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Cold war 1945-1949

This podcast aims to look at three key areas why the alliance between
the USA and the USSR broke down in 1945, how Stalin take control of
eastern Europe in 1945 and Americas reaction to it, and the
consequences of the Berlin Blockade.
By the end of World War 2 in 1945, two clear superpowers had emerged:
the USA and the USSR. They had fought alongside each other during the
war, but due to their ongoing political disagreements were to become
enemies in its immediate aftermath. This relationship, and the events that
occurred as a result of it, are referred to as the Cold War.
The central reason for the suspicion and mistrust that led to the Cold War
was that of differing political beliefs. The USSR, which included Russia and
various other countries that are now independent states such as the
Ukraine and Georgia, had become Communist following the Bolshevik
revolution in 1917. Examiners arent usually too fussed over whether you
refer to the USSR, the Soviet Union, or Russia as a term for this country
but its worth me defining it at this point in order to avoid confusion.
The communist ideas that lay at the heart of Soviet politics were simply
unacceptable to the USA, whose society was based on democracy and
capitalism. Although the two countries fought on the same side in the
Second World War, it was only because they shared a common enemy in
Hitler. They detested each other, but they both opposed Hitlers Germany
more.
The final years of the war, however, saw the relationship deteriorate. The
Allies refused to help Stalins fight against the Nazis by starting a second
front in 1943. Stalin believed the Allies were purposefully making the USSR
fight a difficult war in order to weaken the Communists for when the war
was over.
In February 1945, when it is was clear that the Nazis were well on their
way to defeat, the three war leaders Churchill of Britain, Roosevelt of the

USA, and Stalin from the USSR met at Yalta where They were able to
agree a number of points, which you may be asked to describe in your
exam. Firstly, they agreed that Germany would be divided into four zones
American, French, British and Soviet. Berlin was in the Soviet zone so it
would also be divided into four. Secondly, as the Allies were liberating
countries from German occupation, they agreed that countries could hold
free elections to choose the government they wanted. Other agreements
involved the USSR sending its troops to help in Japan after the defeat of
the Nazis, and the establishment of a United Nations to promote world
peace. Finally, because the Soviet Union had suffered enormous losses
during the war, they agreed that Eastern Europe should be a Soviet
sphere of influence in order to ease Stalins concerns that the USSR could
not be invaded again.
This all sounds very nice and fluffy, but one major issue went unsettled.
Although the leaders agreed to holding free elections in Nazi-occupied
countries, it was clear that the Allies and Stalins idea of free and
democratic governments differed. Stalin was keen that these countries
should have pro-Soviet people in power so that they could be influenced
by the USSR. The problem for the allies was that the huge Red Army was
already dominating the countries to the East of Germany. By the time
Germany surrendered in May 1945, the Soviet Red Army, effectively
controlled the bulk of eastern Europe and the people of these countries
Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary viewed the Red Army as their liberators.
The leaders met again at Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin, in July to August
1945. By this time, Harry Truman was the President of the USA as
Roosevelt had recently died. Truman was much more anti-Communist than
Roosevelt had been, which led to increased tension between the USA and
the USSR. Truman had further raised the tension with the use of the
atomic bomb at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some historians believe the
bomb was used just as much as a threat to the Soviets as it was an
attempt to bring the War in the Pacific to a close.
At Potsdam the Allied leaders discussed the future of the newly liberated
Germany, but with the war over the one unifying factor between the three
countries had disappeared. Stalin wanted Germany to pay huge
compensation to the USSR, but based on lessons learned from the Treaty
of Versailles Truman was not keen. Stalin viewed Trumans opposition as
an attempt to rebuild a strong Germany to threaten the Soviet Union.
Furthermore, the leaders, with Churchill later being replaced by Clement
Atlee, failed to re-confirm the promise made at Yalta - of free and
independent elections in eastern Europe. Stalin continued to insist on the
countries of eastern Europe being subject to Soviet rule, while Truman
continued to argue for democratic elections. Stalins growing influence in
eastern Europe threatened Truman, who began to think that Stalin
intended to take over the rest of Europe as well.
Therefore, by the end of 1945, the tensions that led to the Cold War had
begun to emerge. The war was over so there was no longer a reason to

cooperate with each other. Stalin didnt get along as well with Truman as
he had with Roosevelt. The unknown quantity of Americas atomic bombs
worried Stalin, but at the same time Truman was concerned over Stalins
strength within eastern Europe. Over the next few years these concerns
became more and more firmly embedded in the policies and actions of the
USA and the USSR.
The five years following the end of the war saw relations between the USA
and the USSR deteriorate even further. The Cold War was developing in
Europe, as the Soviet Union built a barrier round itself a kind-of bufferzone against the West. The states surrounding the USSR, rather than
holding the democratic elections agreed in the earlier meetings, had
Communist governments imposed upon them. Stalin firmly believed that
his actions were justified in order to ensure any possible future war did not
cause further devastation to the Soviet Union like it had experienced
against the Nazis.
In Poland, a rigged election in 1947 saw the communists won 400 out of
450 seats. These communists were hand-picked people loyal to Moscow.
Hungary saw the communists win just 17% of the vote, but under threat
from Moscow the majority politicians handed over control the Communists
out of fear of what the USSR might do to them. Romanian elections
brought the communists to power, and in Bulgaria following the killing of
non-communist leaders in October 1946 the communists won a massive
victory.
Yugoslavia and Greece, however, presented problems for Stalin. The
Yugoslavian leader, Tito, was communist but was not easily controlled.
When Titos political party won 96% of the vote, even Stalin didnt feel
confident enough to overthrow him. In Greece, meanwhile, the Greek
communists fought hard from 1946-9 to overthrow the monarchy. It was
here that America finally got involved to stop communism spreading in
March 1947 Truman made a speech that became known as the Truman
Doctrine. While not naming Greece specifically, he said that America
would help any country oppose a communist take-over: he wanted to stop
communism from spreading. He wanted to contain it. His first move in the
policy of containment was to support the anti-Communist forces in Greece
by sending money and equipment. It worked: the communist uprising was
defeated and communism was stopped in its tracks.
To ensure communism couldnt spread to other European countries,
Truman decided to use Americas economic power. George Marshall, a US
general, was ordered to develop an economic plan that in the end
provided $17 billion to European countries to rebuild themselves after the
devastation of the Second World War. Truman hoped that by doing this, the
people suffering in these countries would not be easily persuaded to
become communist as a result of promises made by Stalin. Truman
believed that the Marshall Plan would help the people in Europe to get
back to work, make money and feel good about democracy.

The Marshall Plan has been interpreted in a number of different ways.


Some people argue that it was generous of America and its people to
provide such aid, and while others acknowledge the generosity they claim
it was done in order for the countries to recover enough to start buying
American goods. Other people argue that the aid was an anti- Communist
weapon, since only countries without communist governments were
eligible to receive funding. Stalin, though, saw Marshall Aid as the USA
making Europe economically dependent on America. Worried that America
might dominate European politics, he banned the countries of eastern
Europe from accepting the money.
Despite the challenges of Yugoslavia, Greece, and Marshall Aid, Stalin held
a firm grip on eastern Europe. It was because of this division between
West and East that Churchill made his famous Iron Curtain speech. He
didnt mean there was a real iron barrier between East West, but was
talking figuratively about the line that had split Europe in two. On Stalins
side of the line, his control was absolute but while the USA had the
atomic bomb and the USSR didnt, Stalin couldnt afford to provoke
America. All this changed when the Soviet detonated their first A-bomb in
1949. Suddenly Americas advantage had narrowed. The Arms Race was
on.
Following the defeat of Nazi Germany, the four winning nations France,
Britain, America and the USSR divided Germany between them into four
zones. They also divided Berlin into four zones and controlled one zone
each.
The USA, Britain and France worked together to strengthen their zones.
They wanted a strong, democratic Germany, which would be able to
recover from years of Nazi dictatorship. The problem for Stalin, who
insisted on keeping his zones weak in case a strong Germany decided to
attack the USSR in the future, was that in Berlin the population could see
the difference between the communist and non-communist styles of
zones, which suggested to those people living in Soviet-controlled Berlin
that it was better to live elsewhere! Stalin needed to remove the Allies
from Berlin.
Stalin tried to force the Allies out of Berlin. He closed of all rail lines, canals
and roads that entered West Berlin through the Soviet-controlled sector of
Germany. For as long as the blockage went on, the people of West Berlin
would suffer from a lack of supplies and in the end Britain, France and the
USA would have to leave. But the Allies responded by flying supplies
coal, food, medicine, sweets and candies into West Berlin. If Stalin tried
to shoot down the Allied planes he risked starting a war! The flights
continued for almost a year before Stalin gave up and lifted the blockade
in May 1949.
The Berlin Blockade demonstrated the stubbornness of the two sides that
persisted for the rest of the Cold War. Following the blockade, Germany
was firmly divided into two nations East and West Germany and the

countries that opposed Stalin formed NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty
Organisation). Many more stand-offs were to come.
A popular question in examinations is about who was more to blame for
the Cold War the USA or the USSR. This question requires balance: you
need to give examples of actions by the USA that show it was responsible
for starting the Cold War, as well as giving examples of things the Soviet
Union did that caused it. Remember that in essay answers you should PEE
use the Point, Evidence, Explanation system to score maximum marks.
Begin by making your point (you might say, it could be argued that the
USSR was more to blame for the Cold War). Follow this with evidence and
examples of things the USSR did to cause tensions you might, for
example, point out Soviet intervention in eastern European elections to
ensure that communism flourished. Conclude your paragraph by
explaining why these actions led to tensions that caused the Cold War and
remember the magic word BECAUSE! Once youve looked at one side of
the argument its time to consider the opposing view use the same
structure of Point, Evidence, Explanation to consider Americas blame for
the Cold War. Round off your answer with a third paragraph in which you
reach an overall conclusion. Remember there is no wrong answer here as
long as you explain why you think the USSR or the USA was more to blame
for starting the war then the examiner will award you marks accordingly.

