Berlin - 1961

Berlin - 1961. Checkpoint Charlie and the looming flashpoint for World War 3.

April 16, 1961 – A Word Or Two From Konrad Adenauer AndThe Situation In Berlin.

Berlin - 1961
Berlin – 1961. Checkpoint Charlie and the looming flashpoint for World War 3.

Konrad Adenauer – Meet The Press – April 16, 1961 – NBC Radio – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

April 16, 1961 and a few words from West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer on Meet The Press during his State visit to Washington and talks with President Kennedy.

The sixties represented a particularly contentious time in relations between NATO and the Soviet Union. Aside from the Cuban Missile Crisis, which probably brought us closer to the brink of war than anything else, there was also the matter of East and West Berlin weighing on everyone’s minds. Many felt if World War 3 was going to have a flashpoint, Berlin was going to be it – and daily were tests and provocations and confrontations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union over who was going to blink first. Eventually it would all lead to Russia putting up a wall, effectively sealing off East Berlin from West Berlin. And then it became an almost daily occurrence that someone would or would try to escape from East Berlin to West, eventually earning this hastily constructed impediment The Wall of Shame.

But the Berlin Wall hadn’t happened as of April 1961, when this visit by Chancellor Adenauer to Washington for talks with President Kennedy took place. When asked what he thought may happen over the Summer months, Adenauer replied he couldn’t predict the future, but Khrushchev was capable of anything and there was a possibility some sort of dramatic move on the parts of the Soviets could possibly take place.

Like everything with the Cold War, it was all wait-and-see. Other subjects tackled during this interview were the Eichmann trial the state of the West German economy and rumors that West German schools were downplaying Germany’s role in World War 2.

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