- History of Germany since 1945
As a consequence of
Germany's defeat in World War IIand the onset of the Cold War, the country was split between the two global blocs in the East and West. Germany would not be reunited until 1990.
The division of Germany
Four occupation zones
Oder-Neisse Line(click to enlarge)]
Potsdam Conferencein August 1945, after Germany's unconditional surrenderon 8 May 1945, the Allies divided Germany into four military occupation zones – French in the southwest, British in the northwest, United Statesin the south, and Soviet in the east. The former (1919–1937) German provinces east of the Oder-Neisse line( East Prussia, Eastern Pomeraniaand Silesia) were granted to Poland, effectively shifting the country westward. Roughly 15 million ethnic Germans suffered terrible hardships in the years 1944 to 1947 during the flight and expulsion from the eastern German territories and the Sudetenland. [http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.cgi?path=260621074909720]
Of the roughly 12.4 million Germans who in 1944 were living in territory that following the dismembering of Germany would become part of post-war Poland, an estimated 6 million fled or were evacuated before the advance of the
Red Army. Of the remainder up to 1.1 million died, 3.6 million were expelled by the Poles, one million were designated as Poles, and 300,000 remained. [http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.cgi?path=260621074909720] Thousands starved and froze to death while being expelled in slow and ill-equipped trains. [http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.cgi?path=260621074909720] The part of East Prussiaaround Königsbergwas annexed by Soviet Union. The ongoing expulsion of Germans from Polandand Soviet Union, from the Sudetenland, and from Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Romania, was authorized by the Allies in Potsdam, but the countries were urged to stop the expulsions at that particular moment due to the strain the exhausted refugees put on available resources in Germany.
Many of the remaining Germans, mainly women and children, were subject to severe acts of mistreatment, until finally deported to Germany in the 1950s. They were forced to wear identifying armbands and thousands died in forced labor camps such as
Lambinowice, Zgoda labour camp, Central Labour Camp Potulice, Central Labour Camp Jaworzno, Glaz, Milecin, Gronowo, and Sikawa. [http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.cgi?path=198721097755610] In addition, 2–2.5 million died as a result of ill-organised German evacuation, bombing, sinking of refugee ships, of hunger and deprivation during long marches in bitter cold, in the expulsion trains, in resettlement camps, or murdered by rampaging troops or populace. Another 165,000 were transported by the Soviets to Siberia.
The intended governing body of Germany was called the
Allied Control Council. The commanders-in-chief exercised supreme authority in their respective zones and acted in concert on questions affecting the whole country. Berlin, which lay in the Soviet (eastern) sector, was also divided into four sectors with the Western sectors later becoming West Berlinand the Soviet sector becoming East Berlin, capital of East Germany.
A key item in the occupiers' agenda was
denazification; toward this end, the swastikaand other outward symbols of the Nazi regime were banned, and a Provisional Civil Ensign was established as a temporary German flag; the latter remained the official flag of the country (necessary for reasons of international lawas German ships had to carry some sort of identifying marker) until East Germany and West Germany (see below) came into existence, separately, in 1949.The United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union had agreed at Potsdamto a broad program of decentralization, treating Germany as a single economic unit with some central administrative departments. These plans broke down in 1948 with the emergence of the Cold War.
In order to impress the German people with the Allied opinion of them, a strict non-fraternization policy was adhered to by
General Eisenhowerand the War department. However, thanks to pressure from the State Department and individual US congressmen this policy was eventually lifted in stages. In June 1945 the prohibition against speaking with German children was made less strict. In July it became possible to speak to German adults in certain circumstances. In September 1945 the whole policy was completely dropped in Austria and Germany. Only the prohibition on marriage between Americans and German or Austrian civilians remained for some time. [Perry Biddiscombe "Dangerous Liaisons: The Anti-Fraternization Movement in the U.S. Occupation Zones of Germany and Austria, 1945–1948", Journal of Social History 34.3 (2001) p. 619]
Industrial disarmament in western Germany
The initial proposal for the post-surrender policy of the Western powers, the so-called
Morgenthau Planproposed by Henry Morgenthau, Jr., was one of "pastoralization". [Cite web
url = http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/psf/box31/a297a01.html
title = Memo entitled "Suggested Post-Surrender Program for Germany", signed Henry Morgenthau Jr.| accessdate = 2007-01-21
author = Henry Morgenthau, Jr. | authorlink = Henry Morgenthau, Jr.
