The Berlin crisis is one of the Central events of the cold war. It was not inherent dynamism, as in the case of the Caribbean, but dangerous enough situation arose more than once. The essence of the Berlin crisis was unprecedented in its duration is 5 years. It was a constant confrontation of East and West, the culmination of which was held in August 1961 and ended with the construction of the Berlin wall. But it occurred with different intensity and more aggravated and tense was after the event. Moreover, in the history of the Berlin crisis has no clear end.
Main characteristics of politics and economics of post-war Germany
25 April 1945 is the date of reconciliation of Soviet and American soldiers. It took place at Torgau on the Elbe. After that, the whole world believed in the advent of a new era which will be characterized by reconciliation and security. But the anti-Hitler coalition was in constant discussions regarding Germany since 1943. After the war the situation has only worsened.
USA wanted to create a liberal world economic order and become its leader as the strongest economy in the state. The Soviet Union held a completely opposite view of the situation. He wanted spheres of influence were divided between the two superpowers, thus ensuring stable peace. The division of Germany, the Berlin crisis is a vivid example of this confrontation.
In the early summer of 1945, held the Potsdam conference, the participants of which were the leaders of the Soviet Union, the United States and great Britain. The main item in its work was the decision of questions of denazification, demilitarization and democratization of the German state. Participants found that in Germany will be ruled by commanders of the occupying forces of the Union, the States, Britain and France.
Primary economic purpose of the occupation of Germany, according to the results of the Potsdam conference, was the following:
- to spend the absolute disarmament and demilitarization of Nazi country
- to eliminate and take control of its military industry
- to provide victims of Nazi occupation, the peoples of the reparation, including dismantle of the industrial enterprises and to divide the whole fleet between the main participants of the conference.
Plans for the occupation of States with respect to Germany
The occupation zones were former administrative-territorial units of the country. The exception was only Prussia. Berlin was divided into 4 zones: those that were ruled by the USA, USSR and France, and East Berlin (UK), which includes almost half of the total area of the city.
Soon it became apparent the fact that the actions of the authorities of occupation are fundamentally different from each other. France, which was not a party to the conference, considered themselves independent from its decisions. She wanted to get instant maximum benefit of all and were the enemy in order to preserve the economic unity of Germany.
The Soviet government tried to compensate for all their losses during the Second world war. Was dismantled and removed industrial plants, which accounted for 45% of all existing at that time in the Soviet state. At the same time, the Soviet Union was a supporter of socialist orientation in the development of Germany.
The U.S. initially planned to weaken the country's economy, making it agricultural. But they soon were corrected, because there was a need to create a political and economic counterweight to the Communist bloc of Eastern Europe. Therefore, in the early autumn of 1946, the US Secretary of state was refuted by the decision of the infinite discrimination of the Nazi country. USA and Great Britain decided to establish a joint bizonline business management.
The final division of the German state
Some time after the accession of the British occupation zone to the American this idea was supported by France. Thus, took place the formation of Trizonia. At the Moscow conference in 1947, was a clear absolute difference in the plans for the next necessary actions of the authorities of occupation in Germany.
This became the actual end of the section, began the first Berlin crisis. Termination of the activities of the allied control Council in March 1948, and later the decision of the government of the Soviet Union had blocked all land and river routes connecting the Western part of Berlin and Germany.
The state of Germany in 1948
All of the above events led to the fact that the main characteristics of Germany at the time was:
- the political rift
- economic failure.
There was practically no inflow of goods to the market. They are all concentrated in warehouses. A significant amount of money has complicated the conduct of a reasonable monetary and financial reform. With great difficulty controlled the state of the external order, which cannot be said about the inflation process. The state of the economy was so primitive that resembled barter. Prosperity of the black market and barter.
The Berlin crisis of 1948 was exacerbated by the fact that the number of refugees from Eastern Europe in the Western zones has increased continuously.
Plan George C. Marshall
Catlett George Marshall 5 June 1947 announced the economic recovery program in Europe, which in 1948 adopted by the U.S. Congress. She assumed the availability of assistance to victims of war European countries by providing loans, equipment and technology for 4 years.
- to intensify the renewal of political and financial cooperation of European countries and enhance their integration into the world economy
- give them the opportunity to pursue the purchase of raw materials and equipment in the countries where they were hard currency
- he was a kind of program that provides state support for the U.S. economy, as there was a stimulation of American exports.
The Soviet Union refused to support the plan, therefore this recovery program only applies to Western Europe, including in the Federal Republic of Germany. The split between East and West were further aggravated, as the Berlin crisis. 1949 – this time not only the Foundation of Germany, but its official enrollment in the composition of the countries participating in the Marshall plan.
