World War II stretched over 4 continents, including dozens of countries and took hundreds of thousands in only 6 years. (1939-1945) Ironically, the Cold War began less than two years later. As many of you may not know at the end of World War II, Germany was divided into four sections run by the four major Allied powers: the USSR, the United States, Britain, and France. (Hence the Berlin Wall) Berlin, the German capital, was likewise divided into four sectors, even though it was located deep within the Soviet sector of eastern Germany. The United States, Britain, and France had then wanted to unite their sections into a single economic zone, creating a nation that would exist entirely independent of Soviet-occupied eastern Germany. Could this have been the turning point that led Soviet to push their communist ways throughout the world?
The new nation introduced a major step toward the establishment of a West German government, by creating a new currency in West Germany and West Berlin. The Soviets believed this move as an attack on the East German currency and acted in the same manner. East Germany, under Soviet control began a blockade of all rail, road, and water communications between Berlin and the West. The four-power administration of Berlin had officially stopped with the unification of West Berlin and the Western powers no longer had a right to be there, so the Soviets believed. With West Berlin’s food, fuel, and other necessities cut off, the Soviets thought, it would soon have to submit to Communist control. This is what began the largest airlift in history as western powers began to supply the cut off nation. Although the soviets did not make any major efforts to stop the airlift, their presence was known.
With the gradual decrease of Soviet power in the late 1980s, the Communist Party in East Germany began to lose its grip on power. Tens of thousands of East Germans began to flee the nation, and by late 1989 the Berlin Wall started to come down. For many, the reunification of Germany effectively marked the end of the Cold War. I can’t help to ask myself could this extra 40 years of conflict been avoided all together? Although the battlefield killings stopped, was this a continuation of WWII, just over the power of the folding nation of Germany? This is just further evidence of what power can do to nations and what fuels the decisions of the worlds top officials.