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1.09 The Cold War

Instructor: Dr. Robert Teigrob
Language of instruction: English
Course type:
Subject course
Contact hours:
48 (6 per day)
Course days
: see class schedule
ECTS credits
: 5
Course fee:
€ 1,100

Course Description

Over the course of the Cold War, the city of Berlin was frequently at the centre of global tensions and a potential front line should the superpower rivalry descend into actual war.This course utilizes the city of Berlin as a laboratory in which to examine the origins, nature, and conclusion of the Cold War that defined international relations between 1945 and 1991. We analyzethe Allied occupation of the city following the Nazi defeat, the Berlin blockade and airlift that helped solidify the divisions between East and West. Next, we will examinethe workers’ uprising of 1953 that provoked a Soviet military response. Thefollowing sessions will deal with theemigration crisis of the late 1950s that led the Soviets to first threaten a military takeover of the city and eventually to construct the Berlin Wall. Finally, we will look atthe fall of the wall and the subsequent reunification of Berlin and Germany.

Field trips to important Cold War sites will permit students to gain a deeper appreciation of how the Cold War changed Berlin, and how events in Berlin influenced the wider international struggle. In order to place the interests and goals of the superpowers in context, we will also discuss the ways in which the Cold War rivalry affected Europe as a whole, as well as Asia and Latin America. Attention will be given to the role of international organizationssuch as the United Nations in world affairs, and the changes brought about by the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In this way, we will examine the roots of contemporary crises. Students will gain an understanding of the recent past, which will help equip them to evaluate the current and emerging international order.

Download Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule)