Tom Little
The Tennessean, July 25, 1961
Tom Little Collection
Vanderbilt University Special Collections
By the summer of 1961, the subject of Berlin and the division of Germany was a pressing concern for both President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev. The United States was committed to sustaining the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). The USSR was committed to holding up its interests in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Travel was not permitted between these two states, except in the city of Berlin. Berlin was also divided between East and West, but its structure as a city kept any strict border policies from being enforced. The tension between East and West, and between their Soviet or Allied supporters, escalated as more and more East German residents, fed up with a strong government and a parched economy, were moving to West Germany. By July, almost 10 000 refugees were leaving East Germany through Berlin every week.