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Cold War and Butter Battle Book

Arrow Image School Project on the Cold War

The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss is an allegory for the Cold War and the Arms Race. All the four topics of the Cold War are portrayed by the book. The Arms race can be clearly seen in the competition between the Yooks and the Zooks. When one side came up with a more advanced weapon, the other caught up and invented something even newer and more powerful. In the end, both sides had bombs and either side could drop them easily, like during the Cold War. This would destroy everything on that side. The Cold War reached a stage called “MAD”, or “Mutually Assured Destruction”. The Berlin Wall is clearly seen as the wall separating the two enemies, the Yooks and the Zooks. On the Yook side, or west side, there were posters, while on the Zook side, there were no posters, like on the real Berlin Wall. Nuclear fallout shelters can be seen in the Butter Battle Book as the Yookery and the Zookery, or the places where people were hiding during the existence of the Bitsy Big-Boy Boomeroos. Spying is vague, but it can be seen if thought about. Somehow, when the Yooks came up with new weapons, the Zooks mysteriously had the same or more advanced weapons without ever seeing the Yooks’ weapons. Spies probably passed weapon secrets and found out what the others had.
After World War 2, Germany and Berlin were divided into four parts: American, British, French, and Russian. America, France, and Britain decided to give their shares back to the German government. The Russians decided to keep their parts. The Russian sides were East Germany/Berlin, while the German Government’s sides were West Germany/Berlin. However, Berlin was in the middle of the Russian (Soviet) part, so since West Berlin offered more opportunities to the people, East Germans began to pour into West Berlin. The Soviet government saw this and decided to put a stop to it because it was ruining their economy. They got together, and came up with the idea of a wall separating West Berlin from East Germany. The Berlin Wall was put up in the night of August 13, 1961. In the morning of that Sunday, most of the first work was done: the border to West Berlin was closed (Berlin Wall Online, April 17, 2006). The East German troops had begun to set up barbed wire entanglement and fences through Berlin. The concrete elements and large square blocks were first used on August 15, 1961. Within the next months, the first stage of the Berlin Wall was built up: a wall consisting of concrete elements and square blocks (Berlin Wall Online, April 17, 2006). A second Wall was built in June 1962 in order to prevent people from escaping to the West. The first Wall was improved during the next years and it's hard to distinguish between the first and the second stage of the Wall. The first two stages were replaced by the third stage of the wall beginning about 1965. The third stage consisted of concrete slabs between steel girder and concrete posts with a concrete sewage pipe on top of the Wall (Berlin Wall Online, April 17, 2006). In year 1975, the third stage of Wall was replaced by the fourth stage. New concrete segments were used which were easy to build up and were more resistant to breakthroughs. The wall was “deactivated” (people were allowed to pass the border freely) on November 9, 1989.
Spies were a major part of the Cold War. Spies are specially trained agents employed by countries or specific people to obtain secret information. They were especially important in the Cold War because they provided countries with top secret information. Some claim that Ted Hall passing secrets to the Soviets about the atomic bomb structure saved them two to eight years (CNN interactive, April 14, 2006). Spies were aided by several gadgets that only now, and some not even now, have reached the public for mass production. There were several types of spies. A particularly remarkable tactic of Cold War espionage was the placement of dormant spies within an enemy nation or organization (CNN interactive, April 14, 2006). The spy had a normal life like any normal citizen, until activated, or instructed to start spying. One of the most successful ones was Gunter Guillaume. He entered West Germany as a refugee. Guillaume became a member of the Social Democratic Party along with his wife and fellow double-agent, Christel. They rose through the ranks and at some point Guillaume's East German handlers activated him. It's unclear whether this was before or after he became one of three personal assistants to West German Chancellor Willy Brandt (CNN interactive, April 14, 2006). Some spies were double agents, or spies for both countries. This was extremely dangerous because if they had gotten caught by either country spying against it, they would have been killed.
The Nuclear Arms race was the competitive buildup of nuclear weapons between the United States and Soviet Union (USSR) that began after the Soviets exploded their first atomic weapon on August 29, 1949 (CNN interactive, April 14, 2006), ending the U.S. nuclear monopoly. Since the US had a lack of information on Russia, it based much of its need for military innovation on the hypothesis that Russia’s military control was far greater than the US’s (World Book 2006, Page # 762). The US also thought that if Russia had more nuclear weaponry, they would be less afraid to use it, so the US thought that it should at least aim to be equal with the USSR in nuclear military control. Also, this nuclear buildup race led to the invention of a line of deadly weapons – Each overshadowing the last. The Arms Race wasn’t all bad. The advancement in technology during the Cold War was the greatest than in any other time period (Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia 2006, Technology originally used to make things such as nuclear missile control and supersonic fighters is seen in common society through personal computers, cars with global positioning systems, more reliable computer aircraft, and microwaves. Without the Arms Race, our high-tech society wouldn’t exist.
A fallout shelter is a civil defense measure intended to reduce casualties in either a nuclear war or a serious nuclear accident (Wikipedia, April 14, 2006). Nuclear fallout is radioactive dust created when a nuclear weapon explodes (Wikipedia, April 14, 2006). During Cold War times, instead of fire drills, children had “bomb drills”. Children from a school were evacuated and brought to the nearest fallout shelter. Nuclear fallout shelters were usually public and yellow signs pointed to them. However, private shelters could be made. Some people preferred to have their own places to hide. A basic fallout shelter consists of shields that reduce gamma ray exposure by a factor of 1000 (Wikipedia, April 14, 2006). The required shielding can be accomplished with 10 times the amount of any quantity of material capable of cutting gamma ray effects in half. Shields that reduce gamma ray intensity by 50% (1/2) include 1 cm (0.4 inches) of lead, 6 cm (2.4 inches) of concrete, 9 cm (3.6 inches) of packed dirt or 150 m (500 ft) of air. When multiple thicknesses are built, the shielding multiplies (Wikipedia, April 14, 2006).
Today, the Cold War is nothing more than a shadow of the past. The Berlin Wall has been almost completely removed. There are only tiny bits that can be found here and there. Germany and Berlin are united. The Russians and Americans are friends now. The Arms race now is over and billions of dollars are spent on dismantling nuclear weapons. Fallout shelters are a thing of the past. However, the warning at the end of the Butter Battle Book still remains valid today. We have to be careful with our remaining nuclear weapons because they are very dangerous. Also, for that matter, we have to be careful what we do to other countries or say, because that could cost us our country, like in the Butter Battle Book, if one dropped the bomb, the other could also, just as quickly.[img][/img][img][/img][img][/img][img][/img][img][/img][img][/img]

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