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Warsaw Pact countries to the east of the Iron Curtain are shaded red; NATO members to the west of it shaded blue. Militarily neutral countries shaded grey. Yugoslavia, although communist-run, was independent of the Eastern Bloc and is shaded dark grey. Similarly, communist Albania broke with the Soviet Union in the early 1960s, aligning itself with the People's Republic of China after the Sino-Soviet split and is shaded grey.
Fence along the East/West border in Germany

The concept of the Iron Curtain symbolized the ideological 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:

Physically, the Iron Curtain took the shape of border defenses between the countries of Western and Eastern Europe, most notably the Berlin Wall, which served as a longtime symbol of the Curtain as a whole.[1]

Demolition of the Iron Curtain started in Hungary during the summer of 1989 (for example: removal of Hungary's border fence and the Pan-European Picnic) when thousands of East Germans began to emigrate to West Germany via Hungary on September 11, foreshadowing the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989.


Building antagonism between Soviet Union and the West

The antagonism between the Soviet Union and the West that led to what Goebbels, and later Churchill, described as the "iron curtain" had various origins.

The United Kingdom, France, Japan, Canada, the United States and several other countries had backed the White movement against the Bolsheviks during the 1918–1920 Russian Civil War, and the Soviets had not forgotten the fact.

During the summer of 1939, after conducting negotiations both with a British-French group and with Germany regarding potential military and political agreements,[2] the Soviet Union and Germany signed a Commercial Agreement providing for the trade of certain German military and civilian equipment in exchange for Soviet raw materials[3][4] and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, commonly named after the foreign secretaries of the two countries (Vyacheslav Molotov and Joachim von Ribbentrop), which included a secret agreement to split Poland and Eastern Europe between the two states.[5][6] The Soviets thereafter invaded Eastern Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, northern Romania, Estonia and eastern Finland. From August 1939, relations between the West and the Soviets deteriorated further when the Soviet Union and Germany engaged in an extensive economic relationship by which the Soviet Union sent Germany vital oil, rubber, manganese and other materials in exchange for German weapons, manufacturing machinery and technology.[7][8] This ended in June 1941 when Germany broke the Pact and invaded the Soviet Union.

In the course of World War II, Stalin determined[citation needed] to acquire a similar buffer against Germany, with pro-Soviet states on its border in an Eastern bloc. Stalin's aims led to strained relations at the Yalta Conference (February 1945) and the subsequent Potsdam Conference (August 1945).[9] People in the West expressed opposition to Soviet domination over the buffer states, and the fear grew that the Soviets were building an empire that might be a threat to them and their interests.

Nonetheless, at the Potsdam Conference, the Allies ceded parts of Poland, Finland, Romania, Germany, and the Balkans to Soviet control. In return, Stalin promised the Western Allies that he would allow those territories the right to national self-determination. Despite Soviet cooperation during the war, these concessions left many in the West uneasy. In particular, Churchill feared that the United States might return to its pre-war isolationism, leaving the exhausted European states unable to resist Soviet demands. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had announced at Yalta that after the defeat of Germany, U.S. forces would withdraw from Europe within two years.[10]

Stalin is not that kind of man. . . He doesn't want anything but security for his country, and I think that if I give him everything I possibly can, and ask nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won't try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace.

Franklin Roosevelt

This war is not as in the past; whoever occupies a territory also imposes his own social system on it. Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach. It cannot be otherwise.

Joseph Stalin

The Iron Curtain Speech

Winston Churchill's "Sinews of Peace" address[11] of 5 March 1946, at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, used the term "iron curtain" in the context of Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe:

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an "iron curtain" has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow.


