The Cold War and West Germany 1960-1970

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The Cold War and West Germany 1960-1970 During the formative years of the Cold War, Germany had become both the potential balancer and ideological battleground between the East and the West. After Stalin's death in 1953 tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union seemed to be improving. However, by the late 1950s when Khruschev took over power, hostility was on the rise due to his efforts to bully the United States into "détente through intimidation." Khruschev wished for, among other things, a reunited Germany under Soviet terms and conditions. The Soviet Union's efforts to intimidate the United States led to several global crises. "Ironically, two of these crises, the construction of the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis, probably set the stage for a subsequent improvement of superpower relations in the late 1960s." (Patton, Page 62.) In light of the more subdued level of the Cold War, the 1960s were crucial to West Germany's position in the Cold War. Transition and discrepancy marked the second decade of the Cold War. Due to the growing West German economy and the deterioration of the economy in East Germany, during the late 1950s and early 1960s many middle class East Germans crossed the border separating East and West Berlin and from there traveled freely to West Germany. These men and women were typically young, skilled workers- doctors, lawyers, businessmen, and the like. They were happily welcomed by the West and helped to make the economy that much better. "Before the Wall was erected in 1961 the pay levels of craftsmen and professionals were broadcast from FRG radio stations (accessible in the GDR), especially if a shortage occurred in a particular field." (Perkins, Page 494.) In add... ... middle of paper ... ...bridge between the first decade and the third of the Cold War. Bibliography: Bibliography Banchoff, Thomas, The German Problem Transformed. The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor: 1999. Hanreider, Wolfram F., "The Foreign Policies of the Federal Republic of Germany," German Studies Review. Volume XII, Number 1,1989. Patton, David F., Cold War Politics in Postwar Germany. St. Martin's Press, New York: 1999. Perkins, John, "Restoration and Renewal? West Germany since 1945," Contemporary European History. Volume 8, 1999. Poiger, Uta G., Jazz, Rock, and Rebels. University of California Press. Los Angeles: 2000. Poiger, Uta G., "Rock 'n' Roll, Female Sexuality, and the Cold War Battle over German Identities," Journal of Modern History. Volume 68, 1996. Smyser, W.R., From Yalta to Berlin. St. Martin's Press, New York: 1999.

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