“Mr. Gorachev, Tear down this wall”. This is a line from afamous speech by Ronald Regan in Berlin, Germany on June 12, 1987. He wasreferring to Berlin Wall. The build of Berlin Wall that created tensions betweenSoviet Union and United States.
BackgroundAfter the end of second World War, the pre-War Germany areawas divided into FOUR zones. Each of these zones were controlled by Alliednations; The United States, Britain, France, and the Soviet Union.The City of Berlin was completely in zone of Soviet Unionbut being as the seat of Allied council, it was divided and controlled by allthese four nations. East part of Berlin was occupied and controlled by SovietUnion and other allies took the West part of the city. This divisions of the city caused tensions between theAllied nations. The United Nations, Britain and France wanted to make policiesand constructions that would make Germany self-sufficient but Soviet Nationswere not on-board with this idea. Soviet Nations felt as they were attacked byGermans earlier and didn’t wanted to do anything beneficial for Germany.Reading the history about the Cold War the Berlin Blockadethat occurred in 1948 was the first incident that created crisis betweensuperpowers and it increased more in 1961 when Berlin Wall was built by SovietUnion.
The Berlin Blockade was the foundation of Berlin wallcrises that created rift between The United Nations and the Soviet Union. Afterthe second World War much of industrial part was shattered. There was shortageof food because of extreme winter condition, Transport system was also badlyaffected. The United States and Britain wanted to rebuild the economy ofGermany.
They started this by introducing some new policies that would buildpre-war Germany area stronger. Theycombined their Western industrial zone to one. The United States wanted todevelop wartime destruction area. The United States President Harry S Trumanand his fellow associate George C Marshall implemented The Marshall Plan tofund Western Germany and Europe from falling economy. This aid was for SovietUnion and other European countries but Soviet Union refused to accept it asthey felt this plan was United States to gain control over East Germany. Also,they refused idea of The United States on introduction of new German currency.Following this disagreements Soviet communist political leader Joseph Stalinblocked West Germany allies’ transportation system (road, railway, and canal).This blocked the necessary supplies like food and fuel.
The United States andits Western German allies started supplying essential items to West Germany viaAir Cargo, which was known as Air Lift. They thought it would be a short crisisbut it lasted for a long time. Soviet Union thought that West Berlin peoplewill reject their West allies and merge to East Germany. This assumption failed.
The Blockade had given Soviet Union a very bad reputation in front of world. Toavoid more bad fame, they withdrew the Blockade.I found this in history references that The Berlin Blockadehad created a lot of tensions among The United States and The Soviet Union.People of world begin to talk about rift between TWO super powers. This wasalso one of the reasons for creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO), an alliance which is still active.The United States involvement – Its worthy effects on the Germanpeople and adverse effects on Soviet UnionAs mentioned above post World War 2 The United States wasplaying a very crucial role in reforming economy in Germany and Europe. Fewmeasures like aid through Marshall Plan to reestablish downsizing industries,formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to suppress thethreats of Soviet Union like Berlin Blockade. This steps had boosted confidenceof German people.
The human life in West German including West Berlin wasbetter than East German. This made East German people travel East Berlin andmigrate to West Berlin. Most of people who migrate to West Berlin stayed thereor moved to Western Germany.
People in East Germany were not happy because ofcommunism from Soviet Union. There were few border lines in Eastern Germany andWestern occupied area which could be easily crossed. The Soviet Union realizedthese loop holes and started taking some measures to prevent it.
Line was drawn and that created tensions between TWO superpowersRealizing people fleeing from East to West Germany via EastBerlin, Soviet Union closed the border which separated East and West German.They created barbered wire fence on the border. However, they kept East andWest Berlin border open as it was controlled by all Four allies, The UnitedStates, Britain, France and Soviet Union. This was the loophole and people fromEast Germany used to escape to West via Berlin. Also there was a problembecause two separate currencies in and East and West Berlin. West Germanycurrency was stronger than the East.
People used to buy goods from East Berlinin cheap. Soviet Union tried few ways to prevent but all went in vain.TheBuild and Fall of the Berlin Wall Soviet Union was losing many skilled workers from East toWest Germany, also seeing momentum getting lost to The United States, TheSoviet Union closed the Berlin Border and built a concrete wall in 1961 thatdivided Berlin. The wall was of 87 miles and it was patrolled by dog runs and militaryguards. The World saw this wall as Iron Curtain between East and West Germany.
The wall was physical but it created barrier between United States and SovietUnion. The tensions between these two countries increased. There as an incidentrelated to President John F Kennedy. The American Intelligence was aware aboutthe intentions of Soviet Union to close the East Berlin border but they didn’tinform President John F Kennedy on time. When President later learnt about thishe became angry. Later, he condemned the build of Berlin Wall.
PresidentKennedy deployed US troops in West Berlin. These had rose a lot of tensionsbetween US and Soviet Union. The Newspapers and broadcasts begin to talk thedifference between these TWO nations that caused Cold War and Berlin Wall wascreated.
If we look back and ready history about Berlin Wall closely, the majorincidents related to Cold War happened around build of Berlin War. To recap theMarshall Plan and NATO where formed by United States because of incidents thathappened in Germany relating to Berlin (Berlin blockade, Berlin Airlift andBerlin wall). This tensions were so severe it might have stated World War III.
US Presidents speeches in West BerlinJune 1963 – President John F. Kennedy spoke to crowd fromWest Berlin “As a free man, I take a pride in the words, “Ich bin ein Berliner”(I am a Berliner). This speech was a very strong Cold War speech by USPresident.June 1987 – On the 750th anniversary of Berlin,President Ronald Regan spoke “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace,if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seekliberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr.Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” The Berlin Wall came down on November 9, 1989, finally Eastand West German people got united.
Tensions between United States and SovietUnion decreased. It opened the doors of trade between East Germany and UnitedStates. This was an end of Cold War between TWO nations.
Compromise and ConflictPartition of Germany and Berlin post World War II was acompromise. The 4 Allied nations, The United States, Britain, France and SovietUnion separated East and West Germany between them and started to think how torebuild economy of Germany. The Cold War between The communism thinking fromSoviet Union created conflicts.
The Berlin Wall was one of them.