Cold War beginnings: the Berlin Blockade in audio

The World

Today marks the 60-year anniversary of the Cold War’s first major crisis: The Blockade of Berlin. Angered by an allied plan to reform Germany’s worthless Reichsmark into the Deutschemark, Soviet leader Josef Stalin cut off all roads and railways into West Berlin.

Stalin hoped that depriving the western powers of food and fuel would force them to leave Berlin. Two-and-a-half million civilians were trapped along with allied troops. The blockade sparked one of the most ambitious humanitarian operations in history. The allies devised a system of round-the-clock, non-stop flights to deliver food and coal to those who had been cut off. Using historical tape, The Takeaway remembers the Berlin Blockade and the massive airlift that ended it.

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