After Germany’s invasion of the USSR, Stalin begin actively seeking to improve relations with capitalist powers in order to focus on the war effort against the Axis forces so made the decision to dissolve the Comintern as a gesture of goodwill towards the Western Allies.

The sensational defection of Stalin’s only surviving child made international news and four days later, at a press conference in the Plaza Hotel, she denounced the Soviet Communist regime and her father’s leadership.

In his address to the Ohio County Women’s Republican Club, McCarthy claimed to possess a list of 205 State Department employees with Communist affiliations. This assertion marked the start of what became known as McCarthyism or the Second Red Scare.

The raids were ruthless in their execution and consisted of numerous warrantless searches and arrests across 12 cities, often targeting immigrants and prominent leftist activists.

Over the following years the barbed wire and mesh barrier that was constructed overnight was gradually replaced with a virtually impregnable ring of reinforced concrete that ran 155km around West Berlin.