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The Berlin Airlift was a response to the Berlin Blockade set up by the USSR. It saw 5620 tonnes of supplies flown into west Berlin every single day. The west declined the USSR’s attempt at negotiation which stated that if they removed the Deutschmark from west Berlin, the blockade will be lifted and instead continued their airlift. However on May 12 1949, it was all over… Or so it seems. The following months proved vital for the sustainability of peace in Europe for a few main reasons.
Stalin was annoyed at the west because they were prospering in West Germany/Berlin. He observed this as them trying to undermine him and the USSR. To stop the East from looking at the west as a ‘window to capitalism’, he separated the Berlin population. However this backfired for Stalin because after the Blockade, many people saw the extent the west went to trying to end starvation of supplies in west Berlin. Resulting in 30,000 East Berliners fleeing to the west each month in later years (late 1950’s). As it happened, those fleeing the Soviet zone were the very academics and intellectuals the East German government hoped could help built a revitalized state and thus this led to direct restriction of movement across the border along with the eventual construction of the Berlin Wall. The constant idea of hope with the capitalist idea shun a sense of embarrassment for the Soviet image. This drastically increased tensions with both Superpowers.
On August 24 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was formed where most non communist European countries agreed to mutual assistance in case of foreign aggression. This clearly highlighted how the European countries were willing to stop the advancement of the USSR and Communism in Europe.
This was the first time since the removal of the common enemy that the west and east were considering an act of war. This was very worrying for the future of Europe and worrying for the two major superpowers as tensions were increasing very rapidly.