Berlin crisis of 1961

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Project for history class (JFKS Berlin, 2009)
Done by Chu, T.D, Kelley C.

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Berlin crisis of 1961

  1. 1. The Third Party of Congress of East Germany ordered a 5 Year Plan (1951- 1955) - 1953, 37,000 people left • • Second 5 Year Plan (1956- 60) “modernization, mechaniz ation, automation” • 7 Year Plan ( 1959- 1965) - Between 1949 and 1961, 2.5 million people emigrated.
  2. 2. On left: campaign poster for the communist party Up above: propaganda poster for the 5 year plan that came before the 7 year plan
  3. 3. On November 27 1958, an ultimatum was issued ordering the Allies to clear out of Berlin in 6 months - or the Soviets would sign a peace treaty in which access agreements for Allies would be under the GDR’s control  In response the French, British, and Americans refused and maintained their access to West Berlin In 1959 the Soviets withdrew their deadline Allies Soviets  
  4. 4. German Peace Settlement 2) Achieving a detente with the U.S. 3) Maintaining and strengthening the alliance with China 4) Supporting revolutionary movements of “national liberation” around the world 1)
  5. 5. 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) Protection against threat of West German nuclearization Defense in case of possible collapse of East German Regime Exercise in nuclear balance Pressure from Kremlin, China, and Ulbricht Counter FRG’s expanding role in NATO More authority in Communist bloc To gain international recognition as a Communist leader*
  6. 6. • Mid- 1950s - The U.S.’s indestructibility disintegrates when the S.U. deploys long-range jet bombers. • October 1957 - Fears grow when the S.U. launches Sputnik, first artificial earth satellite. • Next 2 Years - Apprehension reaches it’s climax with the S.U.’s development of the intercontinental ballistic missile and West wondered if the S.U. was leading the field. In the Berlin Crisis, the West had to be careful. One wrong step could lead to war and then nuclear destruction. Sputnik being prepared for take-off
  7. 7. 1. 2. 3. 4. All of Europe would enter into a war over the Berlin Crisis. There would be a repeat of the East German Uprising of 1953. East German protesting in the streets against DDR/Soviet control would increase the chance of war. Political tensions might erupt and may lead to quick, careless decisions.
  8. 8. Picture of Foreign Ministers at 1955 Geneva Summit Conference in front of the Palais des Nations. o Britain: Prime Minister Anthony Eden o France: Premier Edgar Faure o America: President Dwight Eisenhower o Russia: Premier Nikita Khrushchev
  9. 9.  July 18- 23, 1955     German Reunification European Security Disarmament Proposal of Open Skies Plan Greater East- West contacts through travel and exchange of information Meeting ended with an optimistic note.  West May 11, 1959 • • • Peace Treaty would be signed if German became United through free elections 4 power occupation would be maintained until Berlin became capital of Germany European Security Plan must be linked to German Reunification Meeting failed.  Soviet Powers • • • West Berlin be transformed into demilitarized free city Separate Peace Treaties to be signed with 2 German Regimes Zone be created in Central Europe where armies* were banned
  10. 10.   At the meeting President Eisenhower and Soviet Premier Khrushchev decided the world’s most important issues were general disarmament and the situation in Berlin They also agreed have further discussion at the Paris Summit
  11. 11. Chinese Ulbricht Wanted Khrushchev to prove his loyalty to the worldwide Socialist cause Wanted Khrushchev to keep the Allies out of the GDR Khrushchev Influenced Khrushchev to be more assertive in the Berlin Crisis
  12. 12. Khrushchev examining the U-2 Plane. May 1, 1960 – A pilot’s CIA U- 2 spy plane was shot down over USSR. territory.  The Soviets declared it an act of betrayal and the relationships between the two worsened.   Eisenhower refused to apologize for the incident.  In result, Khrushchev left the talks of the Four Power Paris Summit on May 16.
  13. 13.   The summit meeting was between President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Khrushchev renewed the crisis over Berlin during the meeting.
  14. 14. Khrushchev demanded West Berlin to become a demilitarized, neutral city. He also insisted for a finalization of a peace treaty.* If the conditions were not met in 6 months, a separate peace treaty would be signed between East Germany and the Soviet Union. "German soil [would] never again give birth to forces that could plunge the world into a new and even more devastating war”.
  15. 15. East Germany became a puppet to the Soviet Union and West Berlin was no longer accessible to the Western Allies. Khrushchev threatened to end the Allie’s occupation and access rights of troops in West Berlin. Any attempt by the Western Powers to violate the GDR’s territory would be viewed as “an act of aggression”
  16. 16. “It is up to the U.S. to decide whether there will be war or peace.” “Then, Mr. Chairman, there will be war. It will be a cold winter.”
  17. 17. Kennedy decided if he did not take a tough stand on Berlin, he risked losing all of Western Europe. JFK pushed the armaments program that had started in February. A public statement by Lyndon B. Johnson in West Berlin showed the U.S’s determination to defend Berlin. He admitted there was a chance of losing lives of millions of Americans to preserve West Germany. Johnson promised the people of West Germany that the US would not hand them over to Communism and would pay any price to defend their democracy.
  18. 18. “We seek peace, but we shall not surrender.”  Asked congress for an additional 3.25 billion dollars in military spending  Requested an increase of the army to 1 million men  Commenced operation “Stair Step”
  19. 19. August 13th 1961: All crossing points between East and West Berlin were sealed off.
  20. 20.    An American general best known for his military work with Germany Considered the “father” of Berlin Airlift (1948 – 1949) September 1961 – May 1962: Kennedy’s personal representative in Berlin, with the rank of ambassador
  21. 21.  Border police began to require papers for access to East Germany. This action violated 4 power agreement.  American M-48 tanks pulled up to Checkpoint Charlie to establish America’s resolve to defend West Berlin.
  22. 22.  10 American M-48 tanks pulled up to Checkpoint Charlie to find out if the Soviet s were willing to start an armed conflict.  10 Soviet tanks drove up to Checkpoint Charlie facing only 150 feet away.  After 16 hours, a Soviet Union tank retreated followed by an American.
  23. 23. The confrontation at Checkpoint Charlie was an intense instant of the Cold War, a moment in history when the U.S. established it s resolve to stand up for Berlin. One mishap could destroy the world.
  24. 24. 1) 2) 3) Big Four Agreement – West Berlin must be a free city with free access East German Pledge – respect the agreement between Moscow and the West Western Powers and West Germany – respect sovereignty of East Germany

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