The widening gulf between the Allies


When the Second World War began in 1939, Britain faced Germany with
few allies. Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941,
Britain and the Soviet Union formed an alliance against Hitler. This alliance
was extended when Hitler declared war on the USA after Japans attack on
the USA in December 1941. This brought Britain, the Soviet Union and the
USA together as allies. These three powers together became known as the
Grand Alliance, and their leaders Churchill (Great Britain), Roosevelt
(USA) and Stalin (Soviet Union) became known as the Big Three.
However, this alliance did not mean close friendship and harmony. There
was constant tension throughout the war. There had been distrust
between these three countries since the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.
Moreover, Stalin always pointed to the fact that the Western Allies had
intervened in the Russian Civil War in 1918-9. Furthermore, he suspected
that they had encouraged Hitler in the 1930s and sought to use him as a
bulwark against communism. He was aware of the intrigue that Britain and
France had been a party to in 1939 when they were trying to create
defensive alliances.

Stalins view about future decisions was also influenced by the two
German invasions of 1914 and 1941. He wanted to build a buffer zone
against possible future German attacks and this idea of a buffer zone
conflicted with the ideas of Churchill, who did not wish to see communism
spread into Western Europe.
In addition, the distrust was compounded by Stalins suspicion that the
Allies deliberately delayed the opening of the Second Front in France, even
after agreements were made about the date. He believed that the USA
and Britain had wanted the Soviet Union to destroy itself fighting Germany
on its own. He also felt that any weakening of the Soviet Union would
leave Britain and the USA in a stronger position than the Soviet Union.
Millions of Soviet citizens were killed in the war (by 1945, approximately
25m) and Stalin wanted to avoid a recurrence of this.
The mistrust between the wartime allies was not wholly on Stalins part.
The two western allies still believed that communisms aim was to impose
that belief-system on the whole world. For many people in the west,
communism was a loathsome philosophy and capitalism had to be
protected at all costs. Furthermore, Britain and the USA felt that the Soviet
Union was being selfish because Stalin did not declare war on Japan in
1941. The USA had supplied huge amounts of war materiel to the Soviet
Union and the latter was only fighting a war on one front. The decision to
attack Japan only after the defeat of Germany confirmed Churchills
opinion of Stalin
The Yalta Conference, February 1945
By early 1945, Stalins army had reached the German border and was
ready for the final onslaught. Stalins army now totalled 12 million and this
outnumbered the forces under Eisenhower (4 million). Roosevelt, Churchill
and Stalin met at Yalta in the southern Soviet Union to plan the end of the
Second World War. Decisions about the fate of Germany, its Allies and
those territories it had absorbed had to be made. Some of the Teheran
decisions were confirmed. Roosevelt appeared rather tired and weak at
the conference and afterwards some observers accused him of giving in to
Stalins demands.
Differences between the Big Three emerged. Churchill was becoming
convinced that Soviet troops would remain in the countries they liberated
from German occupation. Churchills distrust was evident in his letters to
Roosevelt when he said that Stalin was a threat to the free world.
Nevertheless, both Churchill and Roosevelt needed Stalin's support in case
it was necessary to invade Japan.

What decisions were made at Yalta?


Germany
The Allies eventually decided to divide Germany into four zones; each one
would be occupied by one of the four allies. Stalin agreed to accept France
as one of the powers this was after much persuasion by Churchill. It was
also decided that Berlin would be divided into four sectors. (Austria and
Vienna were to be divided in a similar way.) In addition, it was agreed that
Nazi war criminals would be tried in an international court of justice.
However, no agreement could be reached about reparations. Stalin was
keen to cripple Germanys so that it could never become a military power
and Churchill did not want any punishment to bee too severe as had
happened in the peace settlement of 1919. However, a figure of $20
billion dollars was put forward.
Poland
Poland would be given land in the west, which would be taken from
Germany and would lose land to the USSR. Stalin saw this acquisition of
land as creating his buffer zone. He did agree that some members of the
Polish government in exile (the London Poles) would be allowed to join the
Polish government that he had set up (the Lublin Poles). Free elections
would be held.
The other key decisions taken at Yalta clearly indicated the rising tensions
and the way in which Stalin sought to increase the power and influence of
the Soviet Union. He promised to allow free elections in the countries of
Eastern Europe which had been occupied by the Soviet army. However, he
had no intention of doing so and hoped to secure control of large areas of
land. Roosevelt was happy to put up with Stalins actions and accept his
claims because it was clear at this time that the war against Japan could
go on for some time. Both the USA and Britain needed the assistance of
Soviet intervention. Stalin saw an attack against Japan as another way of
acquiring more territory.
The Big Three agreed that a conference at San Francisco in April of 1945
should formulate plans for a new world body to be called the United
Nations. Its aim would be to promote and keep peace. Roosevelt saw
Stalins acceptance of this body as crucial and thought that this was a
successful outcome of Yalta. It should also be noted that by the time of the
Yalta Conference, Britain was clearly the third ally and some way behind
the other two in the Grand Alliance.

The Potsdam Conference, JulyAugust 1945


After Yalta, it soon became evident that Stalin was not about to adhere to

the promises he had made. By July Soviet forces had occupied most of
Eastern Europe: Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Bulgaria,
Romania, Czechoslovakia and Poland. In addition, Soviet forces were
occupying parts of Germany and Austria. Wherever possible, Stalin and his
Soviet forces resisted democracy and tried to ensure that new
governments would be loyal to the Soviet Union.
However, when President Roosevelt died on 12 April, relations between
the USA and the Soviet Union became more strained. He was succeeded
by Harry Truman who took a much tougher line with Stalin. When Truman
became aware of Stalins anti- democratic actions in Poland, a message
condemning the actions was sent to Stalin. So, by April colder relations
between the two countries were already evident.
The Potsdam conference was the last of the conferences between the
leaders of the allies during the Second World War. During the conference,
Churchill was replaced by Clement Attlee, who had become Britains new
Prime Minister following the July general election.
On 16 July the USA had tested its atomic bomb, which meant that Truman
no longer needed to rely upon the Soviet Union in the war against Japan.
The USA did not wish to share the technology which had created the
atomic bomb and Stalin saw this as a clear threat to the Soviet Union.
What was decided at Potsdam?
Germany
Ideally, Stalin wanted the permanent partition of Germany, but Britain and
the USA were able to resist this.
Germany was divided into four zones. Each zone would be occupied by
one of the four Allies, Great Britain, France, the USA and the USSR. Berlin
was divided into four sectors. Germany was to be de-militarised. All
German naval and merchant ships were to be given to the Allies.
The Nazi Party would be dissolved. War criminals would be tried and
punished. Nazis were removed from important positions and leading Nazis
were to be put on trial for war crime. These trials were held in Nuremberg
during 1946.
There would be free elections in Germany, freedom of speech and a free
press. Germans living in Eastern Europe would be transferred into
Germany.
Germany would pay reparations for the damage caused by the war. Most
of this would go to the USSR, either in money or goods. Stalin was
desperate to re-build the damaged Soviet economy. It was agreed that
Stalin could take machinery from the Soviet occupied zone and would be
allowed some machinery from the western zones (the Soviet zone was
primarily agricultural).

Poland
Stalin viewed the issue of Poland as crucial to the security of the Soviet
Union. It was to be the means whereby a buffer zone would be created. It
was agreed that the Polish frontier was to be moved westwards to the
rivers Oder and Neisse.
One of the most important decisions at Potsdam was the agreement of the
Allies to take part in the United Nations. The UN had emerged from
decisions made at meetings in Moscow, Teheran, Washington and finally
San Francisco.
Despite the progress made about Germany and Poland, there were also
many disagreements at Potsdam. President Truman tried to force the USSR
to allow free elections in the countries of Eastern Europe, which had been
occupied after the end of the war. Stalin pretended to be very angry about
not being told about the US development of the atomic bomb. (Stalins
agents in the USA had kept him informed of the whole bomb project.)
Thus the Grand Alliance began to fracture and with the defeat of Hitler in
1945, the cement which had kept the Allies together began to erode. This
was the beginning of the Cold War. During 194546, Stalins policies
showed that he did not trust the West and he kept control of those
countries of Eastern Europe that had been liberated from Nazi rule. This
led to Winston Churchill coining the term Iron Curtain.
What was the Cold War?
The events of 1945 to 1949 led to what became known as the COLD WAR.
This is the name used to describe the hostility between East and West
which existed until the late 1980s. It was a war of propaganda and ideas,
but there was very little actual fighting. A hot war is a conflict in which
actual fighting takes place. A cold war is a war conducted against an
enemy by every means without resorting to fighting. At first it was
confined to Europe, but during the 1950s and 1960s it spread across
world, as the USA and the Soviet Union sought to gain influence and
control over as many countries as possible.
The iron curtain
In February 1946, President Truman received a note about Soviet foreign
policy from one of his advisers. The note stated that the Soviet Union
would never co-operate with the USA and its long-term aim was to expand
its empire. Thus the Soviet Union had to be contained the policy of
containment was born. In March of that year, Winston Churchill made a
speech in Fulton, Missouri in 1946, during which he referred to the iron
curtain. Churchill said the iron curtain started at Stettin in the Baltic and
went to Trieste in the Adriatic. Eventually, the iron curtain became a
thousand mile long armed border cutting off the Communist countries of
Eastern Europe form the non-communist west.

