Mikhail Gorbachev - USSR
Mikhail Gorbachev was instrumental in the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the cold war.

Berlin wall built
"The Anti Fascist Protection Barrier".

the berlin wall
The Berlin wall was used as a canvas for many artists.

Allied Control Council of Germany

Allied Control Council of Germany

Allied administrative body established to govern post–World War II Germany

Almost a year before the end of the Second World War, the September 12, 1944, the so-called European Advisory Commission, made up of Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States signed the London Protocol which was established the division of Germany into occupation zones in an area of Berlin. This represented an area of almost 880 square kilometres, with a population of 5,300,000 inhabitants.

The Division of Berlin

After the war was over, Greater Berlin was divided into two sectors: the west occupied by Americans, Britons and Frenchmen with 480 square kilometres and 2.2 million inhabitants, and the Soviet, with 400 square kilometres and 1,100,000 inhabitants.

The Allied Control Council was set up by the three World War II allies, the Soviet Union, the United States, Great Britain and Later in 1945, France was also added to the council. The first meeting of the council was on June 5th 1945 in Berlin though it was not officially inducted on 30 August 1945.

The idea was for the council to be the administrative power over the territories formerly occupied by German forces including Germany itself co-headed initially by the Allied military commanders and supported by various sub-administrative departments.

Internal Council bickering

The council though initially started with the best of intentions and hopes eventually became dogged by efficiency issues and its four members’ disagreements. All major decisions had to be unanimously agreed and each of the four members held veto powers which left decision making near impossible as the interests of the various parties were rarely in line.

Having been hampered by internal struggle since day one over reforms, the Allied Control Council of Germany had become an unfeasible exercise by 1949 despite attempts by the USA to reform the council in 1948.

The disillusion of the council

The council was first abandoned by Soviet Marshall Vasily Sokolovsky on 20 March 1948, a step which had been considered by all of the other members but neither wanting to be the first to do make the decision. The issue of currency reforms had been the straw that broke the camel’s back and Soviet forces initiated a blockade of West Berlin, obstructing land and water routes to the areas occupied by the US, France and Britain rather than discuss its objections with the council.

Though the Allied Control Council continued to exist in theory for long after this event this was only because none of the four member nations officially cancelled their membership but in reality the council held no real authority.

There have been various unsuccessful attempts to resuscitate the council in over the years until 1990 when treaties between the four member states along with East and West Germany terminated allied control.

Since 1999 there has been an overall easing of relations between the four member states but the interests of those nations has sometimes led to frosty diplomatic relations.