Berlin - The Cold War
The Second World War 1939-45
When Germany was re-unified on 3rd October 1990, it ended a period of 45 years during which time it had been divided between the Communist east and the west, aligned with NATO. After the war Germany had been divided into zones with the city of Berlin lying inside the eastern half of the country. The Soviet regime allowed access to the city by western visitors travelling along a corridor, however to further complicate matters, the city itself was divided. Tensions ran high in this post-war period known as the 'Cold War' and the city became a centre of intrigue and espionage and it would feature in many novels and films with that theme.
In 1961 the Communists erected a wall which ran across the city to prevent any free movement, to cross this demarcation line from east to west meant death and the wall became a symbol of oppression. Each side viewed the other with mistrust and crossing between the zones could only be made at official points, the most famous of which was 'Checkpoint Charlie'.
In 1989 events began to unfold as regulations allowed East Germans and residents of other Communist countries to cross into the west. On the evening of 9th November 1989 television viewers across the world watched as the Berlin Wall was toppled, not only did it signal free movement it also heralded the end of the Cold War.