In history, we started to see the Cold War, and one of the events which lead to the start of it: the Berlin Blockade. After reading the book and watching some videos, we had to do a chart and answer some questions about the topic.
- What was life like in Berlin in the post-war era?
In the Yalta Conference, it was agreed that Berlin would be divided into four zones: a Soviet, an American, a French and a British. The city was devastated after the war, so both sides were in a state of poverty. However, while the Western side was seeking recovery, the Eastern side leader was seeking keep the zone crippled.
- How did Soviet policy towards Berlin differ from that of the West?
On the one hand, the West side policy was one of recovery, as well as being capitalist. On the other hand, the East side policy had as an objective to keep the zone crippled, and was Communist.
- Why was reform of the German currency a key issue for both sides?
Germany having a self currency meant economic independance and freedom. It was an important step for recovery. Moreover, it was a way to represent the new Germany, different from the one from the past. The West encouraged Germany to have a currency of its own, while the East didn’t.
- Why was the airlift such a major feat?
The airlift was a way of showing the world that the West wouldn’t fall under Soviet tirany, and was a real conflict, which contributed to the atmosphere of tension, and to the start of the Cold War.
- In what respect can the USSR and US be responsible for further increasing tensions during the airlift?
On the one hand, the USSR was responsible, as she was the one who started the conflict by closing all the roads, and tried to persuade Western people to go to the East. On the other hand, the USA was responsible too, as she sent a lot of air supplies, increasing tension and showing a will to resist.
- Why did Stalin eventually agree to talks over the airlift?
Stalin agreed to talks over the airlift, as he could clearly see that the Blockade wouldn’t stop the West from opposing to Communist expansion, and keeping their side of Berlin. He could see the Americsn will to resist, and realisrd the Blockade wasn’t helping at all.
Extension question: On the one hand, the USSR was to blame, as she interrupted peace with the blockade. On the other hand, the USA was to blame as well, as she was willing to resist any Soviet attempt to expand.