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On 24 June 1948, the Soviet Union attempted to block Western Allied Powers’ access over their occupation zones in Germany’s capital, Berlin. Eventually known as the Berlin Blockade, they intended to protest the merging of the sectors of France, the UK, and the US in West Germany. This event is believed to be one of the major crises signifying the Cold War.
See the fact file below for more information on the Berlin Blockade or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Berlin Blockade worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
DIVISION OF GERMANY AND BERLIN
- After the Second World War, Germany was divided into four zones of occupation. As per the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences, the zones were placed under the control of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union.
- The Allied powers divided Germany into four military occupation zones: Great Britain in the northwest, the Soviet Union in the east, the United States in the south, and France in the southwest.
- They exercised sovereign powers over these zones, which were treated as one country as per their 1937 territorial rights prior to Nazi expansion.
- Eastwards, the Soviet Union and Poland were given control as per the Oder-Neisse line. It bordered Germany from Poland as the line ran along the Oder and Lusatian Neisse rivers.
- Germany’s capital, Berlin, was also divided into four (4) occupation zones: France in the northwest, the UK in the midwest, the US in the southwest, the Soviet Union on the eastern side.
- Despite the set agreements, the Western Allies and the Soviet Union had their differences regarding the fate of Eastern Europe. The US wanted to grant independence to the Eastern European countries and wanted to strengthen the economy of West Germany as it could be beneficial in the development of Europe. Thus, promoting democracy and capitalism as defining factors of a liberal society.
- On the other hand, the Soviet Union wanted the Eastern European countries as buffer states and wanted Germany’s resources as war reparations to prevent it from becoming a strong threat.
THE BEGINNING OF THE BLOCKADE
- In January 1948, the UK and the US decided to merge their control over the western part of Germany into a single unit known as the Bizonia. Later on, France would join them and changed the name of their zones into West Germany. To rehabilitate the country, they used the Marshall Plan, the financial aid being offered by the US government to war-torn areas in Europe. To combat hyperinflation, they introduced a new currency in West Germany, the Deutsche Mark.
- The Soviet Union saw the introduction of the currency and the establishment of West Germany as a threat and accused the Allied Powers of violating their agreement as Joseph Stalin was not permitted to attend the meetings organized by the west regarding their plans on West Germany.
- By March 1948, the Soviet Union withdrew from the Allied Control Council administering Berlin and, on 24 June 1948, Stalin cut all West Germany’s land access such as railways, roads, and waterways, blocking their access over Berlin. This event was eventually known as the Berlin Blockade. He intended to show that East Germany was powerful and could match the western region.
- By 26 June 1948, the US and the UK organized an airlift to send vital supplies to West Berlin. US President Harry S. Truman believed that this move was significant because losing Berlin might lead to losing the whole of Germany.
THE END OF THE BLOCKADE
- Due to continued shortages in fuel and electricity, the Soviet Union lifted the blockade on 12 May 1949. During the 323-day blockade, the westerners made an estimated 278,000 flights over Berlin delivering approximately 2,334,374 tons of vital supplies.
- Despite the lifting of the blockade, they continued the airlift fearing that the blockade would resume. The airlift officially ended on 30 September 1949. Later on, West Germany and East Germany would be established as separate republics; the former adhering to a capitalist system and the latter to the Soviet Union’s brand of communism.
Berlin Blockade Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Berlin Blockade across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Berlin Blockade worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Berlin Blockade. On 24 June 1948, the Soviet Union attempted to block Western Allied Powers’ access over their occupation zones in Germany’s capital, Berlin. Eventually known as the Berlin Blockade, they intended to protest the merging of the sectors of France, the UK, and the US in West Germany. This event is believed to be one of the major crises signifying the Cold War.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Berlin Blockade Facts
- Berlin Divided
- Germany Divided
- Find the Word
- Berlin Blockade Crossword
- June 1948 until September 1949
- Complete the Information
- Berlin Blockade in Newsprint
- Editorial Cartoon
- Berlin Now and Then
- In a Nutshell
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Link will appear as Berlin Blockade Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 11, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
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