Why did Stalin build the Iron Curtain?


He sought to set up a buffer zone of countries in Eastern Europe to protect
the USSR against another invasion by Germany he had seen two
invasions in his own lifetime - 1914 and 1941. Above all, Stalin was
determined to prevent this happening a third time and he wanted to make
sure that Germany was kept weak, whereas the western Allies wanted
Germany to be allowed to recover from the effects of the war. The western
Allies were aware of the mistakes that had been at the Treaty of Versailles
and did not want to see History repeat itself. In addition, Stalin was trying
to prevent western influence reaching the west and refugees leaving the
east for Western Europe. Refugees and displaced persons soon discovered
that life in Soviet occupied areas was not always pleasant.

SovietControlofEasternEurope
How did Stalin secure control of Eastern Europe?
During the years 194548, all the countries which had been occupied by
the Red Army at the end of the war were brought under Soviet control
(Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia
and Lithuania had been absorbed in 1940 and then kept as part of the
Soviet Union). In Czechoslovakia the leaders were simply murdered.
There was a distinct pattern to the Soviet takeover and control of the
countries of Eastern Europe. Firstly, when countries were liberated from
the Nazis, Stalin ensured that Soviet troops remained there. Then, Stalin
ensured that any new governments were coalitions which meant that the
Communist Party would have a say in the running of the country.
Gradually, the Communist Party would infiltrate the key areas of
government and security organisations. When elections took place, the
Communist Party used any means necessary to discredit and frighten
opponents. Such tactics enabled the Communist Party to take over the
government of the country and then began to establish a one-party
country a communist state.Stalin felt justified in establishing military rule
in Hungary and Romania because these two countries which had fought on
the Nazis side.
In Czechoslovakia, the Communist Party was the largest party in the
coalition government by 1947. Stalin ordered Gottwald, the Communist
leader to remove the non-communists in the government. In 1948, all
communist opponents were removed. Masaryk, a leading opponent of
Gottwald was found dead.
Having been a member of the coalition for two years, the Polish
Communist Party fixed the elections of January 1947. The Polish
Communist Party set up a government which took its orders from Stalin in
Moscow.

In Bulgaria, the November elections of 1945 were fixed and the


Communists won a majority of seats and in 1946, a one-party sate was
established
The Hungarian Communist Party secured a large share of the vote and
took over the government following the general election of August 1947.
All other parties were then banned and the Communist leader, Rakosi,
established a Stalinist regime.
By the November election of 1946, the Romanian Communist Party had
won a huge majority and set up a government which then forced King
Michael to abdicate in 1947. Soviet domination was thus complete.

What was the Allied response to Soviet control of Eastern


Europe?
The Truman Doctrine
The USA began to be concerned about the growth in popularity of the
communist parties in France and Italy during the winter of 1946-47. In
February 1947 the British government informed the USA that it could no
longer afford to support the Greek government against Communist rebels.
The USA had seen the spread of communism in the immediate aftermath
of the war and now viewed the prospect of further countries becoming
communist with great alarm. The US government stepped in with an offer
of $400,000,000 to Greece and Turkey.
Why was the Truman Doctrine published?
By 1947, Truman and his advisers had become convinced that the Soviet
Union was trying to spread communism through Eastern Europe and then
to the west and beyond. Truman was frightened that if Greece was to
become a communist country then this opened the gates to the rest of
free Europe. The iron curtain had already cut Europe in two and it was
felt that the USA should be seen to be resisting communism. While the
Truman Doctrine did not actually mention the Soviet Union, it was obvious
that it was intended as a warning to Stalin that Truman was not going to
let him get away with any more attempts to take control of Europe.
Truman was openly committing the USA to a policy of what became known
as containment. Truman argued that the world was becoming divided into
two armed camps the capitalist camp, which he claimed was the free
camp, and the communist, which was not. The USA would use its
economic and military strength to protect the world from the threat of
communism.
Truman also wanted to help the countries of Europe recover from the
effects of the Second World War. He had seen the devastation, which the
war had caused and he wanted the USA to play a part in recovery.
Marshall Aid was announced at the same time. Truman also hoped that he

might be able to persuade some of the countries of Eastern Europe to


break away from Communism.
How did Marshall Aid work?
Marshall Aid was an attempt to rebuild Europe after the Second World War.
It put the ideas of the Truman Doctrine into effect and together the two
were called two halves of the same walnut by Truman. In March 1947
President Harry Truman offered grants of American money to all European
countries. The plan was named after his Secretary of State George C
Marshall who had visited Europe and seen the devastation caused by the
war.
Truman had also been shocked by the damage caused when he visited
Europe for the Potsdam Conference. He had also served as a captain in the
US army in Europe in 1918 and wanted to help Europe recover from the
effects of a second world war.
The USA intended to offer Marshall Aid to all countries in Europe. This
would mean that the USA would be able to influence the countries of the
east and undermine communism. This was what Truman had hoped would
happen. The USSR and other eastern countries did attend the first
meetings in 1948, but withdrew when they discovered that they would
have to join the Organisation for European Economic Co- operation, the
body which was set up to determine how the money would be divided
amongst participants.
When the Soviet Union realised how much influence the USA would have
and that the USA would become close trading partners with members of
the OEEC. The Eastern Bloc countries were forced to withdraw applications
for Marshall Aid. Poland and Czechoslovakia had applied early for Marshall
Aid and looked forward to receiving assistance until Stalin stepped in.
Altogether seventeen countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Eire, France,
Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway,
Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the Wests zones in Germany)
received a total of $13,750,000,000, which allowed them to recover from
the war much more quickly than the countries of the east. Italy, which had
been an ally of Germany during the war, received $600,000,000.
Marshall Aid was one of the reasons why Stalin tried to force the west out
of West Berlin in 1948.

How did the Soviet Union react to the Truman Doctrine and the
Marshall Plan?
COMINFORM (Communist Information Bureau)
This was established in September 1947. It emerged from a meeting about

whether to attend US meetings about the Marshall Plan. Its purpose was to
co-ordinate the activities of Communist Parties in the world not only in
Soviet dominated countries. For Stalin, COMINFORM was a way of
spreading his anti-American and anti-British views to communist parties
across not only his satellite states, but the world.
Essentially, COMINFORM was to indicate how Stalins foreign policies were
to be followed. One of the first messages Stalin put across was that the
Marshall Plan was a US policy to enslave European states. Stalin insisted
that any Communist state or Party which did not follow the Moscow partyline would be expelled from the organisation.
COMECON (The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance)
Naturally, Stalin, in denying Eastern Europe access to the Marshall Aid,
had to create his own economic rescue plan to communist countries in
order to help them recover from the effects of the Second World War. He
thus set up a Soviet version of Marshall Aid, COMECON, the Council for
Mutual Economic Assistance, on January 25 1949. The founding members
were The Soviet Union, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and
Poland. East Germany joined in 1950.
The Soviet Union wanted each member to develop its own specialisms
e.g. Romania on agriculture and Czechoslovakia on industry. However, this
was not always successful, and some member states objected to the
Soviet Union forcing specialisms on them. They especially hated the price
fixing which favoured the Soviet Union. COMECON eventually became a
major drain on the resources of the Soviet Union and helped to bring about
its economic downfall in the 1980s.
The development of the Cold War, 1948-49 How was Germany
governed after the war?
The agreements at Potsdam about Germanys future eventually
caused the major rift between the wartime allies.
At Potsdam it had been agreed that Germany would be divided into four
zones, one each for the USA, the USSR, Britain and France. Each of the
four allies was to be responsible for its own sector. Decisions affecting
Germany as a whole would be taken jointly and it was intended that
Germany would be reunited in the future. But the key agreement was that
all decisions had to be agreed by the four occupying nations. Berlin the
capital of Germany was inside the Soviet Zone, and this was also divided
into four sectors. It was governed by the Joint Kommandatura, which
contained the military leaders of the four allies.
The Berlin Blockade, 1948-49
The Berlin Blockade lasted from June 1948 until May 1949. In June 1948,
Joseph Stalin ordered that all traffic between West Germany and West
Berlin should be stopped. He closed all the road, canal and rail routes, but

