Superpower relations and the Cold War - The Berlin Question

  • Created by: MC
  • Created on: 21-11-18 16:22

The Berlin Question

The 1950's saw more communication between the two superpowers, but underlying tensions remained.

There were some steps to improve East-West relations...

President Eisenhower succeeded Presiden Truman in January 1953, while Khrushchev came to power in September. This provided an opportunity to create a fresh start - there were several encouragin steps towards defusing tensions betwen the two powers: 

- USA and USSR met in Geneva in 1955 and agreed to communicate more openly.

- In 1955, USSR officially recognised the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) as a state.

- Khrushchev also freed some prisoners and reduced censorship in USSR.

...but Berlin remained a source of tension

After the Berlin crisis in 1948, West Berlin was a unified zone and continued to develop economically, benefiting form a new currency and American (Marshall Plan) aid.

The situation in East Berlin was very different - USSR had drained it of resources and its economy was slow to develop. Many people wanted to leave and go to the more prosperous West Berlin instead.

The situation


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