51:14 | History

The Cold War Story

The End of History?  |  Episode 2  |  The History Channel

The bipolar struggle between the US and USSR continues and reaches its peak in the 1970s. In Europe, both superpowers respect their opponents' spheres of influence without ever admitting that they exist. The Cold War brings about a frozen balance of power, symbolised since 1961 by the divided city of Berlin. In other parts of the world, the ideological conflict unfolds on much more violent lines, just like in Vietnam, with deadly struggles claiming tens of thousands of victims. This episode also addresses the effects of the Vietnam War when mass demonstrations for peace and brotherhood emerge in the US and spread over to Germany creating one of the biggest peace movements in our history. It also presents the dark sides of both the eastern and the western political systems. On the one hand dissidents and free minds who are incarcerated and who must fear for their lives, on the other hand proponents of a more socialist world in the West who are massively discriminated against in their jobs and daily lives. Explore the final stage of the Cold War and the reasons for its ending. Promises made by wealthy Western consumer companies, their seemingly endless supply of goods, products and services also affect people in the East. In the end, it is above all an economic necessity for the Soviet Union to put an end to their sinfully expensive arms race with the USA. The domestic apparatus of oppression, so feared in the decades before, becomes less intimidating to people in the Eastern Bloc. With the fall of the Berlin Wall the decades-long struggle for ideological supremacy and political power in the world is over, the Soviet Union collapses shortly thereafter. In those days, many people see the end of the Cold War as the end of history as such, and the success of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.

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