The Political Integration of the Occupation Zones

Setting the course in the Cold War. The Political Integration of the Occupation Zones (Bild: ap/dpa/picture alliance, ID 00332884)

Setting the course in the Cold War

Four years lay between the surrender and disintegration of one state and the founding of two new ones. The course for this development, which led to the final division into East and West, was set at this time. The group around Walter Ulbricht travelled from Moscow exile to Germany on April 30, 1945 and began to arrange things in the Soviet-occupied territory according to their interests (and those of Moscow). The temporary high point of this development was the forced unification of the KPD and SPD into the SED, the state party of the future GDR. On the other hand, the military governors of France, Great Britain and the USA, together with the representatives of the West German states, discussed a constituent assembly and a government for the three Western occupation zones. In 1948, the increasing confrontation of the former anti-Hitler coalition escalated when the Soviet Union sealed off the western part of Berlin - and yet did nothing more than create a founding myth for the opponents: The raisin bombers overcame the Berlin blockade and turned the occupier into a protective power in the eyes of the population, and the integration of the Federal Republic, founded shortly afterwards, to the international community of states accelerated.