divided germany 1945-49: links to cold war germany   

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  Berliners watching a C-54 land at Berlin Tempelhof Airport, 1948.This image or file is a work of a U.S. Air Force Airman or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image or file is in the public domain. casahistoria - web site for students of modern history!

  on this page
Browse down the page or just click one of these sections.... 
1. Zero Hour - die Stunde Null
Civilian position at end of the war | Refugees | Fraternisation
2. Potsdam and the Division of Germany
 Denazification | Reparations
3. Development of the Allied Zones
4. The Berlin Blockade
The Position of Berlin | Origins | Currency reform | Events
5. Consequences of the Blockade
6. General Sites on the Cold War 

Other core casahistoria Cold War pages:

Origins of the Cold War
Korean War
Thaw to Cuban Missile Crisis

Space Race
Vietnam War
Prague'68, Ostpolitik, Detente & China
The End of the Cold War

Related casahistoria sites
Decolonisation · Arab-Israeli Conflict 1947-79 ·
Iraq & West



casahistoria is recommended by many sites including:



1. Zero Hour - die Stunde Null
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See these casahistoria sites for further background:

Collapse of the Reich: for links to the final months of Nazi Germany
Origins of the Cold War: links to the collapse of the wartime alliance prior to the Berlin Blockade.

  • German's surrender Synopsis, documents, images, radio reports & press items. Well produced by the European Community, European Navigator site.
The civilian position at the end of the war 
  • Memories Project of witness accounts of World War II. This worthwhile Project includes the recalled stories of those who were children then from all over Europe during the war. Brief and personal (and available in several languages) they offer a unique insight into the time, but remember the possible limitations of memoirs written long after an event.
  • From the Hamburg Seniorennet, memories of Hamburg citizens today of the Nazi period (all translated into English):
  • White flags were hanging out of windows In the closing days of the war, Charles Lindbergh was dispatched to Germany to gather information on the new aircraft the German Luftwaffe had developed such as the jet fighter and the rocket plane. He arrived in Germany just days after its surrender and roamed the countryside looking for information. This is an extract from his journal.
  • A Woman in Berlin Excellent review of the 1945 (anonymous) diary by Linda Grant who played a role in publicising the mass rapes of Croatian and Bosnian women by Serb militias in the 1990's. The review gives many examples from the book of the dehumanising process of the initial Red Army occupation as well as placing the effect on Berlin's women in the context of modern war. Finally it looks at the question of the evidence - how trustworthy is it (the familiar question to students .......) and comes up with an uneasy parallel.
  • The continuum of sexual violence in occupied Germany, 1945-49 By Hsu-Ming Teo, University of Sydney, Australia. Difficult & lengthy article from Women’s History Review, 1996, presenting a historical explanation for the male sexual violence against German women in Occupied Germany, 1945-49. Thanks to the publishers this is a free access article, but you need to enter the full title into the search engine to access (no registration needed).
  • Red Army troops raped even Russian women as they freed them from camps Article from UK's daily Telegraph based on interview with historian Anthony Beevor

After the Reich - a casahistoria ***** recommended book. Click for our review

A Woman in Berlin - a casahistoria **** recommended book. Click for our review


Fraternisation with the Allies

  • Non-fraternisation: Image and content of UK General Montgomery's directive of June 1945 to stop British & German fraternisation (strict adherence lifted within several months, but see the following links for further accounts of the policy in practice)
  • Fraternization and the Uncensored Occupation Looks in detail at GI-German women relationships during the occupation. Chapter from the online book Gender, GI's & Domesticity during WW2 by Anne Elizabeth Pnau
  • The Occupation Troops Key aspect of the extract is US fraternization policies and results. Good images. Chapter from "The U.S. Army In The Occupation Of Germany 1944-1946" by Earl F. Ziemke
  • An Unexpected Freedom What black U.S. soldiers experienced in Germany after the war Accessible article from the Atlantic Times looks at this interesting aspect of occupation & fraternisation  by Peter H. Koepf
  • Flirting Tips For The Enemy Country German Der Spiegel article looks at a little guide book  designed to help US soldiers to know their way around in occupied Germany. The “Pocket Guide to Germany” contained valuable information, many clichés, and even served as a flirting guide. This links to the English translation page. For the original German which has the many pictures mentioned in the text click here then flick through the photo list.






