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Crucial Conflicts and crises in Germany between 1948 and 1961

Crucial Conflicts and crises in Germany between 1948 and 1961

stefan weisshampel

on 1 March 2013

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Transcript of Crucial Conflicts and crises in Germany between 1948 and 1961

Berlin Blockade Uprising of 1953
in East Germany Second Berlin Crisis
1958 Western Perspective
bec. of closed rail routes/cutting off of land W-Berlin population became dependent on reserve stocks/airlift
attempt of mass starvation (as means of pressure) = senseless in modern times Western Perspective Western Perspective Eastern Perspective
did not support idea of creating new W-German country + new currency (bec. no control over it)
with introduction of own new currency demonstrate entitlement on Berlin
Berlin blockade = strong blow at prestige of USA/GB Eastern Perspective Eastern Perspective Crucial Crises in German History
between 1948 and 1961

Eastern Perspective
- trigger: decision of Council of Ministers (10% more work for same wages)
- uprising of GDR workers against the system
- aim: united German state
- liberty
- Soviet tanks were used in order to keep the actions under control
- violence was used
dead: 538 (114 were shot according to martial law)
injured: 1712 Western Perspective
- workers’ uprising was seen as
a testimony to the complete failure of the Communist regime in GDR
evidence of the East German population’s unbroken desire for freedom / unity with West Germans
“sign of hope”
- June 17th = national holiday until unification Krushchev:
- violation of demilitarizing clause
- West Berlin undermines GDR
- West strenghtens militaristic revenge passions, preparation for aggression
- ignores sovereignity of GDR -> reunification without permission
- industrial, financial and military readiness in FRG
- Berlin: coordinate actions, gather information background:

1st serious crisis of Cold War
reform currency FRG: wanted economic recovery
June 1948: Allies wanted to create new country of W-GER new currency SU had no control over this new currency
SU alarmed bec. fear of strong FRG
Soviet leadership* response: own new currency in E-Berlin (24 h before the West mark in circulation)
blockade on W-Berlin:
cutting off all land + rail routes in Western sectors
lack of: electricity, coal
problems in traffic, transportation
wanted to put pressure on population by letting them starve wanted to prevent introduction of Westmark + avoid influence of W powers on Berlin
USA wanted to prevent starvation of W-Berlin population
"Berlin Airlift" (USA, GB) providing people with necessary goods (Raison Bombers)
May 1949: SU ended blockade (11 months blockade) Western Perspective Western Perspective
- U.S., France and Britain reform the currency in order to promote economic recovery Soviets would have no control
- SU blockade Western Allies responded immediately by mounting a tremendous airlift
- provoked genuine fears of war in the West
- Allies plans to set up the state (West G.)
- creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- December 1947 , Britain and the USA join their two zones together into Bi-zonia
- December 1947 , London Conference: America, Britain and France meet to discuss Germany's future. Russia is not present
- drastic restrictions for West Berliners: it was almost impossible to heat buildings during the winter, and electrical power was available to private households only from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m Eastern Perspective

- Soviet leadership → installing their own new currency in East Berlin
- imposed a blockade on West Berlin → cutting off all land and rail routes into the Western sectors
- totally ineffective
- May 1949, Stalin had little choice but to lift the blockade
- December 1947 , London Conference: America, Britain and France meet to discuss Germany's future. Russia is not present
- January 1948 , Russia starts to stop western literature being sold in the Soviet zone.
- June 23, 1948, the Soviets shut down the Golpa-Zschornewitz power plant (about 140 km southwest of Berlin), which supplied Berlin with electricity - never agree to a transfer of Soviet
rights in Berlin to the government
of the GDR Results of the Berlin Crisis of 1948
1. Germany was divided into the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the Democratic Republic of Germany (East Germany) until 1990.
2. The Iron Curtain became permanent.
3. The Cold War broke out into open confrontation, and the two superpowers began an Arms Race.
4. In 1949, the Allies set up the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) as a military alliance to resist Soviet Russia. Niemand hat die Absicht eine Mauer zu errichten. - W. U.
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