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Lecture 9

Lecture 9: The Long Postwar: West and East Germany, 1948-1961/68

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Jennifer Jenkins

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Lecture 9: The Long Postwar: West and East Germany, 1948-1961/68
I. Amnesia and the Economic Miracle: West Germany in the 1950s
1. The Zero Hour?
2. West German Resurrection, the Raisin Bombers, and the Basic Law
3. The Economic Miracle”
4. Christian Democracy and Social Democracy
5. An Inability to Mourn?
6. Early Commemorations
7. Germans as Victims vs. Victims of Germans
II. East Germany, 1949-1961/68
1. What Kind of State?
2. Early Violence
3. "Internal Security": the Stasi and the Berlin Wall (August, 1961)
-May 1969, West Germany, October 1949, East Germany founded
-East Germany barely lasts 40 yrs
-1989, Mikhail Gorbachec says USSR will no longer back E.Germany
-a month later E. Germany falls
-plans for reunification begin
-the "Zero Hour"
-a term given to the end of the war
-the complete surrender of Germany, fall of the Nazi party, and the suicide of
-8th of May, had mixed feelings
-deteriorating relationship between the USSR and US
-by 1947-1948 the wartime alliance comes to an end
-European Recovery Program, which helps W. Euro recover, divides the continent
in two
-plans for a long deNazification of Germany, how it would be rebuilt,
reindustrialized, as the policy shifts under US Prez. Truman, as
the world is divided in two
-and West Germany is at the frontlines
-so W. Ger must be brought back on to it's feet
-Marshall Plan, April 1948
-decision to federate the W. German state
-as by 1947, the Brits, French (1949), and US zones fuse
-1948, landmark legislation in W.G.
-currency reform, reintroduces the German mark (no longer exists, now the Euro)
-to end the extensive black market activities
-Spring 1948, German blockade
-where all of the roads, transport in to W. Berlin is stopped, since W. Berlin is right in the
middle of E.G.
-so the Allies have an airlift, to get supplies in
-now Berlin is the symbolic centre of the Cold War
-Sept. 9, Berlin Councilor Reuter, speech in front of the Reichstag
-August 1961, the Berlin Wall built
-Basic Law
-basically a constitution, but not actually called that, cause Germany was divided, and
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doing so would end the possibility of the reunification of the German nation, would anger
E.Germans as well
-rapid eco. rebuilding in both Germanies
-the "economic miracle"
-a way of coming to term with the past, was by leaving it behind through eco.
-W. G,.
-1947-1954 12 billion dollars with the Marshall Plan
-telephones, tvs, cars, beginings of computers, and all sorts of goods
-during this period that material prosperity started
-intense and maintained success
-1950, rations end
-import workers from s. Euro (Italy, Greece) and Turkey under guest
worker programs, brought into fuel the booming eco.
-thought they would not stay, work, and they go back
-European Economic Community (EEC) then the European Union (EU)
-nervousness over W. Germany rebuilding as an industrial powerhouse
-idea of Euro co-operation an untested idea
-W.G. would be rebuilt within Euro
-"mixed economy"
-and a political commitment to the welfare state
-an acceptance that the state will be involved in industries
-that certain industries will be nationalized
-belief that an unregulated commerce will bring about chaos, another 1929 crash
-so with the state as an eco. factor, with planing
-leaders of this movement are Fr. minister Monet
-in W.G. Finance Minister 1949-1963, Erheardt
-develops the "social market economy"
-as a mix between US capitalism and USSR
-eco. boom overseen by conservative gov'ts
-Konrad Adenauer, 1st chancellor in 1949 till 1963, is conservative, used to be the mayor
of Cologne
-one of the founders of Christian Democracy party (CDU), of today's Merkel
-vs. the Social Democracy party (SPD of the German labour movement
of the 19th c.)
-both still the two major parties in Germany
-spoke to rebuild politics on a moral ground
-the churches had supported national socialism, and had been silent on
the Holocaust
-so this rebirth of Christianity is not uncontroversial
-says the Nazis were atheists, just like the Commies
-lumps them together
-question of amnesia in W. Germany
-that it looked forward, to forget the Nazi past
-war was talked about extensively, the Holocaust was not till the 1960s
-it colours poli. culture in all Euro. nations, esp. Germany obviously
-an "inability to mourn"
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