David H. Childs


David H. Childs

David H. Childs (born 1933 in Bolton, Lancashire, England) is an Emeritus Professor whose considerable contribution to the advancement of German studies has equipped academics, business leaders, government ministers and students develop a greater knowledge of Germany (former East - GDR, & West - FRG) and the politics behind the country.

The Fall of the German Democratic Republic:

With the 20th Anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the GDR (November 1989) fast approaching, it is perhaps significant that Professor Childs was one of the few that actually predicted this outcome. Few shared his standpoint on this.

After several visits in the late 1970s and early 1980s Professor Childs concluded that, the East German state, the DDR (GDR), was not sustainable. He made such a prediction at a conference at Dundee University in 1981. As Professor Marianne Howarth later found in the East German archives, a secret report on this was duly sent back to East Berlin.

The Stasi attempted to monitor his activities not only on visits to East Germany but also in Britain. His appearance at a conference in Bradford in 1983 was again duly recorded in the Stasi archives. He was put on a Stasi Fahndung [investigation] list and denounced in DDR publications as a 'British imperialist East researcher'.

Professor Childs delivered the same 'Dundee' analysis at the German Historical Institute in London, 24 November 1987, and elsewhere. When he spoke at the Pacific Workshop On German Affairs: The Two Germanies at Forty, - Long Beach, California, in 1989, about the likely collapse of the DDR, he met with strong opposition. However, the organiser, Professor Christian Soe, invited him back, after German reunification, in 1991, writing, 'We are happy that David Childs, who in April of 1989 took a minority position in clearly diagnosing the moribund condition of the East German system, returns to give us a post mortem…' In an article written the day before the Berlin Wall was opened, and published in the Yorkshire Evening Post, 9 November 2008, Professor Childs predicted full German reunification and welcomed it. The following day The Guardian wrote, 'It would mean that a dangerous situation in the heart of Europe has been liquidated…'

British Political History

A prominent commentator on British Political History too, Professor Childs' wide knowledge of both domestic and international affairs has been utilised by both government and commercial organisations such as: The BBC, Sky News, The Independent, The Times, MoD, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Royal Institute of International Affairs and an array of City firms.

David Childs, Emeritus Professor of Politics, University of Nottingham, is a prolific writer on a wide variety of subjects and lectures internationally.


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