1948: Berlin is divided as a result of the war, a Four-Sector City. The new world order after the end of the Second World War makes Berlin a microcosm of historical developments and its population the plaything of the world powers. In just a few weeks, the political events of the day follow thick and fast. The Soviet side reacts to the Marshall Plan and the currency reform in the Western occupation zones with its own currency and, finally, with the blockade of West Berlin. It is now no longer possible to supply the city with essential goods via land and water. Only the air corridors, which have been contractually regulated since 1946, remain free. In order to avoid a direct military confrontation, the Western Allied powers (USA, Australia, Great Britain, France, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa) decide to supply West Berlin by airlift.
This results in more than 2.1 million tons of goods being flown in on almost 230,000 flights – to Tempelhof, Gatow and Tegel – during the eleven months of the blockade. More than 1,000 flight movements are handled on the Tempelhof airfield alone on Easter Sunday in 1949. That day sees all three air corridors being staggered in five heights, akin to a motorway. Former enemies work hand in hand to help Berlin in an unprecedented logistical and technical achievement. A total of 78 fatalities have been recorded by the time the Soviet military administration officially end the blockade on 12 May, 1949.