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The Berlin Blockade 1945 - 1949 The Berlin Blockade 1945 - 1949

Background Information WW 2 ended in August 1945, in Japan, with the bombing of Background Information WW 2 ended in August 1945, in Japan, with the bombing of Hiroshima n The fighting ended in Europe in May of 1945 n The 4 allied forces; Britain, USA, Russia and France had to decide what to do with Germany n They all agreed that Germany had to be “denazified” by destroying Nazi propaganda and holding the Nuremburg Trials n

Great Britain Soviet Union. Russia France USA Great Britain Soviet Union. Russia France USA

n n n Their plan after this was to divide the country into four n n n Their plan after this was to divide the country into four zones of occupation, each country controlling a zone Each unit was to be administered through a joint committee called the Allies Control Council (ACC) ACC formed by the commanders-in-chief of each of the occupying armies and their headquarters were in Berlin Germany was to be treated as a single unit so any decisions about it had to have unanimous support from the ACC As soon as the 4 zones were established each Allie power began establishing their own rules going against this policy

n Berlin, Germany’s capitol, was situated in the Soviet Union zone n It was n Berlin, Germany’s capitol, was situated in the Soviet Union zone n It was granted separate status, and was divided into 4 zones again for each Allie power n Each Allie power had to appoint a commander for this section of Berlin n The western part of Germany had no access to Berlin n In June 1945 the Allies agreed to have one main road, one main rail line and two air strips into the city

Berlin- 1945 Berlin- 1945

n There began to be disagreements between the Allies as to what their mission n There began to be disagreements between the Allies as to what their mission was in Germany and how long they would stay there n This caused a lot of tensions between the US and Soviet Union n President Truman finally decided to take a stand released the Truman Doctrine on March 12, 1947 n The second step came through the Marshall Plan

Sept 22, 1947 - Soviet Union fought back by rejecting the Marshall Plan’s European Sept 22, 1947 - Soviet Union fought back by rejecting the Marshall Plan’s European Recovery Program n Tensions after this point escalated between the Western powers (US, Britain and France) and the Soviet Union n Feb. 1948 - Western powers met in London to discuss uniting their zones into a single economic unit with the same currency n The Soviet Union wrote letters to each government on February 13, 1948 stating that any decisions that were reached at this meeting would not be considered legitimate in their eyes n

n To protest the London conference the Soviet Union withdrew from the ACC and n To protest the London conference the Soviet Union withdrew from the ACC and the 4 powers never met together again n Soviet Union began putting restrictions on traffic to Berlin from Western Zones (March 30, 1948) – US personnel traveling through the Soviet zone by rail and highway had to present evidence of identity – Shipments from Berlin to Western zones had to be cleared through Soviet check points – All baggage had to be inspected at Soviet check points with the exception of personal belongings of US personnel

n n n n The US protested, but the Soviets did not listen In n n n n The US protested, but the Soviets did not listen In the spring of 1948 more restrictions were put into place Soviets explained them as “technical difficulties” such as repairs to railways Western zones restricted exports to Soviet zone that were crucial to their economy June 18, 1948 - Western zones proceeded with a common currency (Deutsche mark) This currency spread to Western zones of Berlin 4 days later All residents of Berlin had no choice but to exchange their Russian currency into Deutsche marks to buy all goods they needed

n This was the last straw for Soviets n In June 22, 1948, they n This was the last straw for Soviets n In June 22, 1948, they established their own separate currency that would be used in the entire Soviet zone, including all of Berlin n Two days, June 24, 1948, all land water traffic to and from Berlin was stopped- this fully began the Berlin Blockade n Tensions and a war of words continued between the US and the Soviets- a fully blow war was inevitable

n The US had to figure out the intentions of the Soviets n Before n The US had to figure out the intentions of the Soviets n Before they could do this, West Berlin was running out of food and supplies n The Western zones had no way of getting these supplies to their people, except by air n The airlift began on June 26, 1948, delivering food and fuel to West Berlin n By the fall these supplies had run out, and another airlift had to be done n The airlifts continued until Sept. 1948

n The Soviets soon saw that the blockade was not going to halt the n The Soviets soon saw that the blockade was not going to halt the Western powers n March 1949 - they entered negotiations with USA, UK and France to lift the blockade. Results were a 3 point plan; – Restriction on communications, transportation and trade between Berlin and Western zones will be removed May 9, 1949 – Restrictions the Western zones imposed will be removed May 9, 1949 – On May 23, 1949, the 4 powers will meet in Paris to discuss questions surrounding Germany and the currency

n The final results were to keep Germany divided between East and West n n The final results were to keep Germany divided between East and West n The Federal Republic in Western Germany was created on Sept. 21, 1949, New capital was Bonn n Democratic Republic in Eastern Germany on October 7, 1949, capital remained East Berlin n There was still fear about a military build up in Eastern Europe, therefore a Western alliance formed: North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

n NATO treaty signed on April 4, 1949 in Washington DC by : Belgium, n NATO treaty signed on April 4, 1949 in Washington DC by : Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, US (Greece, Turkey in 1952) (Western Germany 1955) n Treated stated that an “armed attack against one or more” will be “considered an attack against all of them”

n At the same time Eastern Europe was signing similar agreements n The Warsaw n At the same time Eastern Europe was signing similar agreements n The Warsaw Treaty Organization was signed by Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Soviet Union n This began the Cold War- Western world armed lead by the US against the Eastern world lead by the Soviet Union