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The Cold War was a decades-long struggle for global supremacy that pitted the
capitalist United States against the communist Soviet Union. Its origin usually lies
between 1945 and 1947, during the tensions of the postwar period, and lasted
until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. There was no direct fighting
between the USSR and the USA. Hence the conflict of ideologies between these two
nations came to be known as the Cold War.However, the y were involved in a lot of
proxy wars(a type of war that occurs when two or more powers use third parties
as substitutes, instead of facing each other directly). They tried to diminish each
other's influence in the world by engaging in conflicts elsewhere.



Tensions between the USSR and the USA date back to WWII, when their alliance
came to be threatened by a number of issues:
Firstly, the western powers didn´t trust Stalin due to his former peace agreement
with Germany in 1939(Nazi-Soviet Pact) and feared a future alliance. In addition,
Stalin was alienated with the US and Great Britain since until 1944 they didn´t
open a second front in the west to fight against the Nazis. As a result, Hitler had
concentrated his forces on the Soviets. Therefore, Stalin suspected it had been a
military tactic to weakened both, Germany and the USSR (leaving them to fight.).
Consequently, this led to the dissent in the Tehran conference of 1943 where
Stalin argued that a communist Poland influenced by the Soviet Union could
serve as a shield against a future agression coming from the West( it should be
taken into account that since 1914 Russia had been invaded twice and during
WWII the Soviets suffered 20 million causalties.)On the other hand, Churchill and
Roosevelt insisted the Polish people ought to have the right to choose their own
form of government according to the values of self-determination.
Finally at Yalta in 1945, they accepted a provisional communist government for
Poland and in exchange, Stalin signed the "Declaration of Liberated Europe,"
pledging to solve by democratic means the political and economic problems of
Eastern Europe."

A Bomb Idea
During, World War II, in order to build the first atomic bomb before the Nazis, the
US created `` The Manhattan Project´´(the Germans abandoned their atomic project
soon after the Americans began theirs), although it remained a secret. Even Vice
President Harry Truman was ignorant of its existence. But Roosevelt did share
information about the atomic program with Winston Churchill. On the contrary,
Stalin was kept in the dark on the account of persuading the Soviets to be more
compliant with American postwar proposals. However, it had the opposite effect
since Stalin was offended because he hadn´t been informed and his suspicion and
distrust of the West intensified. Moreover, his army didn´t take part in the victory
in the Pacific, without meant the USSR was denied any share of the occupation in
that area. This alienated Stalin further. In addition, contrary to experts predictions
that it would take other nations at least twenty years to develop their own atomic
weapons, the Soviets managed to detonate a bomb just four years later. Americans
soon blamed espionage. This led to the nuclear arms race as both the USSR and the
US began their quest for even more powerful warfare.

The Cold War Heats Up

On April 12th, 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt unexpectedly died of a brain
hemorrhage and Harry S. Truman became the President of the United States. Due
to the fact that Eastern Europe had fallen under Communist rule, as had China, and
the trend was spreading to other nations in Latin America, Africa, and Asia as well,
Truman considered that Stalin hadn ´t respected the terms established at Yalta.
Consequently, Truman regarded Stalin as an unreliable liar who attempted world
domination, and tried to blocked the expansion of the Soviet sphere of influence
(along with communism). This determined American foreign policy which came to
be known as American Doctrine of containment or Truman Doctrine. It was based
on the domino theory that posited that if one country in a region came under the
influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in
a domino effect. In addition, the doctrine was prompted by Winston Churchill
speech in which he announced that an iron curtain has descended across the
continent of Europe. He accused the Soviet Union of trying to control Eastern
In order to ensure containment, the US enacted the Marshall Plan. An initiative
which provided economic aid, food, machinery, building materials etc.. to western
Europe countries in danger of becoming communist. Truman claimed that if a
country was prosperous and citizens were satisfied they wouldn´t support



In the Potsdam conference of 1945, the USSR, Great Britain, the US and France
decided to divide Germany into four different zone, each area adminestrated by
one of them, until it was ready to be unified.However, Stalin sought to destroy
Germanys economy so it couldn ´r recover and rise again and as a punishment for
the war and to make communism seem more attractive to the Germans.
, while the Western allies wanted the opposite, a stable Germany that could
contribute to world trade.

