During the late 1960s period of the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union began to share concerns over rising geopolitical tensions in a world ever conscious of the potential for nuclear devastation. Such concerns led to a roughly ten-year period of “détente,” where both nations sought to ease tensions through negotiations pertaining to arms control from 1969 to 1979 (Cahn 1998, 96). Though initially détente was popularly perceived as a step toward a safer and more peaceful world, a growing number of U.S. citizens condemned the program for functioning against the social and economic welfare of the nation (Zanchetta 2013). The 1974 article “What Price Détente,” found in a Congressional Record from the Arthur P. (“Skip”) Endres Papers Collection of the Center for Migration Studies, features a strong argument that sought to reveal the economic harm of the détente in order to garner support for the modification or abandonment of this foreign policy initiative.
The Cold War is defined as a period of hostility and political
tension between the Soviet Union and the United States of America from after
World War II in 1945 through 1990, when the Berlin Wall fell (Halperin and
Woods 1990). This era was certainly a trying time for world leaders, diplomats,
politicians, and the military. But how did ordinary people in Bergen County,
New Jersey handle the looming threat of Nuclear War?
Mr. Gorbachev: Let My People Go is a pamphlet held by the Centre for Migration Studies, as part of the Arthur P. Endres collection. It was published by the South Florida Conference on Soviet Jewry, a smaller entity of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation’s Community Relations Committee (Sanford and Sandberg, 1986). It details cases of Jews who attempted to receive visas to leave the Soviet Union during the Cold War, specifically from the 1960s through the 1980s (Golub 1989). Continue reading →