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Cold War - Document analysis and commentary

Par   •  30 Août 2018  •  1 507 Mots (7 Pages)  •  233 Vues

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What we know today as the Berlin Ultimatum was at the time a note to the American Ambassador at Moscow regarding the state of Berlin. It must be taken into account that the situation concerning the crisis state of a city such as Berlin, should be evaluated in an objective manner and address a document reflecting the facts without taking a position.

However, since the beginning of the document we can witness and understand that the author of the document; Nikita Khrouchtchev; puts the blame on the countries occupying West Berlin for the Problem of the city. He clearly states in the opening paragraph saying that > l.425-426.

Not once does the author mention any responsibility from the part of the Soviets in the conflict. Every time he evokes the term "Soviet Union" or "USSR" it comes with a positive connotation saying that all they want is peace and nothing more.

It shows therefore that by writing this note, the Soviet's objectives weren't only to ask the Three occupants of West Berlin to leave this territory, but also to deteriorate their reputation in the face of the world, and to show themselves as the one true promoter of peace and order by stating their "pure" intentions and that they > l.519, or that the USSR was the only nation which was ready to take measures against Hitlerite agression unlike the USA, Britain, or France.

Moreover, the Soviet Union accuses the Three Powers for violating the Potsdam Agreement, not only by bringing troops into West Berlin but also by creating (independently of the soviet Union) the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) which was against the Potsdam Agreement, designated to ensure the unity of Germany as a peace-loving and democratic state. Faced by this affront the Soviet Union said it saw "no alternative" but to create an independent state of their own; the German Democratic Republic (GDR), and bring troops into East Berlin. We can interpret these actions as a vast lack of trust between the Soviet Union and the Powers occupying West Berlin. They don't seem to believe that if they maintain a demilitarized zone, the other won't try and force its way in and impose its power.

Throughout the entire document it is stressed that the USSR has no other purpose than unifying the German people and achieving a lasting peace > l.622, > l.661. ''

However with hindsight we can suppose that the Soviet objective wasn't really to achieve peace but to unify Berlin under the GDR they had created in order to stop emigration out to capitalist territory, and improve their social and economic situation.

This ''Ultimatum'' left a big mark on modern history. Even if Khrouchtchev was more than clear in his warning that the USSR would take action unless an agreement was reached, the USA, Great Britain, and France never agreed to anything and remained in West Berlin. There were a total of three meetings between Nikita Khrouchtev, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy between 1959 and 1961. These resulted in nothing. So in the dawn of the 13th of August 1961, the Soviet Union with the aid of the GDR, started the construction of a wall dividing East and West Berlin; known as the Berlin Wall. The wall not only dived the city, but also all the lives of families and friends that lived on opposite sides. This separation lasted for more than 28 years until 1989 when the wall was finally knocked down.

The Cold War differentiates itself to other wars in the fact that it was never declared, never terminated, and a direct armed conflict between the two belligerent superpowers; the USA and the USSR; never actually took place. The Cold War was in essence a fight of ideological expansion, and its importance and influence in todays world cannot be left unnoticed.


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