date = memo initialed by Roosevelt in September 1944
work = President's Secretary's Files (PSF), German Diplomatic Files, Jan.–Sept. 1944 (i297)
publisher = Franklin D. Roosevelt Digital Archives
quote = It should be the aim of the Allied Forces to accomplish the complete demilitarization of Germany in the shortest possible period of time after surrender. This means completely disarming the German Army and people (including the removal or destruction of all war material), the total destruction of the whole German armament industry, and the removal or destruction of other key industries which are basic to military strength.
[. . .]Within a short period, if possible not longer than 6 months after the cessation of hostilities, all industrial plants and equipment not destroyed by military action shall either be completely dismantled and removed from the [Ruhr]area or completely destroyed. All equipment shall be removed from the mines and the mines shall be thoroughly wrecked. ] The Morgenthau Plan, though subsequently ostensibly shelved due to public opposition, influenced occupation policy; most notably through the U.S. punitive occupation directive JCS 1067[Michael R. Beschloss, "The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1941–1945", pg. 233] [Vladimir Petrov, "Money and conquest; allied occupation currencies in World War II". Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Press (1967) pg. 228–229] and The industrial plans for Germany[Frederick H. Gareau "Morgenthau's Plan for Industrial Disarmament in Germany" The Western Political Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Jun., 1961), pp. 517–534] [http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/marshall/large/documents/index.php?pagenumber=8&documentid=22&documentdate=1947-03-24&studycollectionid=mp&nav=OK] [http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/marshall/large/documents/index.php?pagenumber=14&documentid=22&documentdate=1947-03-24&studycollectionid=mp&nav=OK] .
'The ”'Level of Industry plans for Germany” were the plans to lower German industrial potential after
World War II. At the Potsdam conference, with the U.S. operating under influence of the Morgenthau plan [Frederick H. Gareau "Morgenthau's Plan for Industrial Disarmament in Germany" The Western Political Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Jun., 1961), pp. 517–534] , the victorious Allies decided to abolish the German armed forces as well as all munitions factories and civilian industries that could support them. This included the destruction of all ship and aircraft manufacturing capability. Further, it was decided that civilian industries which might have a military potential, which in the modern era of "total war" included virtually all, were to be severely restricted. The restriction of the latter was set to Germany's "approved peacetime needs", which were defined to be set on the average European standard. In order to achieve this, each type of industry was subsequently reviewed to see how many factories Germany required under these minimum level of industry requirements.
The first plan, from 29 March 1946, stated that German heavy industry was to be lowered to 50% of its 1938 levels by the destruction of 1,500 listed
manufacturing plants. [Henry C. Wallich. "Mainsprings of the German Revival" (1955) pg. 348.] In January 1946 the Allied Control Councilset the foundation of the future German economy by putting a cap on German steel production—the maximum allowed was set at about 5,800,000 tons of steel a year, equivalent to 25% of the prewar production level. [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,934360,00.html "Cornerstone of Steel"] , " Time Magazine", January 21, 1946] The UK, in whose occupation zone most of the steel production was located, had argued for a more limited capacity reduction by placing the production ceiling at 12 million tons of steel per year, but had to submit to the will of the U.S., France and the Soviet Union (which had argued for a 3 million ton limit). Germany was to be reduced to the standard of life it had known at the height of the Great Depression(1932). [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,852764,00.html Cost of Defeat] , " Time Magazine", 8 April 1946] Car production was set to 10% of prewar levels, etc. [ [http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/marshall/large/documents/index.php?pagenumber=10&documentid=22&documentdate=1947-03-24&studycollectionid=mp&nav=OK The President's Economic Mission to Germany and Austria, Report 3] Herbert Hoover, March, 1947 pg. 8]
On 2 February 1946, a dispatch from Berlin reported:
cquote| Some progress has been made in converting Germany to an agricultural and light industry economy, said Brigadier General
William Henry Draper Jr., chief of the American Economics Division, who emphasized that there was general agreement on that plan.
