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Cold War – The Cold War in Europe, 1941-55

5. The Division of Germany

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about one of the central issues of international politics in post-war Europe – what should be done with Germany? In particular, we focus on the coalescence of the four Occupation Zones into West and East Germany, and the foundation of NATO and the Warsaw Pact.


In this course, Dr Mathias Haeussler (University of Cambridge) explores the origins of the Cold War in Europe. We begin by providing a broad introduction to the Cold War itself – what it was, as well as its long-lasting political, historical and cultural legacy. After that, we turn to the historiographical debate that that surrounded the origins of the Cold War, focusing in particular on the orthodox, revisionist and post-revisionist positons. In the third module, we explore some of the longer-term causes of the Cold War, going all the way back to the February Revolution in 1917, and tracing events from there to the end of the Second World War. In the fourth module, we look more closely at the breakdown of the wartime alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union, before moving on in the fifth module to focus on how the division of Germany into four Occupation Zones would eventually lead to the two great, nuclear-armed alliances in post-war Europe: NATO and the Warsaw Pact.


Mathias Haeussler is currently Lumley Research Fellow (JRF) at Magdalene College. He holds a Ph.D. in History and M.Phil. in Modern European History from the University of Cambridge, as well as a B.A. in Politics and History from Queen Mary University of London. In recent years, he has also been British Research Council Fellow at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.. as well as a DAAD-funded visiting scholar at the University of Bonn (2012-13). His main interest is in post-1945 International History, with a particular focus on European integration and the Cold War. He also has a broader interest in twentieth-century British and German history, British attitudes towards Europe, Anglo-German relations, the transatlantic relationship, and the cultural history of the Cold War.

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APA style

Haeussler, M. (2018, August 15). Cold War – The Cold War in Europe, 1941-55 - The Division of Germany [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Haeussler, M. "Cold War – The Cold War in Europe, 1941-55 – The Division of Germany." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,