was not able to prevent the western allies, Great Britain, France and the
USA from bringing supplies into West Berlin by air. This was the Berlin
Airlift.
Why did Stalin blockade Berlin?
The main reason for the blockade was that Great Britain and the USA had
made it clear that they intended to rebuild the economy in their zones of
Germany. In January 1947, the British and US zones were joined together
in Bizonia. Stalin said this broke the Potsdam agreements. Moreover, he
did not like the prospect of parts of Germany recovering economically his
aim still remained - to keep Germany weak. Bizonia would assist in the
future economic recovery. His fears increased in April 1948, when the
French zone was added to create Trizonia. Once more Stalin said that this
broke the Potsdam agreements.
Tension continued to increase. Shortly after the creation of Trizonia, the
Western Allies announced that they were going to introduce a new
currency, the Deutschmark, to help the economy get going again. Stalin
yet again said the new currency broke the Potsdam agreements. The
Western Allies said the new currency was introduced to prevent inflation
and to stop the black market trade and bartering which were still common
three years after the end of the war. The new currency would mean that
the eastern and western parts of Germany would now be separate
economically and would begin to develop at different rates. This angered
Stalin and the Soviet authorities. Furthermore, Stalin saw that West Berlin
was a temptation to East Berliners. In the west, the Marshall Plan was
beginning to make life much better and already East Berliners and East
Germans were trying to escape to the west.
How did the Allies react to the Blockade?
The Western Allies were determined that Stalin should not succeed in his
plans to blockade West Berlin. General Lucius Clay, the US commander in
Berlin said, If West Berlin falls, West Germany will be next. This seemed
to accord with the US view of communism; that once it had a foothold in
an area it would spread like in on blotting paper. The Allies believed that if
they gave in Stalin would behave as Hitler had in the 1930s, then more
and more countries would be taken over. Clay offered to fight his way out
of West Berlin, but was ordered not to by Truman. The USA had reduced its
army after the war and, by 1948, it had only about 500,000 soldiers.
The solution was to fly supplies to the two million citizens of West Berlin.
The U.S. action gave the name Operation Vittles and the British gave the
name name Operation Plainfare to the airlift.The Airlift began on 28 June
1948.The Allies began to bring supplies into West Berlin by air. 4,000
tonnes were needed every day. Eventually they were bringing in 8,000
tonnes; even coal was brought in by plane. The airlift reached its peak on
1617 April 1949 when almost 1400 flights landed nearly 13,000 tons of
supplies in 24 hours. On 12 May 1949, Stalin called off the blockade. He

had failed to starve the Allies out of Berlin.

During the Airlift, more than 320,000 flights were made. Success came with a price,
79 pilots and aircrew were killed as a result of accidents during the Operation.

What were the consequences of the Berlin Blockade?


The distrust that had been growing between the USA and USSR was now
clear for the world to see. It was a sign that relations between the
Superpowers were now so bad that some form of military alliance was
necessary. The Cold War had started in earnest. The North Atlantic Treaty
Organisation (NATO) was set up in April 1949. During the Berlin Blockade,
the USA had become concerned about the military power of the USSR in
Europe and set up its own military alliance to counter the threat. Member
states were USA, Great Britain, France, Canada, Netherlands, Belgium,
Luxembourg, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Italy and Portugal. The members
of NATO made it clear that any attack on any part of their territories would
be considered an attack on the whole alliance. NATO led to US troops and
aircraft being stationed in European countries to protect them against a
possible attack by the countries of Eastern Europe.
Not only did the Blockade lead to the formation of the military alliance
which showed once and for all that the wartime alliance was over. The
division between East and West was further confirmed when many East
German and East Berlin citizens began to try to escape the Soviet zone
and move to the West. Above all, 1949 saw the creation in May of the
Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic
Republic (East Germany) in October.

Why did the USA-USSR alliance begin to breakdown in 1945?


Joseph Stalin
Stalin became the ruler of the Soviet Union in 1928. He was also very
suspicious of Britain and the USA.
He remembered that they had intervened in the Russian Civil War in
1918-9 and he suspected that they had encouraged Hitler in the 1930s.
In 1938, at the time of the Munich Crisis, Stalin had offered to form an
alliance with Britain and France, but they had not taken him up.
Since the 1920s Stalin's basic policy had been 'Socialism in One
Country'. This meant building up the Soviet Union defences so that it
was as strong as possible.
After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Stalin
believed that the West had hoped that Germany and the USSR would
destroy each other.
He had urged Roosevelt and Churchill to invade France to take pressure
off of the Soviet army, but they refused. The invasion, D Day, only took
place in 1944.

In 1945, Stalin did not trust the West and was determined to build a
buffer zone against further German attacks, particularly as Germany
had invaded Russia twice during the twentieth century.
During the Second World War the Soviet people suffered terribly,
26,000,000 died altogether.
This made Stalin determined that this should never happen again. He
wanted to ensure that there was a barrier in Eastern Europe to stop any
possibility of another attack.
When the three leaders met at Yalta, Stalin's main aim was to ensure
that the Soviet Union was safe from another attack by Germany. He
wanted Germany to be as weak as possible.

Roosevelt

By the time of Yalta, Roosevelt was a very sick man (he died on 12 th
April 1945) and he probably did not take a very tough line with Stalin.

He needed Soviet help in the war against Japan and wanted to


persuade Stalin to declare war on Japan as soon as possible.

Roosevelt did not enquire too closely about Stalins intentions in


Eastern Europe.

He persuaded Stain to issue the Yalta Declaration which promised free


elections in the countries occupied by the Red Army.

He may have allowed Stalin to think that Eastern Europe was his
sphere of influence and that he could therefore act as he liked.
Churchill

Churchill did not want Stalin to be allowed to take control of Eastern


Europe.

He did not want to replace one dictator with another.

He had urged Roosevelt to order US forces to advance across Europe


and occupy Berlin.

Roosevelt had refused because it would have cost too many


casualties.

Churchill believed that more should be done to force Stalin to hold free
elections and wanted Roosevelt to be tougher at Yalta.
Harry S Truman
Truman had served in the US army during the First World War and had
seen the effects that warfare could have.
He visited Europe in 1945 in order to attend the Potsdam Conference
and was horrified by what he saw.
He was also determined to 'get tough with the Russians' and force
them to keep the promises that they had made at Yalta.
Truman convinced the US people that the USA could not afford to adopt
an isolationist policy after the Second World War.
It was the duty of the USA, he stated repeatedly, to take a leading role
in the United Nations and accept its responsibilities in a new world
order.
Truman believed that a stand had to be made against the growing
influence of the Soviet Union and was afraid that otherwise there would
a repetition of the situation in the 1930s, when Hitler had been allowed
to get away with a series of aggressive moves.

Truman believed that Germany must be allowed to recover from the


effects of the war; this would help to prevent a recreation of the
situation in the 1930s.
In 1947, Truman approved aid to Greece and then announced the
Truman Doctrine. Months later his Secretary of State, George C
Marshall announced the Marshall Plan.
In 1948 Truman approved the Berlin Airlift and the plans to set up
NATO.

The Yalta Conference

In February 1945 Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin met at Yalta in the


southern Soviet Union to plan the end of the Second World War.
What happened at Yalta?
They agreed to divide Germany into four zones; each one would be
occupied by one of the four allies.
Stalin agreed to accept France as one of the powers. Berlin would also
be divided into four sectors.
Poland would be given land in the west, which would be taken from
Germany and would lose land to the USSR. Stalin agreed that some
members of the Polish government in exile (the London Poles) would be
allowed to join the Polish government that he had set up (the Lublin
Poles).
The USSR would declare war on Japan three months after the end of
the war with Germany.
Stalin promised to allow free elections in the countries of Eastern
Europe which had been occupied by the Soviet army.
Why did the West not take a firmer line at Yalta?
Roosevelt believed that Stalin would keep his promises. He also
believed that the Soviet army would be needed in the final attack on
Japan, so he was prepared to leave the Soviet Union in control of
Eastern Europe.
Churchill did not think that this was a good idea. By the time of the
Potsdam conference in July, it was clear that Churchill had been right.

The new president, Harry Truman, who took over when Roosevelt died
on 12 April, took a much tougher line with Stalin.
The Potsdam Conference

The Potsdam conference was the last of the conferences between the
leaders of the allies during the Second World War. It was held in
Potsdam, outside Berlin, in July 1945, after the defeat of Germany.
Germany was divided into four zones. Each zone would be occupied by
one of the four Allies, Great Britain, France, the USA and the USSR.
Berlin was divided into four sectors.
The Nazi Party would be dissolved. War criminals would be tried and
punished.
There would be free elections in Germany, freedom of speech and a
free press.
Germany would pay reparations for the damage caused by the war.
Most of this would go to the USSR.
All the Allies agreed to take part in the United Nations.
But there were also disagreements at Potsdam.

The new US president, Harry Truman tried to force the USSR to allow
free elections in the countries of Eastern Europe which had been
occupied after the end of the war.
Stalin was angry that the USA had not told him about the atomic bomb
which he knew that the USA had developed.
This was the beginning of the Cold War. In the next year Stalin set up
the Iron Curtain
How had the USSR gained control of Eastern Europe by 1948
What was the Iron Curtain?
The Iron Curtain was the name given to the border between east and
west in Europe that was set up by Joseph Stalin, the ruler of the USSR
in the years after the Second World War. The name came from a
speech made by Winston Churchill in 1946.
The Iron Curtain became a thousand mile fence cutting off the
Communist countries of Eastern Europe form the non-communist west.

Why did Stalin build the Iron Curtain?


