Berlin Blockade

In History we are starting our new topic: the Berlin Blockade. In pairs (I worked with Catu Grosso), we had to complete a chart with different aspects of the blockade and then answer some questions and play a game to revise. [TASK]

Berlin Blockade image

Chart

Berlin Blockade

In this presentation we completed the chart above all together.

1. Life in Berlin was harsh. As it was divided into two zones people were confused and scared, they didn’t knew what was going to happen next. They wanted to recover from war because they had been devastated. After war finished, 600,000 apartments had been destroyed, and only 2.8 million of the city’s original population of 4.3 million still lived in the city.

2. The USSR wanted to isolate his zone, the west,  but the allies didnt to accepted that.

3. The Western Allies introduced a new currency into Bizonia (their new unified zone). Stalin believed the new currency was an attempt to wreck the East German economy. The next day the Russians stopped all road and rail traffic into Berlin.

5. Both the US and the USSR can be to blame for the tensions during the airlift because although each country had shown that it was not willing to go to war with each other, they were very suspicious of each other. On one side, Stalin feared Germany recovering and wanted to cripple her, while the western countries thought that Germany could not even feed its own people if it was not allowed to rebuild her industries. Stalin had blocked the canals which connect eastern and western germany because he thought that this would force the Allies out of Berlin which would became entirely dependant on the USSR. However, by 1949 it was clear for the Soviets that the Western Allies would not give up Berlin. The US saw the blockade as a threat to the freedom of Western Europe.

6. In the end, Stalin finally reopened communications and removed the blockade because it was clear that the blockade would not make the Western Allies give up Berlin and because it brought in supplies (by plane) at a rate which exceeded what had been provided before the crisis.

Extension question. In my opinion, they were both to blame. Because although the Soviets were the ones who came up with the Berlin Blockade and caused shortages of food and poor electricity in Western Germany, they had their reasons: all 3 western countries who were governed by the ideas of capitalism and democracy, had united together and formed one territory and this was a threat to the communist USSR, also they reformed their currency in their new country.

Game

And these are some videos that helped us understand the Berlin Blockade better:

Yalta Conference

In History we´ve been learning and studying how countries after WW2 started to organise themselves to maintain pecae once again. For that, the Big Three (Stalin, Chuchill and Roosvelt) organised the Yalta Conference in February 1945.

This Slideshare shows how the conference worked, its agreements and it’s results.

How far were the disagreements at Potsdam to blame for the start of the Cold War?

– Sphere of influence (communist expansion)

– Tension between Stalin (USSR – communism) and Truman (USA – capitalism)

– Soviets were scared because all the european countries were capitalist and the only country who was communist was USSR and Americans also were scared because of Communist expansion.

-USA threatened the USSR by telling them they had nuclear bombs, tension between the two powers.

– After dealing with Japan (common enemy for USSR and USA) the world (France, USA and Britain which were all Capitalist) now turned to a new enemy: Communism

– Suspicion, accusation and distrust between the Allies replaced the wartime friendship they had.

– The USSR couldn’t forget The Policy of Appeasement through which britain and France let Hitler do what he wanted and didn’t even consult the USSR.

– Russian Revolution because the USA had supported the anarquism in the revolution.

– Red scare (Resentment of USSR towards US because if their negative attitude towards immigrants)

Origins of the Cold War

[TASK] We are now starting to study the Cold War, how the countries organised themselves and peace after the end of WW2. 2 important conferences took place between the Allies, between the Big Three (Stalin, Roosvelt and Churchill) to plan the future after Germany’s defeat:

1) The Yalta Conference

2) The Potsdam Conference

We had to watch a video

Now we had to see a SlideShare and answer some questions which are in it about it. 

1. Why did the wartime alliances fall apart?

Wartime alliances fell apart beacuse now that the common enemy (Hitler) had been defeated, there was no reason for mutual cooperation. The Soviet Union didn´t forget that both Britian and the USA had tried to destroy the Russian Revolution, and also didn´t forget about the Red Scare. Stalin also believed they were not given enough help in WW2. On the other hand, Britain and the US couldn´t forget that the Soviets had signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact with Germany.

