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The Berlin Wall And The Fall Of Communism

3532 words - 15 pages

For arguably more than 70 years Germany has been at the heart of European politics, and therefore world politics. For another forty years, its reunification was the silent issue of world politics. Then for a few years after governments of the world spoke of its potential occurrence. Then without warning it happened so quickly that much of the international community was taken by surprise. Having been of such an importance the events that surrounded reunification ultimately led to the much more anticipated collapse of the Soviet Union. It has become apparent that Germany is, if not at the center, very central to world politics. Despite having appeared to occur so suddenly, the diplomacy of ...view middle of the document...

In effect this meant the expulsion of millions of Germans. This was under the Yalta Conference called territorial compensation. Stalin stated that the Russian people had sinned against the Polish people and that he wanted to atone for that. Also on the agenda was the Morgenthau Plan, which stipulated that Germany’s economy under the ‘levels of industry’ plans should be reduced to 50% of its 1938 capacity, which would in effect prevent the remilitarization of Germany. While the Soviets and initially the French were in favor of the plans, Britain was not at the outset. Britain occupied the northeast region of Germany, which was considered to have been the least sustainable in terms of food. With some convincing at an earlier conference held in Quebec in 1944, Churchill agreed to the plan. On the matter the US had initially supported the Morgenthau Plan, however later found that implementation was impractical. Former President Hoover stated that implementation of the plan would mean reducing Germany to a ‘pastoral state’, and also that ‘It [could not] be done unless we exterminate of move 25, 000, 000 people out of [Germany]’. In turn the US government suggested the ‘Marshal Plan’, which could set up financial aid for Germany (among other war-torn European states) that would completely revive Germany’s industrial sector and re-establish a strong German economy.
Former General Secretary Stalin had strongly opposed the plan, claiming that it was an American ploy to buy a pro-US alignment in the new Europe. Stalin having set up a strong Eastern bloc of Communist aligned countries considered the Marshal Plan to be a threat to his buffer zone of states along the Western border. Having initially looked for support from the Soviets, the Americans had no time to lose and announced the implementation European Recovery Plan (Marshal Plan). These events lead to what effectively is considered to be the first major crisis in the Cold War, the Berlin Blockade.
In order to coordinate economies the British and the US occupation zones combined into what was informally referred to as Bizonia (later to be referred to as Trizonia with the addition of the French zone). In response to what appeared to be a western threat to the Soviet occupied zone, the Soviet Union blocked all western railway and road access to Western occupied zone of Berlin. In response the Western allies organized the Berlin Airlift, which carried supplies to the area. While the Soviets had laughed at the matter, the Airlifts proved to be more effective that any previous method of supplying the area. These Airlifts served not only as the first successful Western Cold War victory, but also as the primary gateway to Berlin for another 50 years.
The western sectors, which were already informally coordinated under Trizonia, were officially merged on the 23rd of May 1949 effectively establishing the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). The initial steps towards the reunification of western occupied...

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