Iron curtain

by Taj, Claudia, and Janet

Define


The national barrier separating the former Soviet bloc and the West prior to the decline of communism that followed the political events in eastern Europe in 1989.

Cause


The Soviet Union controlled eastern Europe following WW II, and to maintain that control they had to keep out western influence. They were s trying to create a safety barrier between itself and any future invasions from western Eurpe (having already suffered two major invasions, first by Napoleon, and later by Hitler). But the Cold War was a struggle for global dominance between the two nuclear armed super-powers, the US and the USSR.

Characteristics

  • the borderline ran from Estonia in the north to Yugoslavia in the south.
  • It served as a wall to prevent citizens of Eastern bloc countries from migrating west.
  • The iron curtain was finally lifted on June 27, 1989, at the border between Austria and Hungary

Significance

The concept of the Iron Curtain symbolized the ideological fighting and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1991. On either side of the Iron Curtain, states developed their own international economic and military alliances.