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Germany and the Cold War

            Germany's condition after the Second World War was harrowing. The destruction was evident; entire families were separated or destroyed, food was scarce, towns and cities lay in ruins, the economy had plummeted and unemployment was at an all-time high. Other European countries faced the same emergency; in fact, the blow to Europe had nearly decimated the continent. But France and England (along with non-European countries the United States and the Soviet Union) staggered out of the war as victors, willing to bring aid and support to the broken, struggling and battle-scarred nations. .
             Soon after WWII, Germany became divided into East and West, communist and capitalist, GDR and FRG. The country could not exist under one administration since the occupying powers wanted to achieve their own political ideas. Germany, and especially Berlin, had to be the battlefield of the ideologies and became "both a symptom and a cause of the Cold War. "1 After the war Germany was sectioned into four occupation zones: The Russian zone in the East, the American Zone in the South, the British zone in the North-West and the French zone in the South-East. Berlin was cut into four zones as well with a Soviet zone in the East and the other three in the West. In the Potsdam Conference in 1945 it was decided that every country with its Commander-in-Chief had a Veto, so that decisions could only be made when everyone of the occupying powers agreed. This led to difficulties, because there were different intentions of the countries in charge. .
             The Soviets wanted to exploit their part of Germany for reparations, while the USA and Britain supplied their zones with aid, especially food. The USA and Britain agreed to support Germany to become an economically stable nation again. It was considered to be important, since both nations knew that with a wealthy Europe, there would be a considerable trading partner missing.

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