Berlin Wall

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  • The Berlin Crisis
    • Refugee Problems
      • East German government was very unpopular and so many east Germans fled to the west.
      • The west was highly attractive as its citizens enjoyed freedom and wealth than those of east Germany.
      • 1949-1961, 2.7 million east Germans escaped to the west.
      • Berlin was the centre of east Germany's refugee problem because it was easy to escape from east Berlin to West Berlin and then to west Germany.
    • Khrushchev
      • This was a propaganda disaster for him because he proved many people preferred capitalist west to communist east.
      • 1958 he declared that the whole of Berlin belonged to east Germany.
      • He gave American troops six months to withdraw.
      • His plan was to prevent east Germans fleeing to west Germany and  to humiliate America.
    • Eisenhower
      • He did not want to lose West Berlin but he didnt want to start a war either.
        • He agreed to hold an international meeting to discuss the future of Berlin's future.
    • The four summits
      • First meeting took place in May 1959 in Geneva- no solution to the problem was agreed.
      • Second meeting took place in september 1959 at Camp David- again no solution was made but Khrushchev agreed to withdraw his sixth month ultimatum.
      • Third summit took place in Paris in May 1960- this was a disaster because a USSR had just shot down an American spy plane. Khrushchev walked out of the conference.
      • Fourth summit took place in Berlin 1961 and Kennedy was the new president.  Either side refused to back down over the US presence in Berlin.  Khrushchev spotted Kennedy's inexperience and gave USA to withdraw their troops from Berlin.
      • Kennedy
        • refuses to back down.
        • Started preparing America for war.
        • Us government spend $3.2 million on defence.
        • And $207 million on nuclear shelters. Stalemate had been reached.
    • Berlin Wall 1961
      • America had 20 times more nuclear weapons than USSR and so USSR could not win a war.
      • American weapons could reach USSR, but USSR's weapons could not reach America.
      • Khrushchev's solution was to build a wall separating east and west Berlin so that east Germans could not escape to the west.
      • On the night of 12th August 1961, east German troops secretly placed a barbed wire around west Berlin.  This was then reinforced to a fence over the next months and then it was heavily guarded.
      • 27th of october there was a long stand off between America tanks and soviet tanks.
        • 18 hours later, the america tanks began to pull back.
  • Impact of the Berlin Wall.
    • Berlin Wall 1961
      • America had 20 times more nuclear weapons than USSR and so USSR could not win a war.
      • American weapons could reach USSR, but USSR's weapons could not reach America.
      • Khrushchev's solution was to build a wall separating east and west Berlin so that east Germans could not escape to the west.
      • On the night of 12th August 1961, east German troops secretly placed a barbed wire around west Berlin.  This was then reinforced to a fence over the next months and then it was heavily guarded.
      • 27th of october there was a long stand off between America tanks and soviet tanks.
        • 18 hours later, the america tanks began to pull back.
    • stopped east german fleeing to the west.
    • avoided a war.
    • powerful symbol of the division in germany.

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