He explained that Germany’s future industrial and economic pattern was being drawn for a population of 66,500,000. On that basis, he said, the nation will need large imports of food and raw materials to maintain a minimum
standard of living.
General agreement, he continued, had been reached on the types of German exports —
coal, coke, electrical equipment, leathergoods, beer, wines, spirits, toys, musical instruments, textiles and apparel — to take the place of the heavy industrial products which formed most of Germany's pre-war exports. [ James Stewart Martin. "All Honorable Men" (1950) pg. 191.]
The first plan was subsequently followed by a number of new ones, the last signed in 1949. By 1950, after the virtual completion of the by the then much watered-out plans, equipment had been removed from 706
manufacturing plantsin the west and steel production capacity had been reduced by 6,700,000 tons. [Frederick H. Gareau "Morgenthau's Plan for Industrial Disarmament in Germany" The Western Political Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Jun., 1961), pp. 517–534]
Timber exports from the U.S. occupation zone were particularly heavy. Sources in the U.S. government stated that the purpose of this was the "ultimate destruction of the war potential of German forests."Nicholas Balabkins, "Germany Under Direct Controls; Economic Aspects Of Industrial Disarmament 1945–1948, Rutgers University Press, 1964. p. 119. The two quotes used by Balabkins are referenced to respectively; U.S. office of Military Government, "A Year of Potsdam: The German Economy Since the Surrender" (1946), p.70; and U.S. Office of Military Government, "The German Forest Resources Survey" (1948), p. II. For similar observations Balabkins also directs the reader in the footnotes to G.W. Harmssen, "Reparationen, Sozialproduct, Lebensstandard" (Bremen: F. Trujen Verlag, 1948), I, 48.] As a consequence of the practiced clear-felling extensive deforestation resulted which could "be replaced only by long forestry development over perhaps a century."
With the beginning of the Cold war, the U.S. policy gradually changed as it became evident that a return to operation of West German industry was needed not only for the restoration of the whole European economy, but also for the rearmament of West Germany as an ally against the Soviet Union. They feared that the poverty and hunger would drive the West Germans to
Communism. General Lucius Claystated "There is no choice between being a communist on 1,500 calories a day and a believer in democracy on a thousand".
In 6 September 1946
United States Secretary of State, James F. Byrnesmade the famous speech Restatement of Policy on Germany, also known as the Stuttgart speech, where he amongst other things repudiated the Morgenthau plan-influenced policies and gave the West Germans hope for the future.
Reports such as
The President's Economic Mission to Germany and Austriahelped to show the U.S. public how bad the situation in Germany really was.
The next improvement came in July 1947, when after lobbying by the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Generals Clay and Marshall, the Truman administration finally realized that economic recovery in Europe could not go forward without the reconstruction of the German industrial base on which it had previously had been dependent. [ [http://www.usip.org/pubs/peaceworks/pwks49.pdf Ray Salvatore Jennings "The Road Ahead: Lessons in Nation Building from Japan, Germany, and Afghanistan for Postwar Iraq] May 2003, Peaceworks No. 49 pg.15] In July 1947, President Harry S. Trumanrescinded on "national security grounds" [ [http://www.usip.org/pubs/peaceworks/pwks49.pdf Ray Salvatore Jennings “The Road Ahead: Lessons in Nation Building from Japan, Germany, and Afghanistan for Postwar Iraq] May 2003, Peaceworks No. 49 pg.15] the punitive occupation directive JCS 1067, which had directed the U.S. forces in Germany to "take no steps looking toward the economic rehabilitation of Germany." It was replaced by JCS 1779, which instead stressed that " [a] n orderly, prosperous Europe requires the economic contributions of a stable and productive Germany." [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,887417,00.html Pas de Pagaille!] Time MagazineJuly 28, 1947.]