2. Potsdam and the Division of Germany
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Early joint Allied successful cooperation       Denazification

Exorcising Hitler - a casahistoria **** recommended book. Click for our review

Nazi's in Argentina Go to the casahistoria site for links to Nazi's who escaped Europe and fled to south America.


The first signs of friction



3. The Development of the Allied Occupation Zones

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 The west & their zones

Otherwise Occupied - a casahistoria **** recommended book. Click for our review

The USSR & the eastern zone


Origins of the Cold War: See the casahistoria page for links to Stalin's policies at the time towards Eastern Europe to place German events in the context of the emerging cold war.





4. The Berlin Blockade

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General accounts
  • "The Berlin Airlift" US PBS site on the context and history of the Berlin Airlift. Straightforward introduction to the crisis with sections on:
  • The Berlin Crisis Clear outline of background and events for students & teachers from Oregon Public Broadcasting. Set out with many headings for clarity, originally to accompany a TV series but stands alone very well as a source of core info. §
  • Airbridge to Berlin - its Origins and Aftermath Useful chapter extract from the 1988 book by D.M. Giangreco and Robert E. Griffin. Truman Library & Museum site
  • The March Crisis and the Berlin Airlift The official, detailed account of the diplomatic movements, supported by documents from the CIA
  • Berlin Blockade Useful topic documents (speeches/actual agreements/ newspaper articles & images on the Blockade its background (especially good on currency reform), events and outcomes. Use the window on the bottom right to scroll down for an item. Well produced by the European Community.
  • The Berlin Blockade Clear basic interactive chart to see key points at a glance. Can be done as an exercise or click on the hide/show button to see the full diagram at once. From johnclare.net which also has clear explanatory articles and tasks for students. Click here....
The Position of Berlin
  • A First hand Account of Post-War Berlin Traute Grier was 16 years old when the Soviets cut off West Berlin from the rest of the world. Here, she recounts her desperate struggle for survival, her terror of the Russians and how friendships developed between the Americans and occupied Germans. straightforward Der Spiegel item.
  • Berlin 1946-7 A personal story by Raymond A. Hansen, 3110 th US Signal Service Battalion
  •  Berlin 1946 Page of links to movie/newsreel extracts showing aspects of life in Berlin in 1946, including how the four powers were shown working together....
       Soviet fear of Marshall Plan and western containment


Marshall Plan and containment. Go to casahistoria Origins of the Cold War page for detailed links on the Plan and its background.


       Soviet fear of revived western zones
  • The East German Communists and the Origins of the Berlin Blockade Crisis, Academic article on the causes of the blockade argues that after looking at DDR archives it seems the basic social, political and economic conditions compared with the west and the opposition this might produce to the eastern regime and a fear of a capitalist unified Germany were key factors in establishing the blockade.  East European Quarterly, in 1995  by Charles F. Pennacchio
       Monetary reform in the West
  • Currency reforms in Germany Basic outline of events & process of the currency change (scroll down).
  • The Currency Reform of June 1948 This is a page on German economic history in general. Scroll down about 2/3 of the page to get clear useful practical information on how the new deutsch mark was converted and given out to Germans.
  • German Economic Miracle Detailed economics article looking at the events surrounding the introducton of the deutsch mark and its consequences. By David R. Henderson, associate economics prof at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California
  • Smoking or trading? On cigarette money in post WW2 Germany Read the first half for a detailed but not too difficult account of the growth of barter and its problems in post war Germany. Becomes clearly an essay in economics towards the end and less useful for the history. By Vincent Bignon, University of Pennsylvania, 2003





