By David Williamson

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Indeed, as tension rose, both sides began to wonder whether Germany itself could not perhaps be enlisted as a future ally in a possible East–West conflict. Germany under four power control, June 1945–November 1946 In June 1945 Stalin told a group of German Communists that there would be ‘two Germanies’, implying that Germany would be divided into a Soviet-dominated part and a Western-dominated part. Nine months later, however, he informed the Yugoslavs that ‘all Germany must be ours’. For a time, however, he seemed ready to co-operate with the Western powers in creating a new democratic Germany, in which the Communist Party, as in France and Italy (see pages 26–7), would play an important though not dominating role.

Key date The Break-up of the Grand Alliance 1945–7 | 41 Peace treaties signed with Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Finland and Hungary: 10 February 1947 more lenient treatment. The USSR also insisted that its armistice agreements with Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary and Romania should form the basis of the subsequent peace treaties. To save the negotiations from a complete breakdown, James Byrnes, the US Secretary of State, went to Moscow, where after some hard bargaining a compromise was reached whereby the Eastern European and the Italian peace treaties would be negotiated simultaneously.

You can use these as the core of your plan. They contain points for and against the stated claim. Make sure that you have identified all the issues raised by the sources, and then add in your own knowledge – both to make more of the issues in the sources (add depth to the coverage) and to add new points (extend the range covered). The issues raised by the sources show that there were divisions between the USSR and the Western powers over ideology and security. You can show these differences and consider how serious they were – do they appear to have been ‘irreconcilable’?

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Access to History. Europe and the Cold War 1945-1991 by David Williamson

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