Look at the cartoon about the Berlin Airlift – 1948. Write down 5 facts of bits of info you can gather, about the lift, from the cartoon. 1 2 3 4 5 Look at the cartoon about the Berlin Airlift – 1948. Write down 5 facts of bits of info you can gather, about the lift, from the cartoon. 1 2 3 4 5
Write out the statements below and say if they are true or false.
Stalin feared Germany becoming strong again.
Berlin was in the Russian sector of Germany.
Germany was split into 5 sectors at the end of WW2.
Stalin was a Communist.
In a Communist country you could criticise the government.
America was a Communist country.
The French, British and US sectors were like a ‘ window into the West ’ for those living in the Soviet sector. The Fr, Br, and US made sure that their sectors appeared brilliant – shops were full of new consumer goods and people had a high standard of living. Stalin was worried – it was beginning to look like Communism couldn’t give people the life that Capitalism could. Stalin had to act. Remember, Berlin, capital of Germany, had been split into four sections – like the rest of Germany had. However the city was slap, bang in the centre of the Russian Zone.
The crisis begins.......... Stalin planned to force the Western Allies (USA, Britain and France) out of West Berlin. In June 1948, Stalin blocked all routes in and out of Berlin. Road, rail and canal routes were all cut – all surface transport links.
The response to Stalin’s blockade...... Consider the position of the Western Allies in June 1948. How should they react? Think about the following options and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each. Give in to Stalin’s demands – hand over control of West Berlin. This would prevent 2 million people starving. Invade the Soviet zone – blast through the blockade. This would start an armed conflict, but show Stalin who has most power. Everyone wanted to avoid this if possible. Fly food, fuel and all other supplies into West Berlin. A massive undertaking, requiring much organization and immense cost. Which is the best option? Explain your choice…
The Berlin Airlift The choice to fly supplies in was taken. This meant the Western Allies wouldn’t give in to Stalin, but also wouldn’t provoke war. It placed pressure on Stalin – he couldn’t just shoot planes down because he would be the aggressor then! Czechoslovakia Poland
BUT remember....it must be set in 1948/1949 Berlin in the midst of the blockade.
Make it humorous if you like......
A cartoon produced in 1948 about the Berlin Blockade, titled ‘The Bird Watcher’. (the man holding the gun is Stalin). How does the source suggest the West dealt with the Blockade? What does the image of Stalin suggest to you about how he regarded the airlift? Why may he be reluctant to deal with it using force? What things can’t the source tell you about the Berlin airlift?
How were the Berliners kept alive? For eleven months food and other supplies were flown into Berlin by British, French and US planes. 275,000 flights carried in 1½ million tons of supplies. At its peak, one plane took off and landed every 3 minutes. The people of West Berlin depended on these flights for everything. In the winter of 1948 they lived on dried potatoes, powdered eggs and cans of meat, with just four hours of electricity per day. The airlift cost over $100 million, together with the lives of 79 servicemen who died in accidents. Was it worth it? Do you think the airlift was justified?