Lecture 10.doc

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30 Mar 2012
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Lecture 10: 11/23/10
Economic/Scientific/etc. all used as propaganda
-today we return to political developments, picking up from the German Question and Berlin Issue
-The issue of Berlin is the central/symbolic piece of Cold War, bringing together all the issues separating the
East and West
First of all, Berlin was divided (symbolizing the divisions of Germany into two halves). Secondly, it symbolizes
the division of Europe and the rest of the world into capitalist and communist camps.
-Both sides tried to take as much advantage of their moments of superiority in order to score a point and
bring a solution to the Berlin crisis, Germany and Europe.
-The Russians had already tried twice: 1948: [Stalin Solution] Stalin tried to compel the Western states to
give up with the Berlin Blockade the West broke through this blockade by airlifting supplies this
endeavor backfired because it created the incorporation of West Germany into the Western system and in
April 9th, 1949, the creation of NATO. In every way, Stalin’s policy backfired.
When Khrushchev came to power, he denounced Stalin. He too followed the same path. In 1958, he
challenges the west not in military terms but rather relying on diplomacy. What does he offer? [Khrushchev
solution] he makes Berlin a free/neutral city that is neither western nor eastern. In many ways, this is a
decent proposal. He adds an ultimatum: or else, if you don’t within 6 months, the Soviet Union will go
unilaterally, recognize Eastern Berlin as a sovereign state, and pull out. If they do this, it would only be a
matter of time before East Germany swallows up Berlin. Not only did the Western states deny the Russian
demands, they concluded an agreement with West Germany, further guaranteeing its survival, making a
deal with the leader, bringing in US missiles. This compels Khrushchev to make a last ditch effort to save
the solution Berlin and East Germany and to make sure the Soviet Union emerges from this dilemma
successful and victorious. This compels Khrushchev to re-evaluate the ultimatum – he realizes it came across
as a threat; this was not a diplomatic gesture. Khrushchev backs down to show good will. The first thing
he does is draw the deadline – “the Soviet Union is still willing to determine the issue of Berlin diplomatically
– we should settle the German issue through negotiation.” [No longer a deadline] This retreat opened up a
little door. The first demonstration came from a visit by British Prime Minister, Macmillan. “Come and visit
and let’s see if we can come to an agreement on a host of issues” – Khrushchev. It was important for Russia
to remove the constraints of the Missile Crisis and threat of Nuclear War. Macmillan travels to Russia and
both sides almost end up in a fight. The first cracks in Western Unity appear when Khrushchev agrees to
give up the dealine but also negotiate the issue of East Germany. Up until now, Russia recognizes Easter
Germany as a sovereign statehe says they can negotiate this. Macmillan also makes a concession: we can
re-visit the issue of West Berlin and perhaps we can reduce the Western troops there. This caught the
Americans off guard. The Americans were unwilling to accept this. When he was in Moscow, the Americans
issued a statement which said they would never agree to a reduction of troops in West Berlin or concessions
over West Berlin. They wanted to somehow bring the Russians to America and have direct negotiations with
Moscow. In 1958 Khrushchev had already expressed a desire to visit America many times. In 1959 the offer
is made. He arrives in New York with a huge Russian delegation. He visits the UN and makes a public
declaration that the Soviet Union is willing to end the arms race and enter into disarmament hopefully
one day all the countries will give up their nuclear weapons. After this, the entire tour turned into a
unmitigated disaster. He was taken by the foreign office of the United States to a tour in the western side of
America where the press embarrassed him over and over again. He made the promise that in 3 years the US
What bothered him the most was the phrase he uttered that “we will bury you.” He explained that the Soviet
Union would not actually bury America. He believed that the Americans had set him up for humiliation. The
American ambassador agrees that Khrushchev should not go to any more press meetings and he should be
able to visit any city in America. He turned this into a win for the Soviet Union. He visited people, workers,
their homes and farmers. He was shocked when he went back to Moscow. He issued a report to his own
central committee. He was satisfied that he had been treated as an equal, met with him face-to-face.
What stunned him was the richness and wealth of America. He saw, not in the hotels, but the wealth of the
American working class. He saw that the kitchens Nixon had showed him the previous year were real.
Capitalist America offered a better standard of living to its working class (who should be exploited) than
Russia would have only when it achieved communism. He opened up a dialogue with the West. He realized
Eisenhower was willing to end hostilities too. When Eisenhower says that the situation in Berlin is
abnormal, he was re-opening the issue. To show his willingness, in January 1960, Khrushchev announced a
unilateral arms reduction chopping the Russian army by 1/3rd. A million and a half Russians were
reduced (military officers, soldiers, etc.). What would this mean in military terms to reduce the Russian army
by a third? Americans believed that Russia would not be able to swallow up Western Europe with the troops
it had left the whole Cold War might be coming to an end! Why did it not end? Unfortunately, Khrushchev
made the statement, but right after, he said that they had achieved better missiles than the Americans. They
produced better and more accurate/powerful bombs. These statements did not bode well with the Americas.
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