At first, many countries in the West widely[citation needed] condemned the speech. Much of the Western public still regarded the Soviet Union as a close ally in the context of the recent defeat of Nazi Germany and of Japan. Many saw Churchill's speech as warmongering and unnecessary. In light of the subsequent opening of Soviet archives, some historians have revised their opinions.[12]

Although not well received at the time, the phrase "iron curtain" gained popularity as a short-hand reference to the division of Europe as the Cold War strengthened. The Iron Curtain served to keep people in and information out, and people throughout the West eventually came to accept and use the metaphor.[13]

Political, economic and military realities

The Eastern Bloc

EasternBloc BorderChange38-48.svg

While the Iron Curtain remained in place, certain countries of Eastern Europe and many in Central Europe (except West Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Austria) found themselves under the hegemony of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union annexed:

as Soviet Socialist Republics within the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Much of these territories were originally effectively ceded to Moscow by Nazi Germany in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, before Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941.

Other Soviet-annexed territories included:

Between 1945 and 1949 the Soviets and their allies converted other areas into Soviet satellite states:

Soviet-installed governments ruled the Eastern Bloc countries, with the exception of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which retained its full independence.

The majority of European states to the east of the Iron Curtain developed their own international economic and military alliances, such as COMECON and the Warsaw Pact.

West of the Iron Curtain

Fence along the East/West border in Germany (near Witzenhausen-Heiligenstadt)

To the west of the Iron Curtain, the countries of Western Europe, Northern Europe and Southern Europe — along with Austria, West Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland — operated market economies. With the exception of a period of fascism in Spain (until the 1970s) and Portugal (until 1974) and military dictatorship in Greece (1967–1974), democratic governments ruled these countries.

Most states to the west of the Iron Curtain — with the exception of neutral Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Sweden, Finland and Ireland — allied themselves with the United States and Canada within NATO. Economically, the European Community and the European Free Trade Association were the Western counterparts to COMECON, though even the nominally neutral states were economically closer to the United States than they were to the Warsaw Pact.

Further division in the late 1940s

In January 1947, Truman appointed General George Marshall as Secretary of State, scrapped Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) directive 1067, which embodied the Morgenthau Plan and supplanted it with JCS 1779, which decreed that an orderly and prosperous Europe requires the economic contributions of a stable and productive Germany."[24] Administration officials met with Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov and others to press for an economically self-sufficient Germany, including a detailed accounting of the industrial plants, goods and infrastructure already removed by the Soviets.[25] After six weeks of negotiations, Molotov refused the demands and the talks were adjourned.[25] Marshall was particularly discouraged after personally meeting with Stalin, who expressed little interest in a solution to German economic problems.[25] The United States concluded that a solution could not wait any longer.[25] In a 5 June 1947 speech,[26] Marshall announced a comprehensive program of American assistance to all European countries wanting to participate, including the Soviet Union and those of Eastern Europe, called the Marshall Plan.[25]

Stalin opposed the Marshall Plan. He had built up the Eastern Bloc protective belt of Soviet controlled nations on his Western border,[27] and wanted to maintain this buffer zone of states combined with a weakened Germany under Soviet control.[28] Fearing American political, cultural and economic penetration, Stalin eventually forbade Soviet Eastern bloc countries of the newly formed Cominform from accepting Marshall Plan aid.[25] In Czechoslovakia, that required a Soviet-backed Czechoslovak coup d'état of 1948,[29] the brutality of which shocked Western powers more than any event so far and set in a motion a brief scare that war would occur and swept away the last vestiges of opposition to the Marshall Plan in the United States Congress.[30]

Relations further deteriorated when, in January 1948, the U.S. State Department also published a collection of documents titled Nazi-Soviet Relations, 1939–1941: Documents from the Archives of The German Foreign Office, which contained documents recovered from the Foreign Office of Nazi Germany[31][32] revealing Soviet conversations with Germany regarding the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, including its secret protocol dividing eastern Europe,[33][34] the1939 German-Soviet Commercial Agreement,[33][35] and discussions of the Soviet Union potentially becoming the fourth Axis Power.[36] In response, one month later, the Soviet Union published Falsifiers of History, a Stalin edited and partially re-written book attacking the West.[31][37]

After the Marshall Plan, the introduction of a new currency to Western Germany to replace the debased Reichsmark and massive electoral losses for communist parties, in June 1948, the Soviet Union cut off surface road access to Berlin, initiating the Berlin Blockade, which cut off all non-Soviet food, water and other supplies for the citizens of the non-Soviet sectors of Berlin.[38] Because Berlin was located within the Soviet-occupied zone of Germany, the only available methods of supplying the city were three limited air corridors.[39] A massive aerial supply campaign was initiated by the United States, Britain, France and other countries, the success of which caused the Soviets to lift their blockade in May 1949.