He wanted to set up a buffer zone of countries in Eastern Europe to
protect the USSR against another invasion by Germany.
He did not trust Germany there had been two invasions in his own
lifetime - 1914 and 1941.
Stalin was determined to prevent this happening a third time. He
wanted to make sure that Germany was kept weak, whereas the
western Allies wanted Germany to be allowed to recover from the
effects of the war.
During the years 1945 48, all the countries which had been occupied
by the Red Army at the end of the war were brought under Soviet
control (Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary).
The Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania had been absorbed in
1940 and then kept as part of the Soviet Union). In Czechoslovakia the
leaders were simply murdered.
He did not trust the west, Britain and the USA, because they had
invaded Russia in 1919 and he believed they had delayed the invasion
of France until 1944.
Stalin was trying to prevent western influence reaching the west and
refugees leaving the east for Western Europe.
How did Stalin secure control of Eastern Europe?
When countries were liberated from the Nazis, Stalin ensured that
Soviet troops remained there.
In Hungary and Romania, two countries which had fought on the Nazis
side, Stalin felt justified in keeping Soviet troops there as occupying
forces.
Stalin ensured that any new governments were coalitions which meant
that the Communist Party would have a say in the running of the
country.
Gradually the Communist Party would infiltrate the key areas of
government and security organisations.
When elections took place, the Communist Party used any means
necessary to discredit and frighten opponents.
Such tactics enabled the Communist Party to take over the government
of the country and then began to establish a one-party country a
communist state.

Czechoslovakia

The Communist Party was the largest party in the coalition


government by 1947. Stalin ordered Gottwald, the Communist leader
to remove the non-communists in the government.

In 1948, all communist opponents were removed. Masaryk, a leading


opponent of Gottwald was found dead.
Poland

Having been a member of the coalition for two years, the Communist
Party fixed the elections of January 1947.

The Polish Communist Party set up a government which took its orders
from Stalin in Moscow.
Bulgaria

The November elections of 1945 were fixed and the Communists won
a majority of seats and in 1946, a one-party sate was established
Hungary

The Communist Party secured a large share of the vote and took over
the government following the general election of August 1947.

All other parties were then banned and the Communist leader, Rakosi,
established a Stalinist regime.
Romania

By the November election of 1946, the Romanian Communist Party


had won a huge majority and set up a government which then forced
King Michael to abdicate in 1947.

Soviet domination was thus complete.


How was Germany governed after the war?
When the Allies met at Potsdam to decide how to govern Germany at
the end of the Second World War, they agreed to divide the country
into four zones, one each for the USA, the USSR, Britain and France.
Each of the four allies was to be responsible for its own sector.
Decisions affecting Germany as a whole would be taken jointly and it
was intended that Germany would be reunited in the future.
Berlin the capital of Germany was inside the Soviet zone, so this was
also divided into four sectors. It was governed by the Joint
Kommandatura, which contained the military leaders of the four allies.
West Berlin
West Berlin was formed by the US, French and British sectors in Berlin
from 1945 to 1991.
West Berlin was very awkward for the Soviet Union and East Germany.
It allowed people behind the Iron Curtain an opportunity to see what
life was like in the West.
West Berlin benefited from Marshall Aid, which began after the
Truman Doctrine was published in March 1947, but East Berlin and
East Germany did not.
How did the USA react to Soviet expansionism?

In February 1947 the British government informed the USA that it


could no longer afford to support the Greek government against
Communist rebels.

The US government stepped in with an offer of $400,000,000. Harry


Truman also took the opportunity to extend the offer of aid to Turkey.

The Truman Doctrine was announced by Harry Truman, the president


of the USA, in March 1947.

He offered to help any country that was being threatened either from
within or from without its own borders. He did not name any country,
nor did he specify what sort of aid would be given.

Why was the Truman Doctrine published?


Truman wanted to help the countries of Europe recover from the effects
of the Second World War.
He had seen the devastation, which the war had caused and he wanted
the USA to play a part in recovery. Marshall Aid was announced at the
same time.
Truman was trying to stop any other countries in Europe becoming
Communist. Already the Iron Curtain had cut Europe in two; he did not
want that to go any further.
Truman also hoped that he might be able to persuade some of the
countries of Eastern Europe to break away from Communism. Marshall
Aid was also intended to help here.
While the Truman Doctrine did not actually mention the Soviet Union, it
was obvious that it was intended as a warning to Stalin that Truman
was not going to let him get away with any more attempts to take
control of Europe.
Truman had said that he was going to get tough with Russia; this was
one example of his policy.
How did Marshall Aid work?
Marshall Aid was an attempt to rebuild Europe after the Second World
War. It put the ideas of the Truman Doctrine into effect.
In March 1947 President Harry Truman offered grants of American
money to all European countries. The plan was named after his
secretary of state George C Marshall.
Truman intended that Marshall Aid would be made available to all
countries in Europe, but in fact only countries in the west accepted it.
The USSR and other eastern countries attended the first meetings in
1948, but withdrew when they discovered that they would have to join
the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation.
The Marshall Plan would control how Marshall Aid would be spent.
Individual countries would not be able to decide for themselves
This would mean that the USA would be able to influence the countries
of the east and undermine communism. This was what Truman had
hoped would happen.
When the Soviet Union realised what Truman was up to, other Eastern
Bloc countries, Czechoslovakia and Poland in particular, were forced to
withdraw applications for Marshall Aid.
Altogether seventeen countries received a total of $13,750,000,000,
which allowed them to recover from the war much more quickly than
the countries of the east.
Italy, which had been an ally of Germany during the war, received
$600,000,000. Britain got more money than any other country,
receiving $2,600,000,000 in total.
Marshall Aid was one of the reasons why Stalin tried to force the west
out of West Berlin in 1948.

COMECON
Stalin set up a Soviet Version of Marshall Aid, COMECON, the Council
for Mutual Economic Assistance on January 25 1949. It was intended to
be the Soviet Union's response to Marshall Aid.
Stalin offered aid to communist countries to help them recover from
the effects of the Second World War.
But COMECON was only a pale shadow of the economic institutions of
the West.
The Soviet Union lacked the financial strength of the USA and the
attempt to set up a communist rival led to bankruptcy and ruin.
COMECON was a major drain on the resources of the Soviet Union and
helped to bring about its economic downfall in the 1980s.
The Berlin Blockade

At first travel between the four sectors in Berlin had been easy; people
could live in one sector and work in another. Then in June 1948 Stalin
blockaded West Berlin.

From June 1948 until May 1949, Joseph Stalin ordered that all traffic
between West Germany and West Berlin should be stopped.

He was able to close the road, canal and rail routes, but was not able
to prevent the western allies, Great Britain, France and the USA from
bringing supplies into West Berlin by air.

The Berlin airlift lasted ten and a half months and one plane landed in
West Berlin every ninety seconds.
Why did Stalin blockade Berlin?
The main reason for the blockade was that Great Britain and the USA
had made it clear that they intended to rebuild the economy in their
zones of Germany.
In 1947 the British and US zones were joined together in Bizonia and
the French zone was added in 1948 (Trizonia).
Stalin believed that Germany should be kept weak to prevent any risk
of further trouble. He also wanted to get reparations from Germany to
help rebuild the Soviet Union.
In 1948 the western allies announced that they were going to introduce
a new currency in the west to help the economy get going again.
This would mean that east and west would be separate economically.
The West was in fact breaking agreements made at Yalta and Potsdam.
All changes to Germany had to be agreed by all four occupying powers.
West Berlin was also a temptation to East Berliners. In the west the
Marshall Plan was beginning to make life much better.
Already East Berliners and East Germans were leaving for the west.
How did the Allies react?
They were determined that Stalin should not succeed. General Lucius
Clay the US commander in Berlin said, If West Berlin falls, West
Germany will be next.
Clay offered to fight his way out of West Berlin, but was ordered not to
by Truman.
The Allies believed that if they gave in Stalin would behave as Hitler
had in the 1930s. More and more countries would be taken over.

The Allies began to bring supplies into West Berlin by air. 4,000 tonnes
were needed every day. Eventually they were bringing in 8,000 tonnes;
even coal was brought in by plane.
More than 320,000 flights were made altogether and 79 pilots died.

In May 1949 Stalin gave up. It was obvious that the West was not
going to give in so he ended the blockade.
What were the immediate consequences of the Berlin Blockade?
Many East Germans began to try to leave the Soviet zone for the other
three.
NATO was set up in 1949.
The Federal Republic of Germany was set up in 1949.
What is NATO?
NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which was set up in
1949 after the Berlin Blockade.
The West believed that they were now under threat from Stalin and
needed to protect themselves from a possible invasion.
It was a sign that relations between the Superpowers were now so bad
that some form of military alliance was necessary.
Thirteen countries joined in 1949, including Britain and the USA.
It led to US troops and aircraft being stationed in European countries to
protect them against a possible attack by the countries of Eastern
Europe.
The most important aspect of the alliance was that if anyone of the
member countries was to be attacked, all the others would
immediately protect it.
Since 1949 most countries of Western Europe have joined NATO and in
the last years some of the former communist countries, such as Poland
and Hungary have joined. Since the alliance was set up, none of the
members has been attacked.
West Germany
After the Berlin Blockade the Allies decided to create the Federal
Republic of Germany, with its capital at Bonn in the Rhineland. This
became known as West Germany.
West Germany existed as a separate country from 1949 to 1990. It
became a member of the UN and was admitted to NATO in 1955,
although it was never allowed to have nuclear weapons. The Allies
continued to occupy it and there are still British forces in Germany
today.

In 1949 the Soviet Union also exploded its first atomic bomb. This led
to an Arms Race between the superpowers.

The two Superpowers had now given up any pretence of cooperation.