The dismantling did however continue, and in 1949 West German Chancellor
Konrad Adenauerwrote to the Allies requesting that it end, citing the inherent contradiction between encouraging industrial growth and removing factories and also the unpopularity of the policy. [Dennis L. Bark and David R. Gress. "A history of West Germany vol 1: from shadow to substance" (Oxford 1989) p259] (See also [http://www.ena.lu?lang=2&doc=465 Adenauers original letter to Schuman] , [http://www.ena.lu?lang=2&doc=16822 Ernest Bevins letter to Robert Schuman urging a reconsideration of the dismantling policy] .) [http://www.wdr.de/themen/politik/deutschland/wiederaufbau/chronik/infobox/html.php?block=3&artnr=6&blockoff=3&bf=1] [http://www.thyssenkrupp.com/en/konzern/geschichte_chronik_t1949.html] Support for dismantling was by this time coming predominantly from the French, and the Petersberg Agreementof November 1949 reduced the levels vastly, though dismantling of minor factories continued until 1951. [Dennis L. Bark and David R. Gress. "A history of West Germany vol 1: from shadow to substance" (Oxford 1989) p260] The final limitations on German industrial levels were lifted after the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Communityin 1951, though arms manufacture remained prohibited. [Dennis L. Bark and David R. Gress. "A history of West Germany vol 1: from shadow to substance" (Oxford 1989) pp. 270–71]
Monnet Plan, France — intent on ensuring that Germany would never again have the strength to threaten it — had beginning in 1945 attempted to gain economic control of the remaining German industrial areas with large coal and mineral deposits; the Rhineland, the Ruhr areaand the Saar area(Germany's second largest center of mining and industry, Upper Silesia, had been handed over by the Allies to Poland for occupation at the Potsdam conferenceand the German population was being forcibly expelled) (see also [http://www.ena.lu?lang=2&doc=6584 French proposal regarding the detachment of German industrial regions] 8 September 1945). The Ruhr Agreementhad been imposed on the Germans as a condition for permitting them to establish the Federal Republic of Germany. [Amos Yoder, "The Ruhr Authority and the German Problem", The Review of Politics, Vol. 17, No. 3 (Jul., 1955), pp. 345–358] (see also the International Authority for the Ruhr(IAR)). French attempts to gain political control of or permanently internationalize the Ruhr were abandoned in 1951 with the West German agreement to pool its coal and steel resources in return for full political control over the Ruhr (see European Coal and Steel Community). With French economic security guaranteed through access to Ruhr coal now permanently ensured France was satisfied. The French attempt to gain economic control over the Saar was temporarily even more successful.
In the speech
Restatement of Policy on Germany, held in Stuttgart on 6 September 1946, the United States Secretary of State James F. Byrnesstated the U.S. motive in detaching the Saar from Germany as "The United States does not feel that it can deny to France, which has been invaded three times by Germany in 70 years, its claim to the Saar territory". The Saarland came under French administration in 1947 as the Saar protectorate; but did return to Germany in January 1957 (following a referendum), with economic reintegration with Germany occurring a few years later.
Although not a party to the Potsdam conference where the policy of industrial disarmament had been set, as a member of the
Allied Control CouncilFrance came to champion this policy since it ensured a weak Germany.
In time the U.S. also came to the conclusion that West Germany should be, carefully, rearmed as a resource in the cold war. In 31 August 1954 the French parliament voted down the treaty that would have established the
European Defense Community, a treaty they themselves had proposed in 1950 as a means to contain German revival. The U.S. who wanted to rearm West Germany was furious at the failure of the treaty, but France had come to see the alliance as not in their best interests.
France had instead focused on another treaty also under development. In May 1950 France had proposed the
European Coal and Steel Communitywith the purpose of ensuring French economic security by perpetuating access to German Ruhr coal, but also to show to the U.S. and the UK that France could come up with constructive solutions, as well as to pacify Germany by making it part of an international project.