Emigration restrictions

Migration from east to west of the Iron Curtain, except under limited circumstances, was effectively halted after 1950. Before 1950, over 15 million people emigrated from Soviet-occupied eastern European countries to the west in the five years immediately following World War II.[40] However, restrictions implemented during the Cold War stopped most East-West migration, with only 13.3 million migrations westward between 1950 and 1990.[41] More than 75% of those emigrating from Eastern Bloc countries between 1950 and 1990 did so under bilateral agreements for "ethnic migration."[41] About 10% were refugees permitted to emigrate under the Geneva Convention of 1951.[41] Most Soviets allowed to leave during this time period were ethnic Jews permitted to emigrate to Israel after a series of embarrassing defections in 1970 caused the Soviets to open very limited ethnic emigrations.[42] The fall of the Iron Curtain was accompanied by a massive rise in European East-West migration.[41]

As a physical entity

Preserved section of the border between East Germany and West Germany called the "Little Berlin Wall" at Mödlareuth

The Iron Curtain took physical shape in the form of border defences between the countries of the western and eastern Europe. These were some of the most heavily militarized areas in the world, particularly the so-called "inner German border"—commonly known as die Grenze in German—between East and West Germany. The inner German border was marked in rural areas by double fences made of steel mesh (expanded metal) with sharp edges, while near urban areas a high concrete barrier similar to the Berlin Wall was built. The barrier was always a short distance inside East German territory to avoid any intrusion into Western territory. The actual borderline was marked by posts and signs and was overlooked by numerous watchtowers set behind the barrier. The strip of land on the West German side of the barrier—between the actual borderline and the barrier—was readily accessible but only at considerable personal risk, because it was patrolled by both East and West German border guards. Several villages, many historic, were destroyed as they lay too close to the border, for example Erlebach. Shooting incidents were not uncommon, and a total of 28 East German border guards and several hundred civilians were killed between 1948–1981 (some may have been victims of "friendly fire" by their own side).

Elsewhere (i.e. at the Western borders of Czechoslovakia and Hungary), the border defences between West and East were similar to the German version. During the Cold War, in Hungary the border zone started 15 kilometers from the border inside the country and citizens could only enter it if they lived in the zone or had a passport valid for traveling out. Traffic control points and patrols enforced this regulation.

Even living inside the border zone, people needed special permissions to enter the next strip (5 kilometers from the border). The border was very difficult to approach but nevertheless it was heavily fortified. In the 1950s and 1960s, there was a double barbed-wire fence installed some 50 meters from the border and between them there was a strip full of landmines. Later the minefield was replaced with an electric signal fence (about 1 kilometer from the border) and a barbed wire fence, complete with guard towers and sand strip for border violation tracking. Regular patrols (even cars and mounted units), guards and K-9 units were watching the border 24/7 and were ready to prevent any escape attempt, even using their weapons to stop escapees. The outer wire fence was carefully and irregularly (i.e not parallel) placed far from the actual border (which was marked by border stones only), thus an escapee sometimes had to run 400 meters or more in the right direction to reach and cross the actual border. Not knowing this, several attempts failed as being stopped after crossing the outer fence.

The outer fence became the first part of the Iron Curtain to be dismantled in 1989. On 27 June 1989, the foreign ministers of Austria and Hungary, Alois Mock and Gyula Horn, ceremonially cut through the border defences separating their countries. (The border fortifications actually were dismantled earlier already at the ceremonial place so the border authorities had to reinstall a section of the fence to be cut through.)

In parts of Czechoslovakia, the border strip became hundreds of meters wide, and an area of increasing restrictions was defined as the border was approached. Only people with the appropriate government permissions were allowed to get close to the border.

