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Agents People who act on behalf of someone or an organisation; see spy
Anti-Communist Against Communism
Atomic bomb A deadly weapon made from splitting the atom that emits dangerous levels of radiation


Berlin Wall The wall that separated East from West from 1961-1989
Betrayal Acting against one's country
Blockade A system to prevent goods or people from entering or leaving a country
Brigade A particular military formation of soldiers
Bunker An underground military construction to protect people or goods


Capitalism Economic and social system that supports private ownership of businesses and properties, and free trade
Central Intelligence Agency An American intelligence organisation responsible for the country's security interests aboard
Checkpoint Charlie Crossing point in Berlin from the American sector of the city into the Soviet zone, later GDR
CIA see Central Intelligence Agency
Clandestine An action carried out secretly
Communism Belief in a system or society with equal class structure
Concentration camp A camp where someone is detained under harsh or brutal conditions, usually associated with Nazi Germany (1933-1945)
Coup (or coup d'├ętat) When a government or leader is overthrown


Defection Going over to the enemy's side
Democracy A free country with elected government and politicians
Deterrent Something to prevent action by the enemy
Dictatorship A country ruled by an unelected leader with no freedom for the people
Diplomacy Political relationship between countries
Dollar American currency
Deutschmark The former currency used in West Germany


Eastern Bloc A group of Communist countries in Eastern Europe
Economics The way money, industry and trade is organised
Embassy A diplomatic office in a foreign country to represent a country's own nationals in matters abroad
Espionage The act of spying




Glasnost A more open policy (in the Soviet Union)
GDR German Democratic Republic


Hard-line A tough approach


Ideology A belief system
Infrastructure Basic systems such as water supplies, energy/power and transport that enable a country to function
INF Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty
Intelligence Corps A British organisation that keeps the military secure and gathers information for security reasons
ballistic missile
A powerful weapon capable from flying from one continent to another
Interrogation Questioning someone
Iron Curtain An ideological barrier between East and West in the Cold War


Journalist A newspaper reporter






MAD Mutually Assured Destruction
Manhattan Project A research centre in the United States that produced the first atomic bombs
Marshall Aid An American plan to offer financial aid to help struggling economies grow after the Second World War
Military Liaison Missions Military organisations of a country that liaise with each other
MI5 British intelligence organisation responsible for security at home
MI6 British intelligence organisation responsible for security abroad


NASA National Aeronautical and Space Administration (USA)
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organisation


One-party state A country with only one political group, governed by a dictator


Perestroika Economic restructuring (in Soviet Union)
Prison A place to keep someone in custody




Radiation energy that comes from a nuclear reaction that kills everything within range
Rebel A person who acts against authority or a system
Reparations Payment of damages/money to a nation, usually after a war, for causing that war and suffering
Reunification A once-divided county becomes one country again
Revolution An uprising against a government or political system


Sachsenhausen Concentration camp north of Berlin
Sanctions Punishment for a country in response to it breaking international law
Satellite states Smaller countries that aligned themselves with the Soviets in the Cold War
SAL Strategic Arms Limitation
Spy Someone who secretly works for a government security service who collects information on the enemy or another country
Stasi German secret police in the GDR
Stockpile To amass supplies of something, e.g. food, weapons, etc
Supersonic Faster than the speed of sound


Teleprinter A machine to send out typed messages
Traitor Someone who betrays their country


USA United States of America
USSR Union of Soviet Socialist Republics


V1 A flying bomb designed and launched by Germany in the Second World War
V2 The first long-range missile, a deadly weapon designed and launched by Germany in the Second World War
Visa A special permit or document to enter a foreign country