‘Auntie Europe: "It's not easy living sandwiched between two very lively neighbours."' For Ernst Maria Lang, German cartoonist, friction between the Soviet Union and the United States threatens to slow down the European recovery process from 1947 onwards.
On 1 February 1949, against the backdrop of the intensification of the Cold War, British cartoonist David Low takes an ironic look at the role unwittingly played by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in uniting the European continent.
In March 1949, in the run-up to the second round of the French local elections, the French Community Party publishes a message in the Metz weekly Le Patriote mosellan calling on the people to vote in favour of the candidates who are taking a clear stand against the establishment of the Atlantic Pact.
‘Heading for the topping out ceremony’. On 24 March 1949, German cartoonist Wos illustrates the United States’ desire to establish a military alliance between the Western countries. From left to right: Dean Acheson, US Secretary of State, Ernest Bevin, British Foreign Secretary, and Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister.
US President Harry S. Truman gives an address in Washington on 4 April 1949 at the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in which he underlines the importance that the Atlantic Alliance attaches to peace and prosperity.
On 6 April 1949, British cartoonist David Low illustrates the Western countries as they wait for a possible reaction from Moscow to the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty. From left to right: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, US President Harry Truman, British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, US Secretary of State Dean Acheson and French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman.
On 9 April 1949, commenting on the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty, the French regional Communist weekly Le Patriote Mosellan deplores the dangers of this new military alliance, which it considers a war pact.
On 14 April 1949, after the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty, the French daily newspaper Le Monde reports on the impact of the Cold War on the future of a united Europe and speculates on how to ease East-West relations.
The success of the Allied airlift in May 1949 forced the Soviet Union to lift its blockade of the access routes to the Western sectors of the City of Berlin on 12 May 1949. The photo shows US pilots celebrating the success of the airlift and the announcement by Soviet forces that the blockade would be lifted.
On 25 September 1949, the French daily newspaper Le Monde considers the implications for the West of the Soviet Union's acquisition of atomic weapons and raises the issue of monitoring weapons of mass destruction.
On 20 February 1950, in the midst of the Cold War, the US services draft an internal note on the intentions and military capabilities of the Soviet Union with regard to the United States and their allies.
'Precarious pasture.’ On 25 April 1950, the German cartoonist Beuth illustrates the dangerous position of the Federal Republic of Germany, which finds itself at the centre of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.
‘Neutrality belt: Molotov: The main thing is that she passes out’. In the German weekly newspaper Rheinischer Merkur, cartoonist Party illustrates the desire of the Soviet authorities to control Europe and to remove it from the influence of the United States. On the right: Vyacheslav Mikhaylovich Molotov, Soviet Foreign Minister from 1939 to 1949 and from 1953 to 1956.
‘Hey! Hey! Pull up these useless barriers and move them up to the front! We need to set up a joint barricade!' In April 1950, the German cartoonist Bob calls on European countries to unite in order to counter the Soviet threat.
In spring 1950, acknowledging the Cold War context, Jean Monnet, Commissioner-General of the French National Planning Board, speculates on the objectives and nature of the cooperation to be established between Western Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States.
On 10 and 11 May 1970, in an interview given to journalist Georges Suffert, Jean Monnet, former Commissioner-General of the French National Planning Board, describes the role played by the Cold War in the origins of the Schuman Plan.
‘A burnt child dreads the fire.’ In December 1948, as debates are held concerning the defence of Western Europe, the German cartoonist Ernst Maria Lang illustrates the concern felt by the Germans, who, three years after the end of the Second World War, are faced with the possibility of rearmament of their country.
On 24 November 1949, the German daily newspaper Freie Presse describes the attitude of the French political class towards the establishment of closer relations with the Federal Republic of Germany, giving particular attention to the thorny question of the German rearmament.
On 10 December 1949, the German daily newspaper Hannoversche Presse criticises the discussions within the Atlantic Alliance on the possible rearmament of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and emphasises the dangers of such a policy.
‘… march in spirit with us in our ranks’. On 10 December 1949, taking inspiration from a text by the poet Bertolt Brecht on the dangers of National Socialism in Germany and the absurdity of war in his Kälbermarsch (the March of the Calves), German cartoonist Peter Leger illustrates the dangers of the Western Allies’ policy regarding a possible rearmament of the Federal Republic of Germany.
On 19 December 1949, as Robert Schuman visits Brussels, the Luxembourg daily newspaper Luxemburger Wort outlines the declarations of the French Foreign Minister on the possibility of German rearmament.
‘Konrad Greenfingers.' In the 1950s, Ernst Maria Lang, German cartoonist, emphasises the efforts of Konrad Adenauer, German Chancellor, to secure the rearmament of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG).
In May 1950, in anticipation of the forthcoming meeting between the Foreign Ministers of the Four (the United States, France, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union), an internal note from the services of the British Foreign Office sets out the position to be adopted by the British delegation on the question of German rearmament. The note also includes a draft reply to the numerous requests made by Federal Chancellor Adenauer for a security guarantee from the Western Allies for the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany.
In May 1950, the services of the British Foreign Office draft an internal note on the dangers of premature rearmament of West Germany and call on the British delegation participating in the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Four (the United States, France, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union) not to raise this question in the forthcoming debates.
‘McCloy: No Wehrmacht, but self-defence’. On 24 July 1950, in view of the threat posed by the Soviet Union, German cartoonist Beuth illustrates the importance of rearmament of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG).