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the cold war after wwii
The Cold War after WWII

The Cold War was the continuing state of conflict, tension, and competition that existed after World War II between the Soviet Union and its satellites and the powers of the Western world under the leadership of the United States from the mid-1940s to the early 1990s. Throughout this period, the conflict was expressed through military coalitions, espionage, weapons development, invasions, propaganda, and competitive technological development, which included the space race. The conflict included costly defense spending, a massive conventional and nuclear arms race, and numerous proxy wars; the two superpowers never fought one another directly.

state of israel established
State of Israel Established

In 1947, the United Nations helps establish a state for the Jewish people after the horrors of the Holocaust. For over 60 years, this decision has fueled a bloody conflict between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslims, as both groups claim that this land was given to them by God.

We will be watching a film that will explain this in full detail.


At the end of World War II, Germany was divided into four zones. While the French, British and American cooperated, the Soviet zone grew more isolated. This fence separated friends in Berlin in 1953.

east and west germany
East and West Germany

Germany was split into East Germany (communist), and West Germany. Not until 1989 did the Berlin Wall come down.

For many years, East Germans contrived ways to get to the West. This 17-year-old boy climbed over the wall in 1961. Two West Berlin police officers helped him reach safety.

“…an ‘iron curtain’ has descended across the continent.”

- Winston Churchill, March 1946, at Westminster College referring to Soviet dominated Eastern Europe


1.Russian SFSR

2.Ukrainian SSR

3.Byelorussian SSR

4.Uzbek SSR

5.Kazakh SSR

6.Georgian SSR

7.Azerbaijan SSR

8.Lithuanian SSR

9.Moldavian SSR

10.Latvian SSR

11.Kirghiz SSR

12.Tajik SSR

13.Armenian SSR

14.Turkmen SSR

15.Estonian SSR

truman doctrine
Truman Doctrine

The Truman Doctrine is a set of principles of U.S. foreign policy created on March 12, 1947 by President Harry S Truman. Truman declared that the United States, as leader of the "free world," must support capitalism worldwide and fight against (contain) communism. Truman suggested that 400 million dollars be sent to Greece and Turkey to prevent those countries from turning to communism after WWII. It was the beginning of the Cold War.

marshall plan
Marshall Plan

The Marshall Plan (named after Secretary of State George Marshall and officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was the primary plan of the United States for rebuilding and creating a stronger foundation for the countries of Western Europe, and repelling communism after World War II.


Map of Cold-War era Europe and the Near East showing countries that received Marshall Plan aid. The red columns show the relative amount of total aid per nation.

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • 27 member countries allied to protect each other.
warsaw pact

The Warsaw pact was signed on May 14, 1955 in Warsaw, Poland. The pact was created so that if any country in the pact were to be the victim of aggression, the other countries in the pact would defend them. The Soviet Union initiated the pact in response to West Germany entering the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (more commonly known by its English acronym NATO) in 1955. Dissolved in 1991

Members included: Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania.

the cuban missile crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis

In the fall of 1962, U2 spy planes took this photo that revealed missiles in Cuba. For nearly two weeks, the world held its breath while the USSR and the U.S. debated their next move and possible nuclear war.


Confrontation at the United Nations, October 25, 1962: deputy NPIC director David Parker points out the photographic evidence while U.S. ambassador Adlai Stevenson (at right) describes the photos. USSR ambassador Valerian Zorin is presiding at far left.

are you now or have you ever been a member of the communist party
“Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?”

In the 1950s, Senator Joseph McCarthy led a vicious and often unfounded campaign against communists in the United States. Simply being accused of being a communist or having friends that were communist could mean the end of your career and being ostracized from the community.

1947 propaganda comic book

Senator Joseph McCarthy (R) Wisconsin


In 1957, the USSR launched “Sputnik”. The U.S. then made changes to its educational system. Since then, many of the math and science classes you take today are a result of this Cold War “space race.”

U.S. captain Mike Eruzione (left) celebrates with Bill Baker (center) moments after scoring the decisive goal against the Soviet Union in 1980.

Reagan used the setting in front of the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin to address Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, in a speech that included the plea: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."

Reagan and Gorbachev in D.C. in 1987

On November 9, 1989, East German leader Egon Krenz rescinded travel restrictions for East Germans and tens of thousands of them flooded the checkpoints along the wall, demanding entry into the West. In the face of the growing crowd, the guards yielded.


Perestroika was a political movement for reformation within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during the 1980s, widely associated with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his glasnost (meaning "openness") policy reform. The literal meaning of perestroika is "restructuring", referring to the restructuring of the Soviet political and economic system. - Wikipedia



a Soviet policy permitting open discussion of political and social issues and freer dissemination of news and information - Merriam Webster

Under Mikhail Gorbachev, the policies within perestroika, such as glasnost, are considered to be what led to the end of the Cold War and also what expedited the collapse of the

Soviet Union.


A West Berliner soaked by a water cannon takes a sledgehammer to the wall. The fall of the wall paved the way for a re-unified Germany.