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Notes on the First Episode: Cold War
● The members of the Congress of the US represented the dead and the dying in a
● The world above would only become a memory.
● 1945: Soviet Troops stormed the capital of Hitler’s Reich.
● Outside Berlin the Big-Three met to settle the Post-War order (Stalin, Truman,
● Cold War (nuclear war): “ clash of ideologies” communists (Soviet Union) vs
● Russia: famine and starvation
● 1929: Wall Street Crash
● Russia: Private things became collective (famine/murder of million of peasants)
● Regime of terror: People were not informed about what was going on and those who
knew were afraid to talk.
● Stalin’s Soviet Union was revealed as a Police State and not as a worker’s paradise.
However, many people (even some in America) still supported communism.
● Germany was rearming. Hitler wanted to dominate Europe and then the entire World.
She would invade Czechoslovakia, but Chamberlain (British Prime Minister) went to
Germany to appease him.
● 1939: Germany invaded Poland. Britain and France declared war to the aggressor.
Germany and Russia had conspired against Poland and she was out of the map.
● Soviet Union: Invaded Finland and grabbed Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.
● 1940/1941: Hitler conquered France, Belgium, Poland, Norway, Denmark,
Yugoslavia and Greece.
● June 22nd 1941: Hitler invaded the USSR. This would bring Russian power into the
heart of Europe 4 years later.
● September 1941: The US was attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of
Japan. She declared war on Japan.
● Hitler declared war on the USA. This made Russians and Americans allies.
● Stalin’s methods were discovered by Britain and America but they decided to ignore
● 1943: The Big Three met at Tehran (Persia) and agreed to open a second front
against Nazi Germany.
● Stalin had people spying Roosevelt’s conversations
● The allies had agree to make Eastern Europe communist.
● 1944: Biggest seaborne invasion in history: France
● The Red Forces (communists) wanted to invade Germany, Poland would confront
them to make their country independent again.
● Poland vs Soviet Union: Poland ended up destroyed after 2 months.
● Churchill made a note dividing with percentages some countries between the USSR
● 1945: The Big Three joined in Yalta to decide how to govern the defeated Germany.
Stalin knew they had already won the war. Most important topic: Future of Eastern
Europe. Stalin had soldiers everywhere. It was right before the ending of the war.
● “Declaration on liberated Europe”: rebuilt Europe in the basis of democracy.
● Germany would be governed by the allies. Poland would have free and fair elections.
● 1945: Roosevelt dies.
● American troops were taking over German towns.
● Meeting of Russian and American soldiers.
● Final Soviet attack: Berlin. 27 million people died. They won.
● The Germans surrendered to the United Nations.
● 1945: Potsdam Conference: A bad-tempered conference. The allies would not agree
on a peace treaty, Roosevelt had died and Churchill had lost the elections.
● America successfully tested the first atomic bomb. President Truman decided that he
would tell Stalin about the powerful weapon but would not identify it as a nuclear one.
● 1st nuclear bomb exploded in Hiroshima, Japan.
● 3 days after a second one was thrown in Nagasaki.
● 3 things I have learnt: I did not know much about Stalin and the Soviet Union, I
learnt about that and about communism. Also, I understood why Japan declared war
on the US as you explained it in Handing. Also, it helped me made myself a better
idea of how the situation was like in those moments as seeing a video is much por
vivid than reading things from the book.
● 2 things I found interesting: I found very interesting the use of the nuclear bombs,
Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Also, I am generally interested in the Cold War. As it was a
war that started mainly because of the difference between capitalists and
communists, I found interesting listening about the two different views that existed.
● One question I still have: What was happening with Poland? That is something I
could not completely finish understanding.