The beginning of the second crisis in Berlin
The Berlin crisis of 1948 and three zones, formed by him in the capital, was a clear demonstration of the contrast between levels of living in economically developed and Communist countries. Such a comparison often had a theoretical form. Increasingly, citizens of the German Democratic Republic had a desire to cross the border in Berlin, and move to its Western part. Most of the immigrants were healthy young men and women. Their work can be used in industry in West Germany. It is not pleasing to the government of the GDR.
27 Oct 1958 main GDR leader Walter Ulbricht officially stated on the violation by the Western powers of the Potsdam agreement by rearmament of Germany. Therefore, according to him, they can't continue to be in Berlin. It needs to unite and become the capital of a Communist Germany.
The main reason for the crisis in the German capital
But all these actions were only the Overture, which began the Berlin crisis of 1958-1961. Khrushchev issued an ultimatum to the States in the West with the decision to eliminate the occupation status of the capital. Everything was similar to the events of 1948. He proposed after 6 months to start the peace negotiation process, otherwise the Soviet zone of occupation will come under the control of the GDR.
The Soviet Embassy was inclined to believe that the Berlin crisis can be stopped without the settlement of the German problem in the whole volume. It is enough to carry out gradual political and economic conquest of the Western part of the capital. This initial premise, the essence of which was that, ignoring the Potsdam agreement and other negotiations, to review the situation in Berlin can be individually, not taking into account the pan-European and all-German Affairs, head of all the causes of the Berlin crisis.
The injection of the crisis, Khrushchev
The futility of this approach to the solution of impending problems was confirmed by the session of the NATO Council, where from the representative of Luxembourg, Prime Minister BOSH, it was suggested the possibility of negotiations with the Soviet Union, but in a more appropriate time.
The Minister of Germany von Brentano said that Germany is fully prepared to absolute to equip its military strength nuclear and missile weapons. This was another signal to the West about how sterile are in fact positions are deliberately complicating the situation Khrushchev. This behavior was due to internal political developments in the socialist camp and the upcoming elections in the people's chamber of the German Democratic Republic.
The second event play a significant role in fomenting the crisis.
December 14, 1958 in Paris held a meeting of foreign Ministers of the United States. France and great Britain, and Germany. They reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring their position and rights in Berlin.
A few days here held an emergency meeting of the NATO Council. The participants confirmed their strongly negative attitude towards a particular policy, the Soviet Union promoted. The decision was made to actively counter this.
The role of leadership of the SED and Ulbricht personally in the further development of the crisis
A key role in how to further develop the Berlin crisis, belongs to the leadership of the Socialist unity party of Germany and Ulbricht. It is with great caution refers to the "excessive" rapprochement of Moscow with Germany.
From the reports of Ambassador implies that the role of Ulbricht is quite obvious. This is evidenced by the tightening of Khrushchev's policy towards Bannu. Thus, it was planned to carry out the internal strengthening of the SED regime and provoke the international recognition of the GDR, creating the "enemy image".
To confirm its position, Ulbricht is scheduled for end of October, the conduct of military maneuvers of the National people's army. This pressure on the Moscow government attempts to intimidate the Russian population had certain goals had to be further isolation of the GDR from the Western German territories, to activated the support of Moscow and strengthened the position of the GDR and the SED.
The deterioration of the internal situation in the GDR and the Berlin crisis of 1961
Notwithstanding that, the number of refugees grew rapidly. That it is necessary to block the flow in Berlin, said in the 50-ies in East Berlin and Moscow. Designed the idea is only 3-5 August 1961 during the famous meeting of the Political consultative Committee of the ATS. It was the result of a long dispute in the Russian capital about the German future.
The idea of Molotov's was the fact that peace in this country until, until it becomes the path of socialism. According to Malenkov, had to give in to NATO, as the content of the GDR is not a cheap "pleasure". About the unification of Germany as a United country, said Beria.
But strong pressure from Ulbricht, require to make radical decisions, contributed to fears of Khrushchev on a possible derogation, as there was a threat of seizing the initiative in the socialist camp of the Beijing leadership. With this was connected his significant fluctuations. He wanted decisions to be more flexible, but did not provide for the termination of pressure on the West. He was given the opportunity to leave the territory of West Berlin for 6 months in order to found freedom in submission of the GDR.
November 27, 1958 was made ultimatum of the Soviet government to Western States to change the status of West Berlin, which led to the creation of a demilitarized Free city. The Soviet government believed that the four powers control the territory casts doubt on the independence of the GDR and is a kind of brake on the way to the international legal space and activates the Berlin crisis, year after year, expanding its volume.
The plans of the Soviet Union was the transfer of control of the city in the hands of the authorities of the GDR and the conclusion of a separate peace. Ultimately, this should lead to a final unification of the city under the leadership of the GDR.
This was rejected by the United States and France, Britain was ready to accept a compromise solution. Unsuccessful negotiations between the US and the USSR over the fact that the latter has refused his ultimatum, but supported by the government of GLD to gain control over the boundaries between parts of the city.
The Berlin crisis of 1961 ended with the construction of the Berlin wall.