The Cold war had begun in earnest.

Yalta & Potsdam Conferences


What decisions, in relation to Germany, were agreed at Yalta and Potsdam?

That Germany should be divided up.


It was agreed at Yalta that Germany should be divided into zones of occupation,
one
controlled by USSR, one by the USA, one by Britain and one by France.
Berlin, deep in the Soviet zone, would also be divided into four similar sections.
It was agreed to hunt down and punish war criminals.
At Potsdam, it was agreed that Germany and Berlin would be divided as stated at
Yalta.
It was agreed that the Allies should receive reparations from Germany.
The Nazi Party was banned and its leaders were to be tried as war criminals.
It was agreed that Germans living in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia would be
sent back to Germany.
What was decided at the Yalta Conference of February 1945?
How to organise Europe at the end of the War. Germany was to be defeated and
then disarmed.
Germany was to be divided into four zones of occupation, which to be controlled
by USA, USSR, Br and Fr.
Germany would have to pay reparations. Berlin was to be in the Soviet zone and to
be divided into four.
Once Germany was defeated, the Soviet Union would join the war against Japan.
A United Nations Organisation to be set up to keep the peace.
As east European countries are liberated, they were to hold free elections to set up
democratic governments.
In Poland free elections were to be held. There were to be adjustments to the
Polish/USSR border.
Eastern Europe would become a sphere of influence for the USSR.
What did Stalin gain from the Yalta Conference? [5]
One Soviet zone in Germany; one Soviet zone in Berlin. (2 marks)
That eastern Europe should be seen as a Soviet sphere of influence
His plans for Polands boundaries. This included a large amount of territory from
eastern Poland. (2 marks)
Prisoners of war from Soviet territories were returned to the USSR to be dealt with.
An agreement that the USSR could enter the war against Japan.
An agreement that each country should have a veto on the decisions of the Security
Council.
Why was it difficult to reach agreement at the Potsdam Conference? [7]
Why did tensions between the USSR and the Western Allies increase at the Potsdam
conference?
Because the USSR and the West held differing views regarding the future of
Germany and Eastern Europe.
The West was suspicious of the activities of the USSR. Truman was less trusting of
Stalin than Roosevelt.
They disagreed over Soviet policy in eastern Europe. Soviet troops had liberated
countries in Eastern Europe but instead of withdrawing his troops, Stalin had left
them there. By the time of the Conference, Stalins troops controlled the Baltic
States. Refugees were fleeing from these states fearing a Communist take-over.
Stalin had set up a Communist government in Poland, ignoring the wishes of the
majority of Poles. Britain and the USA protested but Stalin insisted it was a
defensive measure against possible future attacks.

Roosevelt had died and been replaced by Truman who was much more antiCommunist and suspicious of Stalin. Truman saw Stalins actions as preparations for
a Soviet take-over of the rest of Europe.
Truman informed Stalin at the start of the Conference that the USA had
successfully tested
an atomic bomb, leading to increased suspicion and tension.
What was agreed at the Potsdam Conference? Aug 1945
What to do about Germany. To have war trials. Japan would be attacked as
planned.
Anything of value could be taken from Germany as reparations. USSR to have
additional reparations.
Details of German zones of occupation finalised.
Industrial equipment could be taken from own zone in Germany as reparations.
Nuremberg trials set up to deal with Nazi war criminals.
Eastern border of Poland to be moved west and all non-Poles sent back to Germany.
Germans living in Hungary and Czechoslovakia sent back to Germany.

Cold War - general questions


What was the Iron Curtain?
A term introduced by Churchill. The idea of West versus East. A guarded border.
The border between the Soviet-controlled countries and the West. A denial of
freedom and democracy.
USSR dominated countries following Potsdam. The mythical division of Europe into
two halves.
Separation of free democratic states from communist dominated ones.
Why was Eastern Europe largely in the hands of the USSR by 1946?
Because they were occupied by the Soviet Union to act as a buffer zone.
Privately Roosevelt and Stalin seemed to accept the other superpowers right to
dominate and control their half of Europe their spheres of influence.
Both super powers left Potsdam determined to keep their half of Europe.
These countries had been occupied by the Nazis during the War and had been
liberated by the Soviet Union Red Army. The Soviet Union was determined that
these countries remained friendly. The Red Army remained in those countries to
ensure that there was a buffer zone against any future attacks from the West.
The democratic elections were rigged by Stalin.

Truman Doctrine / Marshall Plan


Why was the Truman Doctrine significant?
It ensured Greece did not fall to the Communists. In 1945 Britain sent troops to
Greece to support the Monarchists against the Communists. In 1947 Britain
threatened to withdraw because it could not afford to maintain them. The USA
stepped in and offered financial aid for British troops to stay and help maintain the
monarchy and won. This was the start of the era of the Truman Doctrine.
After the First World War, the USA turned its back on Europe and became
increasingly isolationist. But the Truman Doctrine marked the beginning of USA
being actively involved and taking responsibility for world collaboration and that

there would be no more appeasement of dictators. From now on, USA was
determined to prevent the spread of Communism. Every Communist action would
meet an American reaction.
The Doctrine was significant because the USA was resolved to send money,
equipment and advice to any country threatened by a Communist take-over.
Trumans aim was containment - to stop communism from spreading further.
It meant money, equipment and advice being invested in receiving countries to
recover from WWII.
It contributed to the Cold War and the ongoing tension between the two
superpowers. It had widespread consequences. It was to lead to the formation of
NATO, the arms race and the heavy involvement of US troops not only in Europe but
also in Asia, especially in Korea and Vietnam.
Why did the USA introduce the Marshall Plan?
To help themselves. Because of the Containment Policy. To halt communism.
To restore economies. To improve trade with western Europe.
To help the US stem the flow of communism which they thought developed through
poverty.
Truman was worried that Europes economic devastation after WWI would be
vulnerable to communist take-over. He was determined to restore economies
affected by war so as to provide trading opportunities for American companies.
This also ensured an Europe prosper enough to resist communist threat.
Countries struggling to recover the effects of war were vulnerable to communist
take over.

Berlin Blockade / Airlift 1948-1949


Why was there continuing tension over Berlin in the years 1945-1949?
Why was Berlin a cause of tension between East and West after the Second World
War?
(Note: Allow up to the Wall.) There was no trust. Berlin was divided into zones of
occupation.
In 1948 USA, Br and Fr zones merged to form West Berlin and introduced a new
currency. On one side was capitalism and on the other communism. Stalin thought
this was against the Yalta Agreement.
Marshall Aid provided money. There was the Berlin Blockade.
By these actions West Berlin became a small island of capitalism and democracy
surrounded by communism.
The USA poured millions of dollars into West Berlin to rebuild it. Stalin was
convinced this was a ploy to try to get East Berliners to become envious of what
capitalism might give them.
Stalin was angry that the Allies were planning to introduce a new currency. Stalin
said this broke the agreements as both superpowers had to agree on any decisions.
Stalin feared that the Allies were planning to reunite Germany and wanted to force
the Allies to remove their troops from West Berlin to stop such plans.
USA convinced the world that Stalin was plotting to take over the whole of Ger and
then the rest of Europe.
Tension came to a head when Stalin blockaded all road and rail routes into West
Berlin. Eventually Stalin had to back down.
Explain why the Soviet Union blockaded Berlin.
Because Stalin opposed what the allies were doing.

To stop the supply of food and goods. To test resolve. Zones had been combined.
To stop people wanting to change from communism.
Stalin wanted to keep Germany weak so that it would not be a threat to the USSR.
Stalin opposed the planned introduction of a new currency. The soviets were
concerned they were trying to create a new Germany that was wealthier than the
Soviet eastern Germany.
They wanted the Socialists of Berlin city council to merge with the communists.
This was prevented through western support.
They thought the Western Allies had no right to be in Berlin and saw them as a
threat because they had a base in the Soviet Zone and they showed off the
capitalist way of life.
8 mark question for the topic:
How far was the Cold War caused by Truman's hostility towards the Soviet
Union? [8]
It was Truman not Stalin who brought about the Cold War. How far do you
agree? [8]
Each side was to blame because they followed different ideas. Truman was against
Communism.
USA introduced economic aid. The USA had the atomic bomb.
Soviet Union and USA did not trust each other. Stalin wanted to spread
communism.
The Soviet Union wanted to avoid any future attack.
Eastern Europe was communist controlled. Stalin set up Cominform and Comecon.
There was the Berlin Blockade.
Truman was more anti-communist than Roosevelt who had got on reasonably well
with Stalin.
The USA interpreted the Soviet takeover of eastern Europe as the start of spreading
communism around the world and responded with the Truman Doctrine and
Marshall Plan which was to help the vulnerable European economy suffering from
the after effects of war. The USSR saw this as a threat.
The fact that the USA had the atom bomb but failed to tell Stalin encouraged Stalin
to rush
through the Soviet response and the arms race had started.
AND
USA and USSR held different ideologies of capitalism v communism and actions led
to suspicion and hostility as they drifted apart at the end of the war as there was
no common enemy. Then came Churchill and his Iron Curtain speech. The Soviet
Union wanted a weak Germany to avoid any future attack. This was the opposite of
what the US wanted. Stalin blockaded Berlin and this affected the relationship.
Following Yalta it was expected that there would be free elections in Eastern
Europe countries after their liberation. The Red Army made sure their new
governments were communist controlled.
Stalin refused to allow Soviet controlled countries to accept aid as he thought the
real
purpose was for the USA to build up friendships with European countries.
European countries set up NATO to help each other if attacked by Stalin. In
response, Stalin created the Warsaw Pact. To counter the Marshall Plan, Stalin set

