The Berlin Wall embodies the ideological and political clash between two world powers, the United States and the Soviet Union. It was a symbol of the stark differences in opinion between these two former Allies. Once World War II was over, the Soviets and Americans no longer had a shared purpose to hold them together, which led to further chaos in the war stricken nation of Germany. Initially, the allies definitive aim had been to rebuild war torn Germany which had been devastated by the allies war against the Nazi regime. The Soviet Union and the Western allies, which consisted of the United States, France and Great Britain, broke ranks when their differences with the Soviets could no longer be contained. The Western allies wanted to spread democracy and capitalism throughout Germany, while the Soviet Union was busy setting up communism and socialist policies in eastern Germany.
Reparations were a huge factor, as the Soviet Union lost millions of men and their country was devastated when the Nazis attacked them. But according to the Potsdam Agreement, “each occupying Power was to take its reparations mainly from its own zone and German assets abroad. But the Soviets, who had been promised half the total of all German reparations, were to be allowed a sixth of the surplus established in the Western zone. Many Germans feared the worst, and as Mary Fulbrook describes it, “[S]ome [former communist] Germans longed for ‘liberation’ and the possibility of a radical transformation of Germany; others felt fear and ambivalence about future retribution.”
In fact, the Soviet policy was harsh, there was a rush to dismantle the factories and the industrial facilities that once facilitate the nazi regime with economic prosperities. Although they decrease their production output, the Soviets were able to accumulate tremendous wealth from reparation payments and occupation cost. The Soviet experienced a net advantage in resources which drained the eastern sector of desperately needed assets to rebuild.
The fast paste of factory and industrialized equipment, seemed as though the Soviets had no long term plan to remain in German soil for long term purposes. By shipping both equipments and experts from East Berlin, it seemed as though that the Soviets were interested in their own economic interest within their own soil. By 1955 the total value of goods and services taken by the Soviets was in the order of $30 billion, as against an agreed figure of $10 billion. A divided nation was on the verge of creation: a democratic conservative on the West, and a hardline communist state in the East ripped Germany apart.
There were even differences within the Western allies that sometimes would emerge as confusing to the newly democratic Western Germany, who did not themselves understand democracy, as the system was foreign to them after 12 years of nazism. American film director Billy Wilder, recalled a conversation he had with a post war, German driver and this is the kind of dialogue that would develop between us: ?about this British election –
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