The creation of these highly militarized no-man's lands led to de facto nature reserves and created a wildlife corridor across Europe; this helped the spread of several species to new territories. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, several initiatives are pursuing the creation of a European Green Belt nature preserve area along the Iron Curtain's former route.

The term "Iron Curtain" was only used for the fortified borders in central Europe; it was not used for similar borders in Asia between communist and capitalist states (these were, for a time, dubbed the Bamboo Curtain). The border between North Korea and South Korea is very comparable to the former inner German border, particularly in its degree of militarization, but it has never conventionally been considered part of the Iron Curtain.

Fall of the Iron Curtain

East German border guards look through a hole in the Berlin Wall in 1990
EasternBloc PostDissolution2008.svg

Following a period of economic and political stagnation, the Soviet Union decreased intervention in Eastern Bloc politics. Mikhail Gorbachev decreased adherence to the Brezhnev Doctrine,[43] which held that if socialism were threatened in any state then other socialist governments had an obligation to intervene to preserve it, in favor of the "Sinatra Doctrine." He also initiated the policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (economic restructuring). A wave of Revolutions occurred throughout the Eastern Bloc.[44]

Major reforms occurred in the People's Republic of Hungary in 1988.[45] In April 1989, the Solidarity organization was legalized in the People's Republic of Poland and captured 99% of available parliamentary seats.[46] In November 1989, following mass protests in East Germany and the relaxing of border restrictions in Czechoslovakia, tens of thousands of East Berliners flooded checkpoints along the Berlin Wall, crossing into West Berlin.[47] In the People's Republic of Bulgaria, the day after the mass crossings across the Berlin Wall, leader Todor Zhivkov was ousted.[48] In the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, following protests of an estimated half-million Czechs, the government permitted travel to the west and abolished provisions guaranteeing the ruling Communist party its leading role, preceding the Velvet Revolution.[49] In the Socialist Republic of Romania, the Romanian military sided with protesters and turned on Communist ruler Nicolae Ceauşescu, who was executed after a brief trial three days later.[50] In the People's Socialist Republic of Albania, a new package of regulations went into effect on 3 July 1990 entitling all Albanians over the age of 16 to own a passport for foreign travel. Meanwhile, hundreds of Albanian citizens gathered around foreign embassies to seek political asylum and flee the country.

The Berlin Wall officially remained guarded after 9 November 1989, although the inter-German border had become effectively meaningless. The official dismantling of the Wall by the East German military did not begin until June 1990. In July 1990, the day East Germany adopted the West German currency, all border controls ceased and West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl convinced Gorbachev to drop Soviet objections to a reunited Germany within NATO in return for substantial German economic aid to the Soviet Union.

Earlier uses of the term

Swedish book "Behind Russia's iron curtain" from 1923

There are various earlier usages of the term "iron curtain" (Russian: Железный занавес Zheleznyj zanaves; German: Eiserner Vorhang; Czech: Železná opona; Hungarian: Vasfüggöny; Italian: Cortina di ferro, Serbian: Гвоздена завеса Gvozdena zavesa) pre-dating Churchill. The usage of the term goes back to the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sota 38b, which refers to a "mechitza shel barzel," an iron barrier or divider: "אפילו מחיצה של ברזל אינה מפסקת בין ישראל לאביהם שבשמים" (Even an iron barrier cannot separate [the people of] Israel from their heavenly father).

Some suggest the term may have first been coined by Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians after World War I to describe the political situation between Gingers and Anti-Gingers, in 1914. Nora Buvarp Lavvik was the leader of the Gingers, Andreas Helset was her assistant.[51] The first recorded use of the term iron curtain was derived from the safety curtain used in theatres and first applied to the border of communist Russia as "an impenetrable barrier" in 1920 by Ethel Snowden, in her book Through Bolshevik Russia.[52]

The term also appears in the 1933 satirical novel England, Their England; used there to describe the way an artillery barrage protected the infantry from an enemy assault: "...the western sky was a blaze of yellow flame. The iron curtain was down."

