The USA and Americans in Cold War Berlin with John Owen - Context Travel

The USA and Americans in Cold War Berlin with John Owen


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Join a local Berlin historian to discuss the American influence both on the grand political set pieces and on the cultural scene in (primarily) West Berlin post WW2 and during the Cold War.

From the end of WW2 until the fall of the Berlin Wall, Berlin played a central role in US foreign policy. American Presidents came to give grand speeches while many US servicemen made Berlin a (normally) temporary home. This conversation will look at America's role in some of the biggest moments in Berlin's post-war history.

We’ll discuss one of the first international crises of the Cold War: the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49 which saw the city blockaded by Soviet forces. We’ll talk about epoch defining presidential speeches, such as Kennedy’s 'Ich bin ein Berliner' speech and Reagan's 'Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall' demand. John will address both these speeches and where they fit into the context of Cold War Berlin, and also analyse America's cultural impact on the city during the years in which it was an occupying power here.

Led by historian John Owen, this interactive seminar will leave you with profound insight into the role of America in Berlin’s foreign policy during the post WW2 years heading into the Cold War. Designed to inform and educate, participants will emerge with a greater understanding of this, often fraught, time period.

John studied History and German at the University of Oxford, eventually specializing in German-Jewish history and the history of the Third Reich. He has been coming to Berlin since he was a teenager and moved to the city permanently a couple of years ago. The tangibility of history, especially that of the twentieth century, never ceases to thrill him in Berlin.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.