How Enemies Became Friends

© AlliiertenMuseum/W.Chodan
Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the begin of the Airlift, June 2008.
© AlliiertenMuseum/W.Chodan
American Airlift veterans at Berlin´s Airlift Memorial after a ceremony, June 2008.

The two German states were founded soon after the end of the Berlin Blockade — the Federal Republic of Germany in May 1949 and the German Democratic Republic in October 1949. The Airlift had altered West Germans‘ and West Berliners‘ relationship with the former occupying powers, especially the USA. The US occupying power became a protecting power, and over the decades a country that came to be seen as a friend of Germany. The Americans’ solidarity and determination during the months of the blockade in 1948/49 served as a catalyst for this development.

Following the reunification of the two German states in 1990 and the withdrawal of American troops from Berlin in 1994, the two nations have recalled their shared history on days of remembrance such as the 70th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift. The Airlift reminds us of the successful collaboration between the USA and Germany after World War II and of the values that both nations share.

© Archiv AlliiertenMuseum
Farewell parade of the US Berlin Brigade in the district of Steglitz, September 1994.
© Archiv AlliiertenMuseum/US Army
Aerial view of Brandenburg Gate one day after the border crossing points had been opened, November 1989.

Go back