An iron curtain, or eiserner Vorhang, was an obligatory precaution in all German theatres to prevent the possibility of fire from spreading from the stage to the rest of the theater. Such fires were rather common because the decor often was very flammable. In case of fire, a metal wall would separate the stage from the theater, secluding the flames to be extinguished by firefighters. Douglas Reed used this metaphor in his book Disgrace Abounding (Jonathan Cape, 1939, page 129): "The bitter strife [in Yugoslavia between Serb unionists and Croat federalists] had only been hidden by the iron safety-curtain of the King's dictatorship." The German Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels wrote in his weekly newspaper Das Reich of a Soviet-formed "iron curtain" that would arise because of agreements made by Stalin, Roosevelt and Winston Churchill at the Yalta Conference: "An iron curtain would fall over this enormous territory controlled by the Soviet Union, behind which nations would be slaughtered." [53][54] It was later used by Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk in the last days of the war.

The first oral intentional mention of an Iron Curtain in the Soviet context was in a broadcast by Schwerin von Krosigk to the German people on 2 May 1945: "In the East the iron curtain behind which, unseen by the eyes of the world, the work of destruction goes on, is moving steadily forward."  

The first recorded occasion on which Churchill used the term "iron curtain" was in a 12 May 1945 telegram he sent to U.S. President Harry S. Truman regarding his concern about Soviet actions, stating "[a]n iron curtain is drawn down upon their front. We do not know what is going on behind."[55] He was further concerned about "another immense flight of the German population westward as this enormous Muscovite advance towards the center of Europe."[55] Churchill concluded "then the curtain will descend again to a very large extent, if not entirely. Thus a broad land of many hundreds of miles of Russian-occupied territory will isolate us from Poland."[55][56]

Churchill repeated the words in a further telegram to President Truman on 4 June 1945, in which he protested against such a U.S. retreat to what was earlier designated as, and ultimately became, the U.S. occupation zone, saying the military withdrawal would bring "Soviet power into the heart of Western Europe and the descent of an iron curtain between us and everything to the eastward."[55]

At the Potsdam Conference, Churchill complained to Stalin about an "iron fence" coming down upon the British Mission in Bucharest.

The first American print reference to the "Iron Curtain" occurred when C.L. Sulzberger of the New York Times first used it in a dispatch published on 23 July 1945. He had heard the term used by Vladimir Macek, a Yugoslav opposition leader who had fled his homeland for Paris in May 1945. Macek told Sulzberger, "During the four years while I was interned by the Germans in Croatia I saw how the Partisans were lowering an iron curtain over Jugoslavia [Yugoslavia] so that nobody could know what went on behind it." [57]

The term was first used in the British House of Commons by Churchill on 16 August 1945 when he stated "it is not impossible that tragedy on a prodigious scale is unfolding itself behind the iron curtain which at the moment divides Europe in twain."[58]

Allen Dulles used the term in a speech on 3 December 1945, referring to only Germany, following his conclusion that "in general the Russians are acting little better than thugs", had "wiped out all the liquid assets", and refused to issue food cards to emigrating Germans, leaving them "often more dead than alive." Dulles concluded that "[a]n iron curtain has descended over the fate of these people and very likely conditions are truly terrible. The promises at Yalta to the contrary, probably 8 to 10 million people are being enslaved."


There is an Iron Curtain monument in the southern part of the Czech Republic at approximately 48°52′33″N 15°52′25″E / 48.87583°N 15.87361°E / 48.87583; 15.87361. A few hundred meters of the original fence, and one of the guard towers, has remained installed. There are interpretive signs in Czech and English that explain the history and significance of the Iron Curtain. This is the only surviving part of the fence in the Czech Republic, though several guard towers and bunkers can still be seen. Some of these are part of the Communist Era defences, some are from the never-used Czechoslovak border fortifications in defence against Hitler, and some towers were, or have become, hunting platforms.

Another monument is located in the village of Devín, now part of Bratislava, Slovakia, at the confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers.

There are several open air museums in parts of the former inner German border, as for example in Berlin and in Mödlareuth, a village that has been divided for several hundred years. The memory of the division is being kept alive in many other places along the Grenze.

