The Presidency: Berlin Crisis, 1961

The winds of cold-war crisis for 1961 were converging on Berlin. Russia's Nikita Khrushchev had made it plain that he intends to provoke that crisis.

In his Vienna confrontation with Khrushchev, President Kennedy insisted that there was no room for compromise on the commitments that 'the U.S. has made for the defense of West Berlin. But the Soviet Premier was even more intransigent in his demands—and, just to make certain they were understood, he handed Kennedy a 2,000-word declaration of Soviet intentions. In that memorandum, Khrushchev demanded an immediate peace treaty to...

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