Who Created the Iron Curtain?

The Iron Curtain was a term used during the Cold War to describe the physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas.

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The Cold War

The term “Iron Curtain” was first used by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in a speech he gave in Fulton, Missouri on March 5, 1946. In his speech, Churchill said:

“From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere.”

The Iron Curtain became a symbol of the Cold War, which was a period of tension between the United States and its allies (known as the “West”) and the Soviet Union and its allies (known as the “East”). The Cold War began after World War II and lasted until 1991.

The History of the Iron Curtain

In 1945, the world was fresh off the heels of World War II, and much of Europe was in shambles. In an effort to prevent another war of such magnitude, the Allies (the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union) met in Potsdam, Germany to discuss the future of Europe.

It was at this conference that U.S. President Harry S. Truman, Churchill, and Stalin first discussed the idea of an “iron curtain” that would divided Europe into two separate areas: a communist east and a democratic west. The phrase “iron curtain” is thought to have been coined by Churchill himself.

While the Potsdam Conference did result in some agreements (such as the division of Germany), it also led to the start of the Cold War between the Allies and the Soviet Union. The iron curtain served as a physical representation of this divide between East and West for nearly 50 years, until it was eventually dismantled in 1989.

The Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall was a physical barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, which circumscribed a wide area (later known as the “death strip”) that contained anti-vehicle trenches, “fakir beds” and other defenses. The Eastern Bloc claimed that the wall was erected to protect its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the “will of the people” in building a socialist state in East Germany. In practice, the Wall served to prevent the massive emigration and defection that had marked East Germany and the communist Eastern Bloc during the post-World War II period.

The Iron Curtain in Europe

In Europe, the Iron Curtain was the name given to the physical and ideological barrier separating the Soviet Union and its satellite states in Eastern Europe from the rest of the Continent. The term “Iron Curtain” was first used by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in a speech in Fulton, Missouri on March 5, 1946.

The End of the Cold War

The Iron Curtain was the name for the boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1991. The term symbolized the efforts by the Soviet Union to block itself and its satellite states off from open contact with the West and its allied states.

The phrase was first used by Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Germany’s Minister of Propaganda.

The Collapse of the Soviet Union

The Soviet Union was a country that existed from 1917 to 1991. It was a communist state and the first in the world. The Soviet Union had many different languages, religions, and ethnic groups. The Soviet Union was divided into 15 republics. The Soviet Union was founded by Vladimir Lenin.

The Aftermath of the Cold War

The Iron Curtain was the name for the boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1991. The term symbolized the efforts by the Soviet Union to block itself and its satellite states, including East Germany, from open contact with the West and its allies.

The physical border between East and West was largely closed, with a few notable exceptions such as Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin. Soviet-controlled media portrayed the West as morally decadent and economically backward, while presenting the Soviet Union as a socialist utopia.

The Iron Curtain had a number of effects on Europe. It divided friends and families, restricted travel and cultural exchange, and sparked a number of crises such as the Berlin Blockade and the Hungarian Revolution.

The fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989–1991 was a major event that led to the end of the Cold War. It opened up opportunities for increased trade and cooperation between Eastern and Western Europe, as well as greater freedom for people who had been living behind the curtain.

The Reunification of Germany

In 1989, the federal republic of Germany celebrated the fortieth anniversary of its founding. At the same time, it was preparing to marks its fiftieth anniversary-of the momentous event that had occurred in 1939, when Hitler’s armies invaded Poland and effectively started World War II. In May of that year, Chancellor Helmut Kohl proposed that 1990 be the year in which Germany would be reunified. The response from Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was positive, and on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall-symbol of division between East and West for almost three decades-came tumbling down.

The Legacy of the Cold War

The Cold War was a period of time where the United States and the Soviet Union were in a state of fear and mistrust. This legacy still has an impact on the world today.

The Iron Curtain Today

The Iron Curtain was a term used to describe the physical boundary and political separation between the communist states of Eastern Europe and the West during the Cold War. It was first used by Winston Churchill in a speech in 1946, and its name became a symbol of the division between East and West during the Cold War.

The Iron Curtain began to fall in 1989, when a series of revolutions in Eastern Europe toppled communist regimes and led to the reunification of Germany. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 brought an end to the Cold War, and the Iron Curtain was officially dismantled.

Today, the Iron Curtain is a reminder of a time when the world was divided into two ideologies: communism and capitalism. It is also a symbol of how those divisions can be overcome through peaceful means.

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