Analogous terms

Throughout the Cold War the term "curtain" would become a common euphemism for boundaries, physical or ideological, between communist and capitalist states.

  • A variant of the Iron Curtain, the Bamboo Curtain, was coined in reference to the People's Republic of China. As the standoff between the West and the countries of the Iron and Bamboo curtains eased with the end of the Cold War, the term fell out of any but historical usage.
  • The short distance between Russia and the U.S state of Alaska in the Bering Sea became known as the "Ice Curtain" during the Cold War.
  • A field of cacti surrounding the U.S. Naval station at Guantanamo Bay planted by Cuba was occasionally termed the "cactus curtain".[59][60]

See also

Helmstedt-Marienborn border crossing BRD/DDR


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  2. ^ Shirer 1990, pp. 515–40
  3. ^ Shirer 1990, p. 668
  4. ^ Ericson 1999, p. 57
  5. ^ Day, Alan J.; East, Roger; Thomas, Richard. A Political and Economic Dictionary of Eastern Europe, p. 405.
  6. ^ "Stalin offered troops to stop Hitler". Press Trust of India. London: NDTV. 2008-10-19. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  7. ^ Ericson, Edward E. (1999), Feeding the German Eagle: Soviet Economic Aid to Nazi Germany, 1933–1941, Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 0275963373 
  8. ^ Shirer, William L. (1990), The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany, Simon and Schuster, ISBN 0671728687 
  9. ^ Alperovitz, Gar (1985) [1965]. Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam: The Use of the Atomic Bomb and the American Confrontation with Soviet Power. Penguin. ISBN 9780140083378. 
  10. ^ Antony Beevor Berlin: The building of the Berlin Wall, p. 80
  11. ^ Sinews of Peace
  12. ^ John Lewis Gaddis We Now Know 1997
  13. ^ Authors such as Lewkowicz have underlined the importance played by the treatment of the German Question in the division of the continent into two ideological camps. See: The German Question and the Origins of the Cold War
  14. ^ a b c Wettig 2008, p. 21
  15. ^ a b c Senn, Alfred Erich, Lithuania 1940 : revolution from above, Amsterdam, New York, Rodopi, 2007 ISBN 978-90-420-2225-6
  16. ^ Roberts 2006, p. 43
  17. ^ Kennedy-Pipe, Caroline, Stalin's Cold War, New York : Manchester University Press, 1995, ISBN 0-7190-4201-1
  18. ^ Roberts 2006, p. 55
  19. ^ Shirer 1990, p. 794
  20. ^ Wettig 2008, pp. 96-100
  21. ^ Granville, Johanna, The First Domino: International Decision Making during the Hungarian Crisis of 1956, Texas A&M University Press, 2004. ISBN 1-58544-298-4
  22. ^ Grenville 2005, pp. 370-71
  23. ^ Cook 2001, p. 17
  24. ^ Beschloss 2003, p. 277
  25. ^ a b c d e f Miller 2000, p. 16
  26. ^ Marshall, George C, The Marshal Plan Speech, 5 June 1947
  27. ^ Miller 2000, p. 10
  28. ^ Miller 2000, p. 11
  29. ^ Airbridge to Berlin, "Eye of the Storm" chapter
  30. ^ Miller 2000, p. 19
  31. ^ a b Henig 2005, p. 67
  32. ^ Department of State 1948, p. preface
  33. ^ a b Roberts 2002, p. 97
  34. ^ Department of State 1948, p. 78
  35. ^ Department of State 1948, pp. 32-77
  36. ^ Churchill 1953, pp. 512-524
  37. ^ Roberts 2002, p. 96
  38. ^ Miller 2000, pp. 25-31
  39. ^ Miller 2000, pp. 6-7
  40. ^ Böcker 1998, p. 207
  41. ^ a b c d Böcker 1998, p. 209
  42. ^ Krasnov 1985, pp. 1&126
  43. ^ Crampton 1997, p. 338
  44. ^ E. Szafarz, "The Legal Framework for Political Cooperation in Europe" in The Changing Political Structure of Europe: Aspects of International Law, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. ISBN 0-7923-1379-8. p.221.
  45. ^ Crampton 1997, p. 381
  46. ^ Crampton 1997, p. 392
  47. ^ Crampton 1997, p. 394-5
  48. ^ Crampton 1997, p. 395-6
  49. ^ Crampton 1997, p. 398
  50. ^ Crampton 1997, p. 400
  51. ^ L'Album de la Guerre - Ed. L'Illustration - Paris - 1923 - p. 33 - Queen Elisabeth to author Pierre Loti in 1915
  52. ^ Cohen, J. M. and M. J. (1996). New Penguin Dictionary of Quotations. Penguin Books. pp. 726. ISBN 0-14-051244-6. 
  53. ^ Goebbels, Joseph, ""Das Jahr 2000", Das Reich, 25 February 1945, pp. 1-2.
  54. ^ A New Look at the Iron Curtain, Ignace Feuerlicht, American Speech, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Oct., 1955), pp. 186–189.
  55. ^ a b c d Churchil, Winston S. (1962). The Second World War, Triumph and Tragedy,. Book 2, Chapter 15: Bantam. pp. 489 and 514. 
  56. ^ US Dept of State, Foreign Relations of the US, The Conference of Berlin (Potsdam) 1945, vol. 1, p. 9
  57. ^ Weintraub, Stanley, "The Last Great Victory", Truman Talley Books, New York, 1995, p. 184
  58. ^ Hansard House of Commons, c84, 16 August 1945 vol 413
  59. ^ M. E. Murphy, Rear Admiral, U. S. Navy. "The History of Guantanamo Bay 1494 -1964: Chapter 18, "Introduction of Part II, 1953 - 1964"". Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  60. ^ Yankees Besieged - TIME


