In 2011 NATO celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Berlin crisis and the construction of the wall. “Celebrate” may be an odd word choice. “Recognized” might be better.
The casual student of history will often equate the end of WWII with the start of the Cold war and the construction of the wall. You, of course will know that the wall was 15 years after the start of the Cold war, almost 10 years after the death of Stalin, and just before a series of events that will lead to the fall of Khrushchev and a stormy chill in the Cold war.
At the end now of our studies of the “Eisenhower Era” we must allude to the era to come. As one of you commented in your IA the baby boomers of the coming 1960s will have a decidedly different relationship with their government, their world and one another.
JFK is our first president born in the 20th century. He comes in as a hard liner, believing Eisenhower has been weak on communism. Why he may have believed this is the real undercurrent of this chapter which of course culminates in not just the erection of the wall in Berlin, but the closest we ever got to nuclear war, the Cuban Missile Crisis. Kissinger’s assessment of Eisenhower and Khrushchev here is most interesting. “How the threat of war translated into coexistence was never explained” coming from the American ambassador.
If you’re looking for a little extra credit find a copy of Alec Guinness in “the prisoner” I think its called. Based on a real character and real events in Hungary after the war. Do an OPVL on that after googling around about events portrayed in the film and you’ll start you second semester out in the lead!