Date of Defense





The blockade of Berlin was the first confrontation of the United States and the Soviet Union to bring widespread attention to the failure and disintegration of the wartime alliance. The East-West settlement in Germany was a microcosm of the developments taking place on a world-wide scale, and Berlin in its turn was a microcosm of developments in Germany. The conflicts and attempts at cooperation became increasingly magnified as the scale diminished in size, and thus provide fertile ground for the clarification and delineation of policy development, Berlin served both as a symbol and a proving ground in the East-West relation ship, taking on international significance with the blockade and resulting airlift. The transition from wartime alliance to polarization is nowhere as clearly visible as in the events connected with the division of Berlin. All the major issues; political, economic, and military are to be found in the Berlin settlement, and the conflict of personalities, ideologies, and of strategies is not only colorful, but illustrative of the occurrences in other occupied areas. The shift from uneasy cooperation to open tension, from an East-West peace settlement to cold war will be dealt with in this paper through an examination of the events in Berlin and relating to Berlin which demonstrate the Soviet and American responses to the postwar situation and the development of cold war policy.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only