clay’s debacle

  • American Tanks at Checkpoint

  • Soviet Tanks on opposite side of checkpoint

  • Tense atmosphere increased as hours ticked by

  • 16 hours later, the Soviet tanks moved back 5 yards, then the Americans, and again until all tanks withdrew.


Doughnuts in berlin

Doughnuts in Berlin

  • The Wall remained, a visible sign of East-West hostility and a symbol of the Cold War

  • Kennedy: “A wall is a hell of a lot nicer than a war.”

  • Kennedy visits Berlin in June 1963 and made a speech saying, “All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore as a free man, I can take pride in the words Ich bin ein Berliner.”


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