What happened to Germany after WWII?

1 Answer
Apr 24, 2018

The end of WWII marked the end of Nazi Germany, and the formation of the occupation zones- along with the beginning of the Cold war.


When the war ended in Europe in 1945, "The big three"- the USA, the USSR and Britain had already drawn up plans for how to handle Germany after WWII. During their conference at Yalta, Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt determined to partition Germany into 4 occupation zones- One French, One British, one American and one Russian- with Berlin, which was lying in the Soviet zone, also being partitioned into 4 zones.

Germany, and most of Europe in that regard had been utterly destroyed by WWII, as during WWII strategic bombing had become a key strategy- very few cities and industrial buildings escaped the bombers.

Also, the end of WWII marked the beginning of the Cold war, and tensions sparked already when the US perceived the USSR as expansionist in the east, taking many nations in the east. To "contain" the communist threat by the USSR, the USA started with the Marshall plan, which included sending plentiful monetary aid to Europe, both to rebuild nations and to keep them away from sympathizing with the Communists.

Eventually, Britain, France and the US combined their three occupation zones to create "West Germany" in 1949, which the USSR saw as a threat, as the biggest fear of the USSR was the recreation of a strong Germany following WWII-and this, they claimed, was a deliberate step towards strengthening Germany. The USSR tightened its grip on their zone, and would eventually Blockade Berlin to respond to this action, trying to starve out the "western" part of Berlin-- but it failed and the USSR had to back down.

Germany would go on and be partitioned further when the Berlin wall got under construction in 1961 following the Berlin crisis- diving the country for almost 30 more years.

Germany would go on and signify the cold war- the ideological split between west and east Germany was a daily reminder of the present cold war, which finally ceased in 1991, and the Berlin wall had already fallen in 1989.