  • Beschloss, Michael R (2003), The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1941-1945, Simon and Schuster, ISBN 0743260856 
  • Böcker, Anita (1998), Regulation of Migration: International Experiences, Het Spinhuis, ISBN 9055890952 
  • Churchill, Winston (1953), The Second World War, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, ISBN 0395410568 
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  • Crampton, R. J. (1997), Eastern Europe in the twentieth century and after, Routledge, ISBN 0415164222 
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  • Krasnov, Vladislav (1985), Soviet Defectors: The KGB Wanted List, Hoover Press, ISBN 0817982310 
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  • Roberts, Geoffrey (2006), Stalin's Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939–1953, Yale University Press, ISBN 0300112041 
  • Roberts, Geoffrey (2002), Stalin, the Pact with Nazi Germany, and the Origins of Postwar Soviet Diplomatic Historiography, 4 
  • Shirer, William L. (1990), The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany, Simon and Schuster, ISBN 0671728687 
  • Soviet Information Bureau (1948), Falsifiers of History (Historical Survey), Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 272848 
  • Department of State (1948), Nazi-Soviet Relations, 1939–1941: Documents from the Archives of The German Foreign Office, Department of State, 
  • Wettig, Gerhard (2008), Stalin and the Cold War in Europe, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 0742555429 

External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also iron curtain



Wikipedia has an article on:



Specialised use of iron curtain.


Iron Curtain


Iron Curtain

  1. (historical) The dividing line between western Europe and the Soviet controlled regions, especially during the Cold War.
    5 March 1946: From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an "iron curtain" has descended across the Continent. — speech by Winston Churchill


Simple English

File:Iron Curtain
Countries behind Iron Curtain are shaded red. Yugoslavia, although communist-run, was independent of the Eastern Bloc. Similarly, communist Albania broke with the Soviet Union in the early 1960s, aligning itself with the People's Republic of China after the Sino-Soviet split.

The Iron Curtain is a word related to the Cold War. It means the border between the states that were members of the Warsaw pact (in Eastern Europe), and those that were not (then called The West).

This border was between East Germany and West Germany, between Czechoslovakia and Austria, and between Hungary and Austria.

Books about Iron Curtain times in Hungary


Susanna Lapossy : Life behind the iron curtain [1] = The homepage of the book


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