The Origins of the Cold War. 1945-1949. The German Question. Germany divided into four zones of occupation NOTE: Berlin was inside of the Soviet zone and connected to the west by three agreed air corridors. German Question. The West and USSR had different ideas about what to do with Germany
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1946–47: Stalin insured that Communist governments came to power in all the countries of eastern Europe which Russia had control of in 1945.
The Hungarian Communist Rakosi described this process as ‘slicing salami’ – gradually getting rid of all opposition, bit-by-bit. In this way, Russia gained control of:
Albania (1945) – the Communists took power after the war without opposition
Bulgaria (1945) – a left-wing coalition gained power in 1945; the Communists then executed the leaders of all the other parties.
Poland (1947) – a coalition government took power in 1945, but Stalin arrested all the non-Communist leaders in 1945, and the Communists forced the other non-Communists into exile.
Romania (1945–1947) – a left-wing coalition was elected in 1945; the Communists gradually took over control.
Hungary (1947) –Stalin allowed elections in which the non-communists won a majority; however, some communists were elected. They began to demand that groups which opposed them should be banned. If not, it was suggested that the Russians would take over the country. The Communist leader Rakosi then got control of the police, started to arrest his opponents, and a brutal secret police unit. By 1947 Rakosi had complete control over Hungary.
Czechoslovakia (1945–48) – a left-wing coalition was elected in 1945. In 1948, the Communists banned all other parties and killed their leaders.
East Germany (1949) – the Russians turned their zone of Germany into the German Democratic Republic in 1949.
Secondly, our victory signifies that our Soviet state system was victorious, that our multinational Soviet state passed all the tests of the war and proved its viability.
- Stalin, February 9, 1946
The Iron Curtain
The Truman Doctrine and the Marshal Plan
March12th, 1947 Truman announced his doctrine to the Congress
Why was the Truman Doctrine a “milestone” in American foreign policy?
What do you think LaFeber meant by “ideological shield”?
The very existence of the Greek state is today threatened by the terrorist activities of several thousand armed men, led by Communists, who defy the government's authority at a number of points, particularly along the northern boundaries. A Commission appointed by the United Nations security Council is at present investigating disturbed conditions in northern Greece and alleged border violations along the frontier between Greece on the one hand and Albania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia on the other.
One of the primary objectives of the foreign policy of the United States is the creation of conditions in which we and other nations will be able to work out a way of life free from coercion. This was a fundamental issue in the war with Germany and Japan. Our victory was won over countries which sought to impose their will, and their way of life, upon other nations.
To ensure the peaceful development of nations, free from coercion, the United States has taken a leading part in establishing the United Nations, The United Nations is designed to make possible lasting freedom and independence for all its members. We shall not realize our objectives, however, unless we are willing to help free peoples to maintain their free institutions and their national integrity against aggressive movements that seek to impose upon them totalitarian regimes. This is no more than a frank recognition that totalitarian regimes imposed on free peoples, by direct or indirect aggression, undermine the foundations of international peace and hence the security of the United States.
The peoples of a number of countries of the world have recently had totalitarian regimes forced upon them against their will. The Government of the United States has made frequent protests against coercion and intimidation, in violation of the Yalta agreement, in Poland, Rumania, and Bulgaria. I must also state that in a number of other countries there have been similar developments.
At the present moment in world history nearly every nation must choose between alternative ways of life. The choice is too often not a free one.
One way of life is based upon the will of the majority, and is distinguished by free institutions, representative government, free elections, guarantees of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from political oppression.
The second way of life is based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed upon the majority. It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio; fixed elections, and the suppression of personal freedoms.
I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.
What are the implications of the President of the United States making this kind of statement?
What does this policy commit the US to?
"Berlin and Germany were the only places where the two sides came into contact, that is Soviet troops and troops from the Allied countries. In other places we didn't have direct contact between our two armed forces. That was one of the reasons why Berlin became a battlefield for the Cold War."
Mikhail Semiryaga Soviet military administration
June 24, 1948
Created April 1949
Formally created by the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in May 1955
West = Federal Republic of Germany (FDR)
USSR = People’s Republics of Germany (DDR)