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The Berlin Airlift. American Experience Documentary Essay (Movie Review)

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Updated: Aug 23rd, 2020

“American Experience: The Berlin Airlift” has a clear flow of events that helps the audience to understand the issues that unfolded during the Berlin airlift in 1948. After watching the video, I realized that the World War II led to the division of Berlin by four super powers at that time. They included America, Russia, France, and Britain. However, as time went on, it emerged that Russia under the leadership of Stalin was trying to sideline all the other three countries. At this time, there was tension between Russians and the rest of the countries that were controlling Berlin. The tension grew when Russians initiated a blockade and stopped shipments from East Berlin.

In response, American, Britain, and France initiated airlifts inside of Berlin in protest of Russians’ plan to control Berlin. The differences between these two groups created an immediate friendship between America and Germany. To the Germans, America, Britain and France became close allies because they defended the nation from Russia’s intended control. This movie has great historical events that explain the current relationship between Germany and the three allies. It gives the audience an immense feeling and experience of the real situation during that time as the cold war began. However, the most interesting event in the entire story is how the Germans lost the battle and influence to become a needy country.

Germany was among the leading military power during the World War II. However, after its defeat, the country was taken over by allied nations who divided it into military zones. The beginning of the famous airlift as it is clearly depicted in the movie began when the Soviet Union decided to block the rest of the Germany’s allies from accessing the city through railways, highways, and canals. Since all the possible ways of supplying goods for their people were closed, the Soviet Union hoped that the other allies were going to starve and leave the city. However, this was not the case. Tones of food supplies and other necessities were flown into the city by air and this continued for almost a year.

As the survival strategy seemed to bear fruits, the Soviet Union gave up and dropped the siege. The movie has clearly demonstrated the events that lead to the formation of the current powerful Germany. It shows how the country was rebuilt through efforts from allied countries especially the United States, France, and Britain. However, it also shows that the Soviet Union was opposing the unification efforts by the other allied countries. The Soviet Union was afraid that Germans unification would destroy their influence. In another light, one can argue that the Soviet Union had no interest in helping the Germans to rise again. Maybe this is because the Germans had invaded the Soviet Union.

This movie is a good documentary that shows the historical events of a nation that has been through many faces of military and political power changes. It is interesting to see how simple human decisions can affect and cause global conflicts within a very short period of time. Politics and military decisions are very crucial to the stability and well-being of a nation and the world at large. I think this movie is the best historical tool that the young generation can use to understand how the past political decisions have affected the way we live today.

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