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2 November, 03:56

3) Explain how and why Germany was divided up after WWII. What was the Berlin Airlift and what did the Soviets do to Berlin as a result?

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  1. 2 November, 04:03
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    Technically speaking, Germany was divided into four sectors, American, British, France, and Soviet "occupation zones". This was the same with it's capital city, Berlin. It was a simple "spoils of war" concept, giving each ally their "fair share" of Germany to control.

    However, after political tensions arose between the Western nations and the Soviet Union, America, Britain and France all combined their zones into one, starting the reconstruction of Western Germany/Berlin. This is how West and East Berlin came to be.

    The Allies focused on rebuilding Germany in accordance with the Marshall Plan (rebuild Europe, improve trade and prevent the spread of communism), as the Soviets refused any effort to allow Berlin to be self-sufficient again. The citizens of East Berlin ultimately paid the price, and were left starving and with little resources of their own as communism spread throughout the region. This caused people to move from the Eastern section to the West, trying to escape the poor conditions offered by the Soviets. As a result, the Soviets blocked off the Eastern zone from the West, locking the East Germans inside (Berlin Blockade).

    In an effort to assist the civilians, the Allies' air forces set up an airlift to fly supplies from the West and drop them into the hands of East Germans. It was a complete success, and the Soviets had to lift the blockade, and eventually, built the Berlin Wall to seal off East Germany once and for all.
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