The Cold War: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Cold War.

  • The Cold War was the name given to the mood of military and political tension in Europe, beginning after World War II.
  • The Berlin Wall, built in 1961, became its main symbol.

  • There was tension between the US and NATO countries, and the Soviet Union and Communist countries. NATO (North Atlantic Treaty organization) was formed in 1949 to help prevent future wars.
  • The term Cold War may have been invented by English writer George Orwell.
  • Another term used after the war was Iron Curtain, which described the invisible line between West and East Europe.
  • Berlin, in what was then East Germany, was divided into American, British, French and Russian zones. The 100 km Berlin Wall was built to divide the city into west and east.
  • In 1948 The Berlin Airlift took place to supply the people of West Berlin with supplies. Over 277,000 flights dropped over 2 million tons of goods to the residents.
  • During 1950, US Senator McCarthy tried to identify Communists in the United States. The Korean War began that same year, symbolizing the conflict between democracy and Communism.
  • The Vietnam War began in 1954, and the US fought in it from 1961 to 1973.
  • In 1955, the Soviet Union and seven communist eastern European countries (Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Albania) formed the Warsaw Pact, a defense treaty.
  • The Cuban missile crisis of 1962 was one of the main Cold War events. The Russians placed nuclear missiles on Cuba, just 90 miles from the United States, although later removed them.
  • The Cold War is said to have ended in 1990 when the Soviet Union broke apart into several smaller countries. The previous year, the Berlin Wall had been torn down.
  • Many films and television shows from the 1950s and 60s were set against the background of the Cold War. The first few James Bond films were the most well-known.

Berlin: Facts About the Capital of Germany

Here are some facts about Berlin.

  • Berlin has been the capital of Germany since 1990.
  • The city has a population of 3.5 million people, making it the largest in Germany and the 7th largest in the European Union.

  • It is well known for its museums, night life, open spaces, universities and high standard of living. About 30 percent of its area consists of parks, gardens and lakes.
  • The Berlin U-bahn is one of the largest underground systems in the world, carrying 400 million passengers every year. Many stations have striking designs, including some with a 7 metre high platform roof.
  • Berlin is said to be the only city in the world with 3 opera houses. The city also has an estimated 15 theatres and concert venues, and 2 world class zoos.
  • It is home to more than 100,000 students.
  • KaDeWe is one of the largest department stores in Europe, covering over 60,000 square metres. The food court sells over 1,200 types of sausage, ham and bacon.
  • Exploring Berlin by boat is popular as within the city there are over 180 km of navigable waterways. The city also has an estimated 1,700 bridges, far more than Venice.


  • There are 9 castles in the city, including the spectacular Schloss Charlottenburg. The 17th century palace is famous for its beautiful gardens and collection of 18th century French paintings.
  • Berlin has an estimated 6,500 cafes and restaurants, over 500 ice cream parlours and several vineyards.
  • A popular sweet treat in the city is a doughnut filled with marmalade.
  • The International Berlin Beer Festival often features over 2,000 beers from almost 100 countries. It also boasts the longest beer garden, stretching for over 2 km.Berlin is home to hundreds of film and TV production companies. Many films have been set in the city, including The Blue Angel, Funeral in Berlin and the Bourne Supremacy.
  • During World War 2 much of Berlin was destroyed in air raids from 1943-1945, and during the Battle of Berlin.
  • After the end of World War 2, Berlin was divided. East Berlin was the capital of East Germany, and West Berlin, divided from East Berlin by the Berlin Wall, was a West German territory in East Germany.
  • The Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and East and West Germany reunified in 1990.