Fearing the restoration of German power, the Soviets insisted on the repression of the German people, while the United States hoped to include West Germany in Western European recovery plans. As American and Soviet forces occupying Germany clashed over punishment and rehabilitation plans for the country, the Soviets cut off access to Berlin.
President Kennedy met Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at a summit in Vienna. Khrushchev threatened to give East Germany control of access routes to Berlin, and Kennedy responded with a pledge to defend West Berlin.
Built as a divider between East and West Berlin by the Communist East German government in 1961, the Berlin Wall was torn down. The destruction of the wall signifyed the fall of the “iron curtain” and symbolized the end of the Cold War.
The Cold War is the term for the rivalry between the two blocs of contending states that emerged following the Second World War. It was a series of confrontations played out on the world stage between the non-Communist states, led by the United States and Great Britain, and the Communists, led by the Soviet Union. In 1946 the former prime minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill, gave a speech in Missouri foreshadowing the divide between East and West using the metaphor of an “iron curtain.” The reality of this...