Explain Why Stalin Blockaded Berlin in 1948.
Germany had become a liability for the Western Allies. After WWII, Germany’s economy was in ruins. However the Allies did not want to restore Germany’s military power, as this could be a dangerous move. The only way to end poverty and suffering in the country was to rebuild it’s industries and restore the economy, so that Germany would not have to rely on the Allies and would become self-sufficient. This is why the Western part of Germany was included in the Marshall Plan. Due to this Stalin refused to allow the Soviet Union to receive any aid from USA. In 1947 the British, American and French zones of Germany had integrated to form “Bizonia”, making that part of Germany stronger and powerful. After this they introduced a new currency called the Deutschmark. Within months there were signs of improvement. Stalin was concerned that a prosperous Western Germany would be a threat to the Soviet Union’s security. Stalin wanted to keep Germany crippled in revenge for what Germany did to the Soviet Union when they invaded in 1941. He wanted all the occupied zones to remain undeveloped, however Stalin could not do anything about the reorganisation of the Western zones or the new currency. He thought that the Allies handling of Western Germany was infuriating. He was also concerned at the likelihood of a wealthy Western Germany besides a poor, Soviet-controlled Eastern Germany. Stalin was under the impression that he held authority over Berlin. Berlin was deep in the Soviet zone and was linked to the western zones of Germany by vital roads, railways and canals. So in June 1948 Stalin blocked all these supply lines, cutting off the two-million people of West Berlin from Western help. By accomplishing this, Stalin was hoping to stop the economic development of Western Germany. Stalin believed this would force the Allies out of Berlin and make Berlin entirely depend on the USSR. Stalin wanted full power over Berlin and...
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