up Cominform to strengthen co-operation between communists and Comecon to


develop economic cooperation between communist countries.
It was the Soviet expansion in Eastern Europe that caused the Cold War.?
The Soviet Union was to blame for the Cold War. How far do you agree?
Who was more to blame for starting the Cold War, the USA or the USSR?
Each side was to blame because they followed different ideas and did not trust
each other.
The USA and the USSR held different ideologies of capitalism and communism and
actions
led to suspicion and hostility. They drifted apart as the war had ended and there
was no common enemy.
USSR:
Stalin was spreading Communism across Eastern Europe and did not allow free
elections.
Eastern Europe was communist controlled. Stalin set up Cominform and Comecon.
Stalin blockaded Berlin. USSR wanted a weak Germany to avoid any future attack.
Following Yalta, it was expected that there would be free elections in eastern
European countries after their liberation. The Red Army made sure their new
governments were communist controlled.
To counter the Marshall Plan, Stalin set up Cominform to strengthen co-operation
between
communists and Comecon to develop economic co-operation between communist
countries.
Stalin had removed non-Communist leaders in Poland, replacing them with
Communists. Rather than allowing free elections the USSR began to impose
Communist rule on the countries it had occupied.
Stalin refused to reduce the size of the Red Army, the biggest in the world. In
Eastern Europe he believed the Soviet leader intended to set up USSR controlled
buffer states.
Stalin refused to allow Soviet controlled countries to accept aid as he thought the
real purpose was for the USA to build up friendships with European countries.\
USA:
The USA had kept the atomic bomb as secret from Stalin. Stalin was convinced the
US would use the bomb to gain world-wide power and so started work on producing
one.
Truman was highly suspicious of Stalins motives. He was much less trusting than
Roosevelt had been.
USA introduced economic aid. The Marshall Plan was to help the vulnerable
European economy suffering from the after effects of war. Stalin refused to allow
Soviet bloc countries to accept aid as he thought the real purpose was for the USA
to build up friendships with European countries.
USA interpreted the Soviet takeover of E Europe as the start of spreading
communism around the world.
She responded with the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan, offering support to
peoples struggling to avoid communism. The USSR saw this as a threat.
The west in general:
The West had been against Communism since WWI.
The West was suspicious of Soviet intentions in Eastern Europe.

Harmony was not helped by politicians such as Churchill and his Iron Curtain
speech and Truman who was more anti-communist than Roosevelt who had got on
reasonably well with Stalin.
European countries set up NATO to help each other if attacked by Stalin. Stalin
considered this as a threat
The Western Allies accused Stalin of breaking agreements over Germany. The
Western Allies wanted Germany to recover as quickly as possible, realising that it
would be a barrier against Communism. The USSR wanted a weak Germany.
Which country had the more successful policies towards Europe 1945-1949 the
USA or the USSR?
How successful was the West in containing communism in Europe up to 1949?
Explain.
USA:
The USA introduced economic aid. The USA had the atomic bomb.
The USA wanted Germany to recover as quickly as possible, realising that it would
be a barrier against Communism. The USA successfully supported western Berlin
with the Berlin Airlift.
The USA responded to Soviet aggression with the Truman Doctrine, which offered
support
to any free peoples struggling to avoid communism.
Marshall Plan was devised to help the vulnerable European economy recover after
effects of the war.
USA formed NATO, which was designed to enable member countries help each other
if attacked by Stalin. It did keep the spread of Communism in check.
The USA gave support to the West in halting the spread of Communism.
The West had success over Berlin. The Truman Doctrine contained Communism.
The Marshall Plan improved the chances of keeping countries non-Communist.
Through Truman Doctrine, USA made it clear that it would help any country to stop
the spread of Communism. An example of this was in relation to Greece where aid
was provided under this policy of containment.
Truman did not want to send troops but wished to attack Communism at its roots.
He believed Communism grew out of poverty and so offered Marshall Aid to enable
countries to prosper.
Western Allies were frustrated at the Soviet refusal to help the economic recovery
of Ger and so decided to develop the economy in their zones. The West managed to
defeat Stalins attempts to blockade West Berlin.
USSR:
The USSR spread Communism throughout Eastern Europe.
Stalin did not allow free elections. Stalin set up Cominform and Comecon.
The Soviet Union fixed elections to establish Communist satellites.
The USSR began to impose Communist rule on the countries it had occupied rather
than allowing free elections. Stalin had removed non-Communist leaders in Poland,
replacing them with Communists. Stalin had success in countries such as Hungary,
Romania and Czechoslovakia where
Communist governments were established.
Stalin refused to allow Soviet controlled countries to accept aid as he thought the
real purpose was for the USA to build up friendships with European countries. In
opposition to the threat Stalin set up Cominform to strengthen co-operation
between communists and Comecon to develop economic co-operation between
communist countries.
The USSR was less successful in Yugoslavia where Tito applied Communism in his
own

way and Greece where the Communist takeover was unsuccessful.


Having freed much of Eastern Europe from the Nazis, the Red Army remained in
occupation and the Soviet Union established Communist governments through fixed
elections. This happened in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania and
Bulgaria.
Stalin refused to allow Soviet bloc countries to accept Marshall Aid as he thought
the real purpose was for the USA to build up trade and friendships with European
countries and,because of the restrictions to accept Marshall Aid, the containment
of Communism.
Despite the West viewing the defeat of the Berlin Blockade as a success, Stalin
responded by turning their zone into the GDR which, in effect, was another
Communist state.

A Type Questions!!
a

What decisions, in relation to Germany, were agreed at Yalta and


Potsdam?
e.g. It was agreed at Yalta that Germany should be divided into zones of
occupation, one controlled by USSR, one by the USA, one by Britain and
one by France.
It was agreed that Berlin, which was deep in the Soviet zone, would also
be divided into four similar sections.
It was agreed to hunt down and punish war criminals.
At Potsdam, it was agreed that Germany and Berlin would be divided as
stated at Yalta.
It was agreed that the Allies should receive reparations from Germany.
The Nazi Party was banned and its leaders were to be tried as war
criminals.
It was agreed that Germans living in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia
would be sent back to Germany.
a

Describe the disagreements between the USSR and the USA which
emerged at the Potsdam Conference.
e.g.TheydisagreedoverwhattodoaboutGermany.Stalinwantedtocripple
GermanycompletelytoprotecttheUSSRagainstfuturethreats.Trumandidnotwant
torepeatthemistakesoftheTreatyofVersailles.Theydisagreedoverreparations.
StalinwantedconsiderablecompensationforthedamagedonetoUSSRandits20
milliondeaths.TrumanthoughtthiswasrepeatingtheproblemscausedaftertheFirst
WorldWar.TheydisagreedoverSovietpolicyinEasternEurope.TheSovietshad
keptforcesineasternEuropeancountriesdespiteagreeingatYaltathattheywouldbe
withdrawn.ProSovietgovernmentshadbeensetup,includinginPoland,and
TrumanshowedhisdispleasurebyadoptingagettoughattitudetowardsStalin.

What did Stalin gain from the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences?

e.g. Russia gained control of one of the zones of a divided Germany.


Russia gained control of one of the sectors of Berlin. Berlin was in the
Soviet zone of

Germany.
It gained a seat at the United Nations Organisation.
Polands eastern border would be moved west to the rivers Oder and
Neisse.
It was recognised that eastern Europe should be seen as a Soviet sphere
of influence.
Russia was able to take industrial equipment from its zone in Germany as
reparations.
a Describe the Berlin Blockade and airlift of 19489.
e.g. The Blockade and Airlift took place between June 1948 and May
1949.
Stalin closed all road, rail and canal links between West Berlin and West
Germany.
The US and British decided to fly supplies in to the 2.5 million West
Berliners to keep them
fed and warm through the winter.
Over 2 million tons of supplies were airlifted to the blockaded city.
(a) What did Churchill mean by the iron curtain?
e.g. The border between the Soviet controlled countries and the West.
A guarded border.
The mythical division of Europe into two halves.
Separation of free democratic states from communist dominated ones.
A denial of freedom and democracy.
USSR dominated countries following Potsdam.

a What was the Warsaw Pact?


e.g. It was signed in 1955.
It was signed between Russia and her satellite states shortly after West
Germany was admitted to NATO.
The Pact was a mutual defence agreement.
A joint command structure was set up under the Soviet Supreme
Commander.
The Pact was conceived by Stalin but implemented by Khrushchev.
a What was decided at the Yalta Conference of February 1945?
e.g. Germany was to be defeated and then disarmed.
Germany was to be divided into four zones of occupation.
Germany would have to pay reparations.
The zones were to be controlled by USA, USSR, Britain and France.
Berlin was to be in the Soviet zone.
Berlin was to be divided into four.
Once Germany was defeated, the Soviet Union would join the war against
Japan.
A United Nations Organisation to be set up to keep the peace.
As east European countries are liberated, they would be able to hold free
elections to set up democratic governments.
In Poland free elections were to be held.
Eastern Europe would become a sphere of influence for the USSR.

