Germany, facts and history in brief
West Berlin was the name given to the western part of Berlin between 1949 and 1990.
It consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors that were established in 1945.
The Soviet sector became East Berlin, part of East Germany.
Officially West Berlin was called Berlin (West) by West Germany while the East German government referred to West Berlin as Westberlin.
(East Berlin was officially called Berlin Hauptstadt der DDR - "Berlin capital of the GDR" - by East Germany.)
The Potsdam Agreement established the legal framework for the occupation of Germany in the wake of World War II.
According to the agreement, Germany would be formally under the sovereignty of the four major wartime allies -- the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union -- until a German government acceptable to them all could be reconstituted.
Germany would be divided into four sectors, each administered by one of the allies.
Berlin, though surrounded by the Soviet sector, would be similarly divided, with the western allies occupying an enclave consisting of the western parts of the city.
According to the agreement, the occupation of Berlin would only end as a result of a four-power agreement. (This clause did not apply to Germany as a whole.)
The western allies were guaranteed an air corridor to their sectors of Berlin, and the Soviets also informally allowed road and rail access between West Berlin and the western parts of Germany.
At first, this arrangement was officially a temporary administrative expedient, and all parties declared that Germany and Berlin would soon be reunited.
However, as the relations between the western allies and the Soviet Union soured and the cold war began, the joint administration of Germany and Berlin broke down.
Soon Soviet-occupied Berlin and western-occupied Berlin had entirely separate city administrations.
In 1948, the Soviets tried to force the issue and expel the western allies from Berlin by imposing a land blockade on the western sectors.
The west responded by using its guaranteed air corridors to resupply the city in what became known as the Berlin Airlift.
In May 1949, the Soviets lifted their blockade, and the future of West Berlin as a separate jurisdiction was ensured.
By the end of that year, two new states had been created out of occupied Germany - the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) in the West and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) in the East - with West Berlin an enclave surrounded by, but not part of, the latter.
For a more information about West_Berlin see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Berlin) December 2005
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
This information was correct in December 2005. E. & O.E.
I visited West Berlin during 1978.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
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