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The Balance of Terror

Nuclear terror

Any aggression could escalate and lead to the destruction of both sides in case of nuclear strikes.

During the Cold War, the two sides carried on a frenzied race to build and stockpile conventional and nuclear weapons, with increasingly terrifying powers of destruction. The round cinema screen on your left reminds us that the principle of nuclear deterrence was above all rooted in a reciprocal terror that had taken hold since 1945. The films on display here show how civilians and soldiers on both sides prepared themselves for a nuclear attack.

Educational films shown in schools, clips of manoeuvres in case of a nuclear attack, propaganda films … were without exception intensely frightening. Fear of the nuclear bomb had now become a deep-rooted psychosis and an unbelievable political instrument.