The THAW - BERLIN CRISIS 58 62 Q& A

questions and answers on the 2nd Berlin Crisis of 1958 - 1962

a2 history with edexcel

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The Berlin Crisis, 1958-62 ­ was there really a thaw?
1. Why was Khrushchev concerned about West Germany and West Berlin?
The new weaponry ­ tactical nuclear weapons. The East had free access to the wonderful west.
2. What did Khrushchev propose to solve the problem of Berlin?
Free city of Berlin with its own foreign policy, etc. Wanted East Germany to be recognised by the
West.
3. Why did peace negotiations with Eisenhower fail to take place?
It threatened Western rights to Berlin ­ ultimatum 6 months withdraw troops. A compromise
was not possible. The eve of a summit in Paris, a US U2 plane was shot down in Soviet territory.
4. How did Eastern propaganda about life in eastern Germany differ from the reality?
Showed a paradise for peasants ­ this was not the case. Spending money on heavy industry ­
armaments.
5. What were the results of negotiations between Khrushchev and Kennedy over Berlin?
It was unproductive, difficult and disappointing. Khrushchev tried to bully Kennedy after the Bay of
Pigs.
6. How did Ulbricht convince Khrushchev to introduce a closing of the border between East and
West Berlin?
Thousands were fleeing; they had no choice.
7. How was the border created?
Military force ­ all the soldiers were fully armed. A barbed wire barrier. 46 weeks in preparation.
8. What impact did it have on the Berliners (both east and west)?
Families were torn apart; "Grandma, you're in a mousetrap now".
9. Willy Brandt was mayor of West Germany. What did he try to get the west to do and why
were they so reluctant?
The ally commanders wouldn't even make a small protest. Demanded action. Calm the crowds.
10. What different methods did East Berliners use to try to escape the wall?
Jump over the barbed wire. Outside windows overlooking west Berlin. Swam lakes. Clung under
trains.
11. Why could the Berlin Wall be seen as a symbol of defeat, rather than strength?
Having to force people to stay showed the failings of Communism.
12. How did war nearly occur in Berlin on 27th October 1961?
The tanks were barrel-to-barrel. Checkpoint Charlie. If the West used force, the Soviets should
respond with force
13. How were hostilities at Checkpoint Charlie resolved?
They communicated, and slowly withdraw a small distance at a time.
14. Why in a way could it be said that the wall stabilised East West relations?

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It was a way out. It stopped the crisis.
15. Why do you think Kennedy made his `Ich bin ein Berliner' speech?
To show West Berlin he was supporting them. Also, a warning to the Soviets that they shouldn't act
against West Berlin.
16. Explain whether the Berlin crisis of 58-62 showed there was a thaw or otherwise in east
west relations.
There was a thaw in that the crisis of Berlin was resolves.…read more

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