5. Consequences
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Founding & Separate development of Two States:    West:
  • The Birth of the Federal Republic of Germany From the US Library of Congress Country Studies. General outline of key events. Good for establishing a basic pattern. Written 1995.
  • Links to the Economic Miracle/Wirtschaftswunder:
    • German Economic Miracle Clear, cited, article by David R. Henderson, associate professor of economics at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey.
    • Ludwig Erhard PBS bio of Germany's minister of economic affairs from 1949 to 1963, who crafted the plan for West Germany's post-World War II economic recovery, sometimes called the German "economic miracle." (Wirtschaftswunder)
    • The German Economic Miracle An Economics wiki page. Good on data/graphs.
   East: Physical Division of two Germanies
  • Overview: German-German Border Landscape Ingolf Vogeler, Univ of Wisconsin conducted field research along and on either side of the German-German border in 1965, 1967, 1976, 1989, 1994, 1998, and 1999. This details the changes with a straightforward account, diagrams, graphs.
  • The Lost Border: Photographs of the Iron Curtain Excellent images of the German border as it was in the late 1980's. Almost too good - quite a romantic view.....      
Berlin Wall Crisis 1961 Go to the casahistoria site on the Thaw for links to the Crisis, background, events and consequences.


NATO & deepening of Cold War Soviet A Bomb

1949, USSR explodes atomic bomb Go to the casahistoria page on the Korean War for extensive links and context.
  • NSC-68. Full text of 1950 NSC-68 which was based on the premise that first, the Soviets were trying to impose absolute authority over the world and second, that the United States had to face that challenge, meaning no more appeasement and no more isolation. NSC-68 raised defense spending immediately

Thaw to Cuba Go to this casahistoria site for links to Khrushchev's Thaw, The U2, Berlin Wall and Cuban Missile crises.








6. General Sites on the Cold War
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  • Cold War Basic outlines of key events from Spartacus Educational. Good place to make a start and includes
  • Cold War Figures - biographies of major figures from this time period.
  • Cold War Excellent school resource for students beginning to look at the Cold War
  • NATO Declassified Interesting site by NATO itself. Includes timelines, straightforward accounts of key stages in the NATO & the Cold War, documents, videos
  • The Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) Useful site presenting new information and perspectives on the history of the Cold War, in particular new findings from previously inaccessible sources from the former Communist world.
  • Vint Hill Cold War MuseumUseful online museum that is easy to use with links to virtual exhibits, overview articles, photo galleries, documents, newsletters and many other collections of cold war related material set out clearly by decade.
  • BBC - History: Cold War a series of articles on key aspects of the Cold War from the BBC educational site.


  • The Cold War Files Very good site produced by Wilson Center for Peace for interpreting history of the Cold War through Documents. Includes clear overview items on events and bios on key figures.
  • European Navigator Useful topic documents (speeches/actual agreements/ newspaper articles & images on the post 1945 period from a west European perspective. Use the " historical  events" folder on the left to find your area of study. Well produced by the European Community.
  • Avalon Project at Yale Excellent range of documents from the 20th Century Documents : 1900 - 1999 list
  • The CAESAR, POLO, and ESAU Papers This thorough collection of declassified analytic monographs and reference aids, designated within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Directorate of Intelligence (DI) as the CAESAR, ESAU, and POLO series, highlights the CIA's efforts from the 1950s through the mid-1970s to pursue in-depth research on Soviet and Chinese internal politics and Sino-Soviet relations. The documents reflect the views of seasoned analysts who had followed closely their special areas of research and whose views were shaped in often heated debate.
  • Presidential Nuclear Policies & Events Useful selected documents on US Presidential policy towards nuclear weapons from Nuclear power Peace Foundation:
  • Harry Truman | Dwight Eisenhower | John Kennedy | Lyndon Johnson | Richard Nixon Gerald Ford | Jimmy Carter | Ronald Reagan | George H. W. Bush



the casahistoria Cold War sites:  

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Origins of the Cold War
Divided Germany, 1945-49

Korean War
Thaw to Cuban Missile Crisis
Space Race
Vietnam War
SALT, Detente and Collapse



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