The British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill coined the term “Iron curtain” concerning the East-West German division in the post-war era. In fact this term perfectly fitted the tension between East and West that arose over the following years. The division of Germany into two states with separate political systems divided the world into two halves: The iron curtain want straight through Berlin, the city itself a symbol of the bipolar world order. Therefore Germany would have been most gravely affected by the outbreak of a third world war.
Berlin as a symbol of the cold war
As Berlin had been separated into four occupation zones after the war the conflicts concerning the exclusive claim to power increased. The west powers had united into a bizone and integrated West Germany into the Marshall planThe Marshall Plan was the American support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II in order to prevent the spread of Soviet Communism. However the Soviet Union pursued a more aggressive policy of foreign affairs and aimed to arrogate Berlin completely. This however infringed with the four-power agreement that was to ensure the town’s neutral treatment. This internationally made Berlin a symbol of the source of the cold war – the building of the Berlin WallThe Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off (by land) West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin visualised the division in 19611.
The wall divided two worlds
When the Soviet Union barred the borders to West Berlin on the 13th of August in 1961 families, friends and acquaintances did no longer possess the possibility to meet spontaneously. The Building of the Berlin Wall divided the world into two power blocs – The USA in the West, advocating democracy and market economy, the Soviet Union in the East – vouching for socialism and controlled economy2.