After money would significantly paralyze the development of

After the failure of negotiations at the Potsdam
Conference, the cooperation between the victorious powers came to a standstill.
Germany was divided into two parts but in 1946 there is no FRG and GDR yet.
Berlin was divided in four occupations zones; the former capital was now the
focal point of the East-West conflict. Since Berlin was geographically in the
middle of the Soviet occupation zone, the Soviet Union wanted to raise the
claim over Berlin. After the Second world war, the Reichsmark had lost its
signification as official mean of exchange. The high war costs and the
inflationary monetary policy drive the German currency into ruin. The Americans
and the British were considering a currency reform because they knew that the
decline in the value of money would significantly paralyze the development of
the German economy, but the Soviets were against it. They feared that an
economic boom in West Germany would induce many people in the eastern sector to
flee their zone, consequently the soviet military administration blocked all
roads to west Berlin, forcing the westerns powers to give up their claim to
Berlin altogether. June 1948, marked the beginning of the Berlin Blockade, one
of the first crisis of the Cold war but also the worst. In this regard, the
westerner powers decided to build an airlift to provide food for people in West
Berlin. It meant that the United States flew with its own aircraft to Berlin to
overcome the blockade of the Soviet Union. From June 24, 1948 to May 12, 1949
the West Berliners were supplied with food exclusively from the air. In the
end, the Soviets finally gave in, as the Western occupying powers and West Berliners
were eager to persevere. The attempt failed to place the entire city under sole
rule. This first crisis was
launched by the Soviets but their goal wasn’t to launch a world war, they
wanted to know how far the Westerners would go, what were they ready to do to
save Berlin. This airlift was a success in West Berlin because no one died of
starving but this is not the case in East Berlin. The means implemented by the
Westerners were spectacular in order to show that they will not let themselves
intimidate by the Soviets. The Soviets attitude staid in the limits allowing to
avoid the irretrievable, this is typical from the entry in the Cold War. In
West two items predominate: the economic reconstruction and European security
through the U.S umbrella. It has as consequence an increase in the
tensions between East and West and made an agreement impossible. In 1949, in
addition to the German division, there was also the division of Berlin into
East/West half. The following years were characterized by continuous violations
of the transit routes between Germany and West Berlin. The Soviet government
repeatedly demanded the withdrawal of Western troops from all over Berlin. After
a decade of relative calm, tensions flared again and the climax of this
conflict was marked by the Berlin crisis in 1958, when the Western powers and
Germany were given an ultimatum. Nearly 3 million refugees flew
from east to west since the end of the blockade while the Allies resisted. The
Berlin crisis lasted until 1961 and was marked in August 1961 by the
construction of the Berlin Wall. Indeed, there was no wall that
separates GDR from FRD, the only wall was the one build in 1961 in Berlin.
Between 1949 and 1961, 3,5 million West German flee via Berlin to West and on
August 12 some 2,400 defectors left East Germany in a single day which is the
largest number that was ever identified. During the night of the 13th
August 1961 the wall was build, people wanted to leave East Berlin but it was
not possible anymore. That night, Khrushchev gave the East German government permission to
stop the flow of emigrants by closing its border for good. In just two weeks, the East German army,
police force and volunteer construction workers had completed a makeshift
barbed wire and concrete block wall–the Berlin Wall–that divided one side of
the city from the other. The construction is made in a
hurry but it was planned for two years but people had no idea how it would take
place and how to do it. Until 1966, West Germany considered East as a Soviet
area of occupancy. The Government in West did not recognize GDR and GDR did not
recognize the other part of Germany. People were German, but German from West
Germany. What also happen is that East Germany did not want to recognize the
Oder-Neisse separation, this geographic separation between Poland and Germany.
Before 1945 Germany incorporated a part of Poland. The border lines were
sensitive with the Oder Neisse line and it was not possible to access West.
There was no diplomatic relation between FRG and the popular democracy. There is often a link that is
made between the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain, because the most notable border was
marked by the Berlin Well and its Checkpoint Charlie. The iron Curtain was marked by the Berlin Wall that was practically
impassable and that was built on the initiative of Khrushchev to separate the
Soviet zone from the American-British-French West-Berlin zone. Its popularity
as a Cold War symbol is attributed Winston Churchill that
used this term in a 12
May 1945 telegram he sent to U.S. President Harry S. Truman regarding his concern about Soviet
actions, stating “an iron curtain
is drawn down upon their front. We do not know what is going on behind”. He
was concerned about “another immense
flight of the German population westward as this enormous Muscovite advance
towards the center of Europe”. The 26 June 1963 when J.F. Kennedy 35th
president of the United States made a speech while he was visiting West-Berlin
to celebrate the 15th year of the Berliner blockade and pronounced
the famous words: “Ich bin ein Berliner”
in this speech Kennedy wanted to show the support of the united states to the
West-German citizens that were living in the middle of communist territories
that were at that moment demarcated by the Berlin wall and that feared an invasion
from the army of the Soviet bloc. These tests of force will leave
marks during a long period of time, they were analyzed and considered as
something typical from the Cold war.