Germany was eventually allowed to rearm, but under the auspices of the
Western European Union, and later NATO.
Dismantling in East Germany
The Soviet Union engaged in a massive dismantling campaign in its occupation zone, much more intensive than that effected by the Western powers. It was realized that this alienated the German workers from the communist cause, but it was decided that the desperate economic situation in the Soviet Union took priority to alliance building.This was the beginning of the split of Germany.Fact|date=June 2007
Marshall plan and currency reform
With the Western Allies eventually becoming concerned about the deteriorating economic situation in their "
Trizone"; the American Marshall Planof economic aid was extended to Western Germany in 1948 and a currency reform, which had been prohibited under the previous occupation directive JCS 1067, introduced the Deutsche Markand halted rampant inflation. Though the Marshall Plan is regarded as playing a key psychological role in the West German recovery, other factors were also significant. [cite web | url = http://www.germany.info/relaunch/culture/history/marshall.html
title=Marshall Plan 1947–1997 A German View|accessdate = 2007-05-03 | last = Stern | first = Susan| year = 2001, 2007 | work = Germany Info| publisher=German Embassy's Department for Press, Information and Public Affairs, Washington D.C| quote=There is another reason for the Plan's continued vitality. It has transcended reality and become a myth. To this day, a truly astonishing number of Germans (and almost all advanced high school students) have an idea what the Marshall Plan was, although their idea is very often very inaccurate. [. . .] Many Germans believe that the Marshall Plan was alone responsible for the economic miracle of the Fifties. And when scholars come along and explain that reality was far more complex, they are skeptical and disappointed. They should not be. For the Marshall Plan certainly did play a key role in Germany's recovery, albeit perhaps more of a psychological than a purely economic one.] Libertarians, particularly, stress the role of Erhard's economic policies, and point out to the detraction of the monetary significance of the Marshall plan that besides simultaneously demanding large reparations payments "the Allies charged the Germans DM7.2 billion annually ($2.4 billion) for their costs of occupying Germany". [cite web
url = http://www.econlib.org/library/enc/GermanEconomicMiracle.html| title=German Economic "Miracle"
accessdate = 2007-05-03 | last = Henderson | first = David R.
year = 1993, 2002 | work = The Concise Encyclopaedia of Economics| publisher = The Library of Economics and Liberty | quote = This account has not mentioned the Marshall Plan. Can't the German revival be attributed mainly to that? The answer is no. The reason is simple: Marshall Plan aid to Germany was not that large. Cumulative aid from the Marshall Plan and other aid programs totaled only $2 billion through October 1954. Even in 1948 and 1949, when aid was at its peak, Marshall Plan aid was less than 5 percent of German national income. Other countries that received substantial Marshall Plan aid had lower growth than Germany. Moreover, while Germany was receiving aid, it was also making reparations and restitution payments that were well over $1 billion. Finally, and most important, the Allies charged the Germans DM7.2 billion annually ($2.4 billion) for their costs of occupying Germany.]
The Soviets had not agreed to the
currencyreform; in March 1948 they withdrew from the four-power governing bodies, and in June 1948 they initiated the Berlin blockade, blocking all ground transport routes between Western Germany and West Berlin. The Western Allies replied with a continuous airlift of supplies to the western half of the city. The Soviets ended the blockade after 11 months.
Reparations to the U.S.
