The Europe of the Cold War was relatively simple to understand. It had remained largely static for a long time. Its origins lay in the Yalta Conference of February 1945 when the ‘Big Three’ allied powers began to turn their attention from the strategy of the war to the shape of the peace. With the failure to resolve the disagreements between them and a growing suspicion of the intentions of the Soviet Union by the United States and Great Britain, the continent gradually became the focus of a bitter ideological division. Two antithetical political and social systems emerged, neatly labelled ‘east’ and ‘west’, and were codified in the Helsinki Final Act of 1975. This gave legitimacy to the de facto territorial changes that had taken place during the 1939-45 war.