There were to be adjustments to the Polish/USSR border.


a

What were the main problems facing the Allied leaders when they
met at Potsdam?

e.g. Roosevelt had died and Truman was much more anti-communist.
There were disagreements about the future of Germany. Stalin wanted to
cripple Germany completely but Truman did not agree. He thought this
would just repeat the mistakes made at Versailles.
They disagreed about reparations. Stalin wanted compensation from
Germany but Truman resisted this demand.
They disagreed over Soviet policy in Eastern Europe. Truman was
suspicious of Stalins intentions and thought he was trying to dominate all
of Eastern Europe.
a What was the Cold War?
e.g. It was not a military conflict but a war of words and propaganda.
It was increasing tension that developed between two superpowers, the
USA and the
USSR.
It brought a frosty atmosphere but no actual fighting.
It was a rivalry that started in 1945 and lasted for over 40 years.
A tension of different ideologies, Capitalism v Communism.
It was a period which included the arms race.
a What was the Iron Curtain?
e.g. The border between the Soviet-controlled countries and the West.
USSR dominated countries following Potsdam.
A guarded border.
The mythical division of Europe into two halves.
Separation of free democratic states from communist dominated ones.
A denial of freedom and democracy.
a Describe how Poland came under Communist control.
e.g. During 1944, the Red Army moved westwards and had occupied
Poland by January 1945.
At Yalta, Stalin wanted Poland to expand westwards into Germany to
create a buffer zone between Germany and the Soviet Union.
Stalin wanted a pro-Soviet government. He already had a government in
exile, the Lublin Poles, ready to take over.
The London Poles were not allowed to be in government.
In January 1947, however, fresh elections saw the return of a totally
communist
government.
There were no free elections.
a What was decided at the Potsdam Conference?
e.g. Germany would be divided as agreed at Yalta.
Industrial equipment could be taken from own zone in Germany as
reparations.

Polands eastern border would be moved west to the rivers Oder and
Neisse.
The Nazi Party was banned and its leaders were to be tried as war
criminals.
Germans living in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia would be sent
back to Germany.
a What was decided at the Yalta Conference of February 1945?
e.g. Stalin agreed to enter the war against Japan once Germany had
surrendered.
It was agreed that war criminals would be hunted down and punished.
Countries freed from Nazi occupation would be allowed to hold free
elections to choose the
government they wanted,
Eastern Europe should be seen as a Soviet sphere of influence.
Germany would be divided into four zones: American, French, British and
Soviet. [worth
additional mark]
Berlin would be divided in the same way.
a What was the iron curtain?
e.g. The border between the Soviet-controlled countries and the West.
USSR dominated countries following Potsdam.
A guarded border.
The mythical division of Europe into two halves.
Separation of free democratic states from communist dominated ones.
A denial of freedom and democracy.

What was agreed at the Potsdam Conference?

e.g. Japan would be attacked as planned.


Anything of value could be taken from Germany as reparations.
Details of German zones of occupation finalised.
Industrial equipment could be taken from own zone in Germany as
reparations.
USSR to have additional reparations.
Nuremberg trials set up to deal with Nazi war criminals.
Eastern border of Poland to be moved west and all non-Poles sent back to
Germany.
Germans living in Hungary and Czechoslovakia sent back to Germany.

What was agreed at the Potsdam Conference?

e.g. Japan would be attacked as planned.


Anything of value could be taken from Germany as reparations.
Details of German zones of occupation finalised.

Industrial equipment could be taken from own zone in Germany as


reparations.
USSR to have additional reparations.
Nuremberg trials set up to deal with Nazi war criminals.
Eastern border of Poland to be moved west and all non-Poles sent back to
Germany.
Germans living in Hungary and Czechoslovakia sent back to Germany.
a What did Stalin gain from the Yalta Conference?
e.g. One Soviet zone in Germany; one Soviet zone in Berlin. (2 marks)
That eastern Europe should be seen as a Soviet sphere of influence.
His plans for Polands boundaries. This included a large amount of
territory from easternPoland. (2 marks)
Prisoners of war from Soviet territories were returned to the USSR to be
dealt with.
An agreement that the USSR could enter the war against Japan.
An agreement that each country should have a veto on the decisions of
the Security
Council.
a What was the Cold War?
e.g. Increasing tension that developed between two superpowers, the
USA and the USSR.
The increased tension brought a frosty atmosphere but no actual fighting.
A rivalry that started in 194546 and lasted for over 40 years.
A tension of different ideologies, Capitalism v Communism. (2 marks)
It was an arms race.
Ideology expressed by supporting opposing sides in conflict.
a What was agreed at the Yalta Conference of February 1945?
e.g.Germanywastobedefeatedandthendisarmed.Germanywastobedividedinto
fourzonesofoccupation.Germanywouldhavetopayreparations.Thezonestobe
controlledbyUSA,USSR,BritainandFrance.BerlinwastobeinSovietzone.Berlin
wastobedividedintofour.OnceGermanydefeated,SovietUniontojoinwaragainst
Japan.AUnitedNationsOrganisationtobesetuptokeepthepeace.AseastEuropean
Countriesliberatedtheywouldbeabletoholdfreeelectionstosetupdemocratic
governments.InPolandfreeelectionsweretobeheld.
B Type Questions!!
Why did the USA introduce the Marshall Plan?
e.g. To help the US stem the flow of communism which they thought
developed through poverty.
Truman did not want to use soldiers. He wanted to attack misery and
want. He wanted to restore economies affected by war so as to provide
trading opportunities for Americancompanies.
Countries struggling to recover the effects of war were vulnerable to
communist take over.
C Type Questions!!!

(c) The Truman doctrine was more responsible for increasing Cold War
tension than the
Berlin Blockade. How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your
answer.
e.g.TheUSAinterpretedtheSoviettakeoverofEasternEuropeasthestartofspreading
communismaroundtheworldandrespondedwiththeTrumanDoctrineandMarshallPlan
whichwastohelpthevulnerableEuropeaneconomysufferingfromtheaftereffectsofwar.
TheUSSRsawthisasathreat.Trumansofferofaidenabledcountriestoprosperbutitwas
ofbenefittotheUSAstrade.StalinpreventedEasternEuropeancountriesfrombeing
involved,accusingtheUSoffosteringselfinterest.ORe.g.TheSovietsintroduceda
blockadebuttheWestdefeatedthisbyflyinginsupplies,resultinginStalinbackingdown.
StalinrespondedbyturningtheirzoneintotheGDR.Germanywasdividedevenmorefirmly
andrelationsbetweenEastandWestworsened.AdirectresultoftheBerlinBlockadewas
theformationofNATOandthiswasaseriouschallengetoStalin.
(c) It was Truman not Stalin who brought about the Cold War. How far do
you agree with this statement? Explain your answer.
e.g. Truman was more anti-communist than Roosevelt who had got on
reasonably well
with Stalin.
The USA interpreted the Soviet takeover of eastern Europe as the start of
spreading
communism around the world and responded with the Truman Doctrine
and Marshall Plan which was to help the vulnerable European economy
suffering from the after effects of war. The USSR saw this as a threat.
The fact that the USA had the atom bomb encouraged Stalin to rush
through the Soviet response and the arms race had started.
The USA and USSR held different ideologies of capitalism v communism
and actions led to suspicion and hostility as they drifted apart at the end
of the war as there was no common enemy.
Harmony not helped by politicians such as Churchill and his Iron Curtain
speech.
The Soviet Union wanted a weak Germany to avoid any future attack.
Following Yalta it was expected that there would be free elections in
Eastern Europe countries after their liberation. The Red Army made sure
their new governments were communist controlled.
Stalin refused to allow Soviet bloc countries to accept aid as he thought
the real purpose was for the USA to build up friendships with European
countries.
European countries set up NATO to help each other if attacked by Stalin.
In response Stalin created the Warsaw Pact.
To counter the Marshall Plan Stalin set up Cominform to strengthen cooperation
between communists and Comecon to develop economic co-operation
between
communist countries.
(c) How far was the Cold War caused by Trumans hostility towards the
Soviet Union?

Explain your answer.


e.g. Truman was more anti-communist than Roosevelt who had got on
reasonably well with
Stalin.
The USA interpreted the Soviet takeover of eastern Europe as the start of
spreading
communism around the world and responded with the Truman Doctrine
and Marshall Plan which was to help the vulnerable European economy
suffering from the after effects of war. The USSR saw this as a threat.
The fact that the USA had the atom bomb but failed to tell Stalin
encouraged Stalin to rush through the Soviet response and the arms race
had started.
OR
The USA and USSR held different ideologies of capitalism v communism
and actions led to suspicion and hostility as they drifted apart at the end
of the war as there was no common enemy. Harmony not helped by
politicians such as Churchill and his Iron Curtain speech.
The Soviet Union wanted a weak Germany to avoid any future attack.
This was the opposite of what the US wanted. Stalin blockaded Berlin and
this affected the relationship.
Following Yalta it was expected that there would be free elections in
Eastern Europe countries after their liberation. The Red Army made sure
their new governments were communist controlled.
Stalin refused to allow Soviet controlled countries to accept aid as he
thought the real purpose was for the USA to build up friendships with
European countries. European countries set up NATO to help each other if
attacked by Stalin. In response Stalin created the Warsaw Pact. To counter
the Marshall Plan, Stalin set up Cominform to strengthen co-operation
between communists and Comecon to develop economic
cooperationbetween communist countries.