The Allies confiscated intellectual property of great value, all German patents, both in Germany and abroad, and used them to strengthen their own industrial competitiveness by licensing them to Allied companies. [C. Lester Walker [http://www.scientistsandfriends.com/files/secrets.doc "Secrets By The Thousands"] ,
Harper's Magazine. October 1946] Beginning immediately after the German surrender and continuing for the next two years the U.S.pursued a vigorous program to harvest all technological and scientific know-how as well as all patents in Germany. John Gimbel comes to the conclusion, in his book "Science Technology and Reparations: Exploitation and Plunder in Postwar Germany", that the "intellectual reparations" taken by the U.S. and the UKamounted to close to $10 billion. [Norman M. Naimark The Russians in Germany pg. 206. (Naimark refers to Gimbels book)] [ The $10 billion compares to the U.S. annual GDP of $258 billion in 1948.] [The $10 billion compares to the total Marshall plan expenditure (1948–1952) of $13 billion, of which Germany received $1,4 billion (partly as loans).] During the more than two years that this policy was in place, no industrial research in Germany could take place, as any results would have been automatically available to overseas competitors who were encouraged by the occupation authorities to access all records and facilities. Meanwhile thousands of the best German researchers were being put to work in the Soviet Unionand in the U.S.(see also Operation Paperclip)
Nutritional levels and famine
For several years following the surrender German nutritional levels were very low, resulting in very high mortality rates. Throughout all of 1945 the U.S. forces of occupation ensured that no international aid reached ethnic Germans. [Steven Bela Vardy and T. Hunt Tooley, eds. "Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe" ISBN 0-88033-995-0. subsection by Richard Dominic Wiggers, “The United States and the Refusal to Feed German Civilians after World War II” pg. 281] It was directed that all relief went to non-German
displaced persons, liberated Allied POWs, and concentration campinmates. [Richard Dominic Wiggers pg. 281–282] During 1945 it was estimated that the average German civilian in the U.S.and U.Koccupation zones received 1200 calories a day. [Richard Dominic Wiggers pg. 280] Meanwhile non-German Displaced Personswere receiving 2300 calories through emergency food imports and Red Cross help. [Richard Dominic Wiggers pg. 279] In early October 1945 the U.K.government privately acknowledged in a cabinet meeting that German civilian adult death rates had risen to 4 times the pre-war levels and death rates amongst the German children had risen by 10 times the pre-war levels. [Richard Dominic Wiggers pg. 280] The German Red Crosswas dissolved, and the International Red Cross and the few other allowed international relief agencies were kept from helping Germans through strict controls on supplies and on travel. [Richard Dominic Wiggers pg. 281–282] The few agencies permitted to help Germans, such as the indigenous Caritas Verband, were not allowed to use imported supplies. When the Vatican attempted to transmit food supplies from Chile to German infants the U.S. State Departmentforbade it. [Richard Dominic Wiggers pg. 281] The German food situation became worst during the very cold winter of 1946–1947 when German calorie intake ranged from 1,000–1,500 calories per day, a situation made worse by severe lack of fuel for heating. [Richard Dominic Wiggers p. 244] Meanwhile the Allies were well fed, average adult calorie intake was; U.S. 3200–3300; UK 2900; U.S. Army 4000. [Richard Dominic Wiggers p. 285] German infant mortality rate was twice that of other nations in Western Europe until the close of 1948. [Richard Dominic Wiggers pg. 286]
Forced labor reparations
As agreed by the Allies at the
Yalta conferenceGermans were used as forced laboras part of the reparations to be extracted . By 1947 it is estimated that 4,000,000 Germans (both civilians and POWs) were being used as forced labor by the U.S., France, the UK and the Soviet Union. (see also Eisenhower and German POWs) German prisoners were for example forced to clear minefields in France and the low countries. By December 1945 it was estimated by French authorities that 2,000 German prisoners were being killed or injured each month in accidents. [ S. P. MacKenzie "The Treatment of Prisoners of War in World War II" The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 66, No. 3. (Sep., 1994), pp. 487–520.] In Norway the last available casualty record, from 29 August 1945, shows that by that time a total of 275 German soldiers died while clearing mines, while 392 had been injured. [cite web
url = http://www.vg.no/pub/vgart.hbs?artid=166207| title=Tyske soldater brukt som mineryddere (Translation from Norwegian: German soldiers used for mine-clearing)
accessdate = 2007-06-02 | last = Tjersland | first = Jonas
year = 2006-04-08 | publisher = VG Nett] Death rates for the German civilians doing forced labor in the Soviet Union ranged between 19% and 39%, depending on category.
