BygoneLife

The Cold War

08 May 1945 -- 26 Dec 1991

In spite of deep ideological differences and the need to defeat Hitler and the Axis nations, The United States and the Soviet Union were allies during World War II. After the defeat of Germany, it was hoped that the nations conquered by Hitler would return to democratic rule. However, the Soviet Union moved quickly to dominate the eastern European states and establish tightly controlled Communist regimes across the region. As a result, the two post-war superpowers and their allies became embroiled in a protracted war of words, intimidation and brinkmanship, which endured until the dissolution of the USSR in late 1991.

DOCUMENTS

The Wall Goes Up

14 Aug 1961

On 13 August 1961, the eastern sector of Berlin was cut off from the west by the Soviet backed East German government, a division that would endure for the next 28 years.

The Wall Comes Down

10 Nov 1989

After 28 years, the border between the eastern and western sectors of Berlin was opened on 9 November 1989. This soon led to the collapse of the East German government and the reunification of the long divided nation.

AUDIO

Berlin Divided by Wall  (13 Aug 1961)

This CBS news report describes the state of East Berlin on the morning after the Wall went up.


CBS Presents  (04 Jan 1962)

This CBS program, produced a few months after the construction of the Berlin Wall, describes life in East Germany.


Cuban Missile Crisis  (24 Oct 1962)

An NBC Radio report about the ongoing missile crisis involving Soviet missiles in Cuba.


VIDEO

Atomic Attack  (1950)

A family living 50 miles away try to flee from the fallout of an atomic bomb that fell on New York City.


Duck and Cover  (1951)

This iconic film short was produced by the US Government to teach school aged children what to do in the event of a nuclear attack.


Yankee Go Home  (1953)

An overview of soviet and communist block propaganda in the early '50s


Lets Face IT  (1954)

This government film shows some of the systems in place during the US-USSR Cold War to inform and protect the nation in the event of a nuclear attack.


A Day Called X  (1957)

Portrays a simulated evacuation of Portland, Oregon, when threatened by a nuclear attack on its state-of-the-art civil defense system.


Red Threat  (1962)

Universal Newsreel coverage of President Kennedys speech regarding the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962.


The Wall  (1962)

A government film about the construction of the Berlin Wall and its effect on the people of the city.


The Road to the Wall  (1962)

This 1962 documentary details the rise of communism in the Soviet Union and other nations, culminating in the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 and its effect on the people. Narrated by James Cagney.


Red Nightmare  (1962)

A man takes his American freedoms for granted, until he wakes up one morning to find out that the United States Government has been replaced with a Communist system. The basis for this short film, narrated by Jack Webb, is the alleged Soviet re-creation of US communities for the purpose of training infiltrators, spies, and moles.