Today, there are only a few of us that can remember the Berlin Airlift--and it's often confused with the construction of the Berlin Wall in the early 1960s. To quickly summarize what occurred, I'll try my best. Following WWII, Berlin was divided into four sectors--one controlled by the Russians, one by the Americans, one by the British and one by the French. In 1948, tensions between the Russians and the other three nations increased dramatically and it became obvious that Stalin had designs on taking all of Berlin. Since Berlin was well within the Eastern Sector (all of which was controlled by the Russians), it was easy for the Russians to begin a siege--refusing to continue to allow shipments of supplies into West Berlin. The three Allied nations refused to give in an a HUGE series of air flights into the city to supply its needs began. Eventually, the Russians realized that this could continue indefinitely and they ultimately dropped the siege.
Like other episodes of "The American Experience" from PBS, this one is exceptionally well made. It consists of narration, interviews, re-creations and vintage photos/footage to tell the story. In particular, many of the interviews were Berliners themselves recalling these tense days and it was filled with many interesting vignettes about the airlifts. All in all, an inspiring addition to "The American Experience".
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