2. What were the major differences between the superpowers?

The superpowers after WW2 were USA and the USSR. The USA was capitalist and had only lost 297.000 soldiers and the USSR was communist and had lost 20 million soldiers, they were devastated. Stalin wanted to cripple Germany to protect the USSR against future attacks. On the contrary, USA wanted to protect democracy and help Germany recover.

3. The importance of the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences

Both the Yalta and Potsdam conferences were held to discuss what to do after Germany’s defeat, how to reestablish world peace among the countries and the future of the countries which would be liberated. Yalta was a success which divided Germany in 4 parts (1 part for the USA, 1 part for France, 1 part for Britain and 1 part for the USSR), but Postdam not so much beause countries didn’t agree on many things.

4. The roles of Stalin and Truman

Stalin was the leader of the USSR, he wanted to cripple Germany as harsh as possible. He was suspicious of the policy of Appeasement imposed by Britain and France and so he wanted a ‘buffer’ of friendly states to protect his country from any invasions.

Truman was the viceresident which assumed as president when Roosvelt died in April, 1945. He interviened in the second conference: the Potsdam conference. This president was much more anti-communist than Roosvelt and so he was very cautious when taking decisions. Truman was determined on not making the same mistake of punishing Germany harshly as they had done after WW1 because they would recover and want revenge once again.

So both had completely different views and opinions and that is why they disagreed on most of the terms. We can say that the Potsdam conference was a failoure compared to the Yalta conference.

On the Verge of War

In History with Lenny we have already studied the short-term causes of WW2 and the failoures of the League of Nations in the 1930´s. Now we worked with some protagonists of the conflicts of the league before the start of WW2. For this, we had to create a Fakebook of one of this protagonists, I worked with Delfi Miy Uranga, Joaco Venini and Tomi Anania and our characer was Haile Selassie. [TASK]

Fakebook

Fakebook is a “fake” Facebook which you can use to create fictional profiles of different people. In school we use it to produce false profiles of history characters or protagonists from stories.

Short-Term causes WW2 (Meograph)

In my opinion, this audio presentation about WW2 made by other students is ver well organised and detailed. It is very clear and i think it is a great tool which I could study from.

WW2 Animation

This is a very interesting and enetertaing video that helps me a lot to understand how WW2 was developed and the way countries attackted different territories. I think it is a fun and easy way to study the movements of each country and the inerventions and how the Allies along with the USSR and the US, together, they recover all the lost territories and also the German´s in WW2.

The Manchurian Crisis

In History we are starting with the new topic of this year: the work of the League of Nations in the 1930’s. So today we are begining to learn the 1st incident: the invasion of Japan to Manchuria. We had to watch a video and answer some questions. [TASK]

  1. How does the video open? What might the connection between the League and the opening scenes in Poland be?
  2. What problems did Japan face? (Mention ALL of them)
  3. What was the role of the army in Japan?
  4. What did army leaders believe Japan needed?
  5. What was the value of Manchuria?
  6. What happened at Mudken?
  7. What did the League do about it?
  8. What was Japan’s reaction to the decision of the League?

1. The video starts narrating the failoure of the League of Nations of establishing peace and avoiding war. “And war had returned for the second time to the world”. Both Poland and the League had been plunged into war in 1939.

2. Problems that Japan faced:

– Great Depression

– Isolated country from trade (no natural resources of its own to exploit)

– Growing population and not enough resources

– Unemployment in 1930

3. The Japanesse army controled the education system. Their main objective was expansionism. Japanesse believed that territorial gain in eastern asia would benefit their great empire.

4. As the problems in Japan got worse, army leaders exprssed that the only way  Japan could solve its economic problems and show that it was still a strong nation was through expansion.

5. Manchuria was a mostly a barren country but rich in resources that Japan needed for its economy.

6. There was an explosion at Mudken which was the perfect excuse for the Japans to invade Manchuria. Also because Korea was already Japanesse and Japan needed more space for its population and more resources, Manchuria was the perfect target.

7. China appealed to the Leage, who finally decided that Japan should leave Manchuria and become a semi-independant nation free from China and Japan.

8. Japan responded by leaving the League of Nations and so it lost power and Japan kept Manchuria because no one would physically interviene.