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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; At the Brink; East Germany Closes Border

Part of War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.

08/14/1961

The attention of an anxious world is focused on East and West Germany and Berlin. The last great exodus of refugees from the East is processed in the Marianfelde Center as the Communist German regime moves to close their border against further flights. Troops swooped down on the border between Red Berlin and the Free City in the pre-dawn hours to close routes between the sectors. East Berliners were told to give up their jobs in the West and Mayor Willy Brandt called on all Berliners to keep calm and avoid provoking Soviet troops who took up positions with East German soldiers.


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Series
War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
Program
At the Brink
Program Number

105

Title

East Germany Closes Border

Series Description

The first atomic explosion in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945, changed the world forever. This series chronicles these changes and the history of a new era. It traces the development of nuclear weapons, the evolution of nuclear strategy, and the politics of a world with the power to destroy itself.

In thirteen one-hour programs that combine historic footage and recent interviews with key American, Soviet, and European participants, the nuclear age unfolds: the origin and evolution of nuclear weapons; the people of the past who have shaped the events of the present; the ideas and issues that political leaders, scientists, and the public at large must confront, and the prospects for the future. Nuclear Age highlights the profound changes in contemporary thinking imposed by the advent of nuclear weapons. Series release date: 1/1989

Program Description

In October 1962, the Soviet Union and the United States are at the brink of nuclear war, the 13 most harrowing days in the nuclear age.

“I remember leaving the White House at the end of that Saturday and thinking that might well be the last sunset I ever saw,” recalls former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara of Black Saturday, the day the Cuban missile crisis pushed the world to the brink of nuclear war. Aleksandr Alexseev, Soviet ambassador to Cuba at the time, recalled, “We and the Cubans decided that, in order to avoid a United States invasion, we should supply Cuba with missiles.” The US effort to overthrow Fidel Castro at the Bay of Pigs was an expression of President Kennedy’s disbelief about the missiles in Cuba while it surprised Soviet leader Khrushchev according to his speechwriter,Feodor Burlatsky. Major General William Fairborne, speaks about how “We loaded whole blood and a hundred coffins onto the carrier Iwo Jima.” Looking back on those 13 days, former Secretary of State Dean Rusk reflects, “...we’ve got to find some way to inhabit this speck of dust in the universe at the same time.”

Duration

00:01:39

Asset Type

Stock footage

Media Type

Video

Subjects
Germany (East)
Germany (West)
Soviet Union
Genres
Documentary
Topics
Science
Global Affairs
War and Conflict
History
Rights Summary

In perpetuity ; Public Domain Rights Holder: NARA

Citation
Chicago: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; At the Brink; East Germany Closes Border,” 08/14/1961, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 5, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_DA9F5E73FBEB4F218F7E23A0827E255A.
MLA: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; At the Brink; East Germany Closes Border.” 08/14/1961. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 5, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_DA9F5E73FBEB4F218F7E23A0827E255A>.
APA: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; At the Brink; East Germany Closes Border. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_DA9F5E73FBEB4F218F7E23A0827E255A
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