30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Berlin Crisis, 1958-1962

Nov 19, 2018 | Briefing Book
The National Security Archive is publishing a set of documents to commemorate the life and achievements of Llewellyn Thompson and highlight the publication of a biography of him written by his daughters, Jenny Thompson and Sherry Thompson (The Kremlinologist: Llewellyn E Thompson, America's Man in Cold War Moscow (Johns Hopkins Nuclear History and Contemporary Affairs, 2018).  The posting contains never before published translations of Russian memcons with Khrushchev and Thompson’s cables from Moscow. 

Aug 12, 2011 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 12, 2011 - Fifty years ago, when leaders of the former East Germany (German Democratic Republic) implemented their dramatic decision to seal off East Berlin from the western part of the city, senior Kennedy administration officials publicly condemned them. Nevertheless, those same officials, including Secretary of State Dean Rusk, secretly saw the Wall as potentially contributing to the stability of East Germany and thereby easing the festering crisis over West Berlin. Indeed, U.S.

Apr 7, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 7, 2010 - In a response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the Pentagon claims that "Poodle Blanket" contingency plans from 1961 for a possible confrontation over West Berlin (no longer divided) with the Soviet Union (no longer a country) still need to be secret for fear of damage to current U.S. national security, according to documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).

Sep 25, 2001 | Briefing Book
In stark contrast to the close U.S.-Russian relationship of today, forty years ago serious tensions over Berlin and Germany and the danger of world war clouded Moscow-Washington relations. Fred Kaplan's article in the October 2001 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, "JFK's First Strike Plan," shows that key White House officials and the President himself briefly considered proposals for a limited nuclear first strike against Soviet military targets in the event that the Berlin crisis turned violent.