Berlin was also divided into four zones, but the city as a whole was located in the
Soviet zone of Germany. By 1949 the Western zones of Germany were recovering,
and the allies decided to join their zones together which remained free to trade .
Stalin worried by a prosperous Germany, closed all roads, canals and railways
leading from the West to the East and refused to allow Marshall Aid to reach the
Eastern zone. Thus, West Berlin was cut off. Stalin had hoped that the Allies
would renounce to Berlin since the prosperity of the Western side was an
embarrasment t in comparison to the misery in the Soviet zone. However, the
allies created The Berlin airlift which supplied Western Berlin with food, fuel
etc... Stalin realised that the allies would not give in. Finally, in May 1949 Stalin
ended the blockade of West Berlin and the allies succesfully turned it capitalist.
Disagreements over how to deal with the German question resulted in tension and
arguments that led to the Cold War.


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is an intergovernmental military alliance between

several North American and European countries based on the North Atlantic Treaty that
was signed on 4 April 1949 to provide a counterforce to the Soviet armies of Eastern
Khrushchev(new Russian ruer after the death of Stalin) set up the Warsaw Pact in
1955 - a military alliance of communist countries - to rival NATO.

Russia and America competed in every way possible - eg in sport, and in the space
It was a clash of ideologies as both sides tried to prove that their way was best.
In addition, America started a series of public trials of suspected Communists -
the so-called witch-hunts.
Both sides spied on each other. The Americans also used U2 spy planes to spy
on Russia.

The Berlin Wall was built by the communist government of East Berlin in
1961. The wall separated East Berlin and West Berlin. It was built in order
to prevent people from fleeing East Berlin.

The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred in 1962 when the

Soviet Union began to install nuclear missiles in Cuba.
The United States refused to allow this and, after thirteen
tense days and many secret negotiations, the Soviet Union
agreed to remove the missiles. This is perhaps the closest
that the United States and the Soviet Union came to
nuclear war during the Cold war.

This cartoon reflects assurance/hope in Britain at the time that the 'Big Three' was
happy, united ... and succeeding in destroying Hitler and fascism.
The world is shown as poorly (with war and fascism) - but getting better.
Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin are shown as caring doctors, overseeing the world's
The message of the cartoon is a propaganda message that all is well, and the
British people can trust the 'Big Three' to restore the happiness of the world.

This cartoon is critical of the generosity of the terms of the Yalta agreement forthe
Soviet Union.
The negotiations are depicted as a game of poker which Stalin is winning easily. he
has already cleaned up on Europe, and is just about to sieze China and India.
Churchill is shown as dopey and surprised, Roosevelt as bemused and indecisive.
The message of the cartoon is that Stalin has made fools of them.

In the cartoon, Truman is trying to get the support of Stalin and Atlee for the
Twelve Points but - when he insists that the atom bomb is strictly 'private' for the
USA only - he cannot understand why Britain and the USSR are skeptical about his
offer of 'trust and confidence'.
The message of the cartoon is that the atom bomb - just because only America had
it - created (as one British MP said): 'an unfortunate atmosphere of suspicion,
jealousy and doubt'.
What is interesting about this cartoon is that - as late as October 1945 - the British
still regarded Russia as an ally and, in fact, this cartoon is criticising Truman as the
aggressor ... as the one who is disingenuous. Only later would the British come to
present America as the essential ally, and the USSR as the evil enemy.

This cartoon represents the growing feeling during 1947 that the Soviet Union -
having effectively 'conquered' eastern Europe - was now intent upon expanding its
control to the rest of Europe .
Stalin is depicted as reaching out beyond the Iron Curtain, trying to plant the
Soviet flag in western Europe - the cartoonist has drawn a question mark in
France, suggesting that France may be the next country that Stalin tries to take
over. In 1947, the governments of a number of western European states were
threatened by growing communist movements in their own countries; the fear was
that, if communists came to power, they would join the Soviet bloc.
The message of the cartoon is essentially an attempt to alarm people to the point
where they do something to stop the communists taking over.

This cartoon - published in a right-wing British newspaper the day after Churchill's
Fulton speech - shows Churchill peeping under the Iron Curtain.
On this side (our side), the cartoon shows post-1945 Europe, poor and devastated
by the war. Contrary to later depictions of Iron Curtain countries, the cartoonist
shows eastern Europe as - yes, dark and under the heel of the tyrant - but bristling
with industry and armaments. Eastern Europe is shown as a very frightening and
dangerous power, and over it all presides Stalin, brazenly hanging over the curtain
in the background.
The message of the cartoon is that Churchill in his speech has given THE BRITISH
PUBLIC 'a peep under the curtain' - an idea of what is going on in eastern Europe -
and that he has shown them developments of which they need to be afraid.
The curtain: 2000 km line of barbed wire, look out posts

This cartoon was published by the British cartoonist Illingworth in the right-wing
Daily Mail newspaper, three months into the Berlin Blockade
It presents a straight-down-the-line western allies' view of the Blockade. Stalin
(the cat) has stopped up the mousehole (= the Blockade). He is now (as cats do)
'playing' with the mouse labelled 'Berliners' ... before (as cats do) devouring it.
On the floor round about, other mice (labelled 'western powers') scurry around in
alarm; they know that (once Berlin is taken), they are next.
The message of the cartoon is that the Blockade is Stalin's strategy to conquer west
Berlin and that - when he has done that - he will move on and take over other
countries in western Europe.
It is interesting to compare this to Illingworth's cartoon of 1947 (Source D on the
webpage 'Salami tactics'), which is saying fairly much the same thing.

This cartoon appeared in the British satirical magazine Punch on 14 July 1948 and
was drawn by EH Shepard. The meaning of this cartoon, however, is at the same
time simple and obscure:
• Simple inasmuch as it shows the Berlin airlift as a set of storks carrying supplies
into Berlin. Storks traditionally carry babies, but in this case they bring life to
Berlin in the form of coal and food. To that degree, the cartoon is a very simple
• The role of Stalin, however, is much more obscure. He is watching the airlift with
a gun is his hand, but what is he going to do? Without any more clues, we can only
suggest POSSIBLE meanings - maybe the message is that the airlift is:
1. pointless - Stalin will just shoot the planes down.
2. terribly brave - Stalin might shoot the planes down.
3. a triumphant fly-by - Stalin dare not shoot the planes down because we have got
the atomic bomb.
The title of the cartoon - The Bird Watcher - gives us no clue. However, when the
cartoon was drawn, the airlift had been going barely three weeks, and the western
allies were very nervous that Stalin might enforce the Blockade by shooting down
the supply planes - which would leave them with the terrible decision about
whether to go to war or not.

The message of the cartoon is very simple - that a smiling Khrushchev, by his brave
actions, is putting an end to the Cold War.
Note that Khrushchev is shown - in an appropriately communist way - as a
workman, a man of the people.
This British cartoon of 29 October 1962 shows Kennedy and Khrushchev arm-wrestling for
power, sitting on nuclear weapons. The caption read: 'OK Mr president, let's talk'

Communism is a very attractive theory, particularly for

the poor masses of a developing country. Imagine a
society where nobody is better or richer than you are,
where everyone works together and shares in the
products of their labor, and where the government
creates a safety net of guaranteed employment and
medical care for all

Of course, as we have seen, Communism doesn't work

this way in practice. The political leaders are always
much better off than the people, and ordinary workers
don't produce as much when they won't get to keep the
benefits of their extra hard work.
1. Other reasons: Great Depression was pretty bad for the whole
world, but especially for the USA. Franklin Roosevelt took measure
to uplift America from the trash. He employed some heavy
governmental spending. But despite his apparent public-friendly
efforts, there were rising movements across the USA, against the
prevailing system, Capitalism. Communists and Socialists were at the
forefront of the movement. Many many people joined them and
protested together.
Although Roosevelt increased public spending, the system did not
change. American businessmen did not want to change the
system. The American government made an agreement/deal
with the American business world. The businesses gave their
monitory support to the government for the increment in public
spending, so that American economy can be revived. In return, the
American Government promised that they would vanish the word
“Communism” from American people’s dictionary. They
started a systematic blowtowards the people’s movement.
American communist and socialist parties got banned. The
leaders of the movements were jailed. In the world politics, America
entered in a Cold war with the Soviets. Therefore, they suspected
that the Communists were funded and instigated by the Communists
in Soviet. So, they carried out their atrocities against their own citizens,
out of this, quite baseless, suspicion. Internally, the Government
propagated their agenda of vilifying communism to the
mass. You have to note that this was a very well-planned, systematic
blow to the idea of communism. It was so systematic that the American
government and business people could not tolerate, even small
countries such as Cuba which was governed by a Communist party.
Therefore, the CIA carried out covert operation against them as well.
2. Stalin’s mass murders: Stalin was a great leader. He inspired an
entire nation when the Soviet was not in a good state. He was able
to motivate Russian people to come together and try to
achieve an impossible dream. His main fault, in my
opinion, was to declare a nation as a communist one, when it
was not at all ready.
Eventually, the state that was governing the nation, soon became
an authoritarian one. It tried controlling and interfering individual’s
life. The state was too much dependent on Stalin. It has been
covered in many historical books that there were almost no
alternatives of Stalin’s stature to run the state in Soviet.
Stalin also quickly became doubtful about his state’s apparatus
and confidantes. He frequently took very short-sighted and
irrational decisions. He thought that everyone else might have been
conspiring against his state and the dream of Communism.
Consequently,millions of people died. This was not a good
promotion of communism at all, for the rest of the world. This
example of mass-murdering was used by many nation-states when
they opposed Communism in their territory.