The social effects of rape
Norman Naimarkwrites in "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945–1949" that although the exact number of women and girlswho were raped by members of the Red Armyin the months preceding and years following the capitulation will never be known, their numbers are likely in the hundreds of thousands, quite possibly as high as the 2,000,000 victims estimate made by Barbara Johr, in "Befreier und Befreite". Many of these victims were raped repeatedly. Naimark states that not only had each victim to carry the trauma with her for the rest of her days, it inflicted a massive collective trauma on the East German nation (the German Democratic Republic). Naimark concludes "The social psychology of women and men in the soviet zone of occupation was marked by the crime of rape from the first days of occupation, through the founding of the GDR in the fall of 1949, until—one could argue—the present." [Norman M. Naimark. "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945–1949." Harvard University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-674-78405-7 pp. 132,133] Some of the victims had been raped as many as 60 to 70 times. [ [http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780385497992&view=excerpt William I. Hitchcock "The Struggle for Europe The Turbulent History of a Divided Continent 1945 to the Present"] ISBN 978-0-385-49799-2 (0-385-49799-7)]
Hostility against Germans
The post-war hostility shown to the German people is exemplified in the fate of the
War children, sired by German soldiers with women from the local population in nations such as Norway where the children and their mothers after the war had to endure many years of abuse. In the case of Denmark the hostility felt towards all things German also showed itself in the treatment of German refugees during the years 1945 to 1949. During 1945 alone 7–10000 German children under the age of 5 died as a result of being denied sufficient food and denied medical attention by Danish doctors who were afraid that rendering aid to the children of the former enemy would be seen as an unpatriotic act. Many children died of easily treatable ailments. As a consequence more German refugees died in Danish camps, "than Danes did during the entire war." [cite web
title = Danish Study Says German Children Abused
publisher = Deutsche Welle
date = 2005-04-10
url = http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1564,1545676,00.html
accessdate = 2008-06-22] [cite web
last = Osborn
first = Andrew
title = Documentary forces Danes to confront past
publisher = History News Network
date = 2003-02-09
url = http://hnn.us/comments/8391.html
accessdate = 2008-06-22] [cite web
title = Children were starved in war aftermath
work = New historical research opens a black chapter in the history of Danish conduct during World War II
publisher = The Copenhagen Post
date = 2005-04-15
url = http://www.cphpost.dk/get/87301.html
accessdate = 2008-06-22] [cite web
last = Ertel
first = Manfred
title = A Legacy of Dead German Children
work = Denmarks' myths shattered
publisher = Spiegel Online
date = 2005-05-16
url = http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,355772,00.html
accessdate = 2008-06-22]
The different German states
#In 1947, the
Saar (protectorate)had been established under French control, in the area corresponding to the current German state of Saarland. It was not allowed to join its fellow German neighbors until a plebiscite in 1955 rejected the proposed autonomy. This paved the way for the accession of the Saarland to the Federal Republic of Germany as its 12th state, with effect of 1 January 1957.
23 May 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, "Bundesrepublik Deutschland (BRD)") was established on the territory of the Western occupied zones, with Bonnas its "provisional" capital. It comprised the area of 11 newly-formed states (replacing the pre-war states), with present-day Baden-Württembergbeing split into three states until 1957). The Federal Republic was declared "fully sovereign" on 5 May 1955.
7 October 1949the German Democratic Republic (GDR, "Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR)"), with East Berlinas its capital, was established in the Soviet Zone.
Stalin Noteproposed German reunificationand superpower disengagementfrom Central Europebut Britain, France, and the United States rejected the offer as insincere. Also, West German chancellor Konrad Adenauer preferred "Westintegration", rejecting "experiments".
In English the two larger states were known informally as "West Germany" and "East Germany" respectively. In both cases the former occupying troops remained permanently stationed there. The former German capital,
Berlin, was a special case, being divided into East Berlinand West Berlin, with West Berlin completely surrounded by East German territory. Though the German inhabitants of West Berlin were citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany, West Berlin was not legally incorporated into West Germany; it remained under the formal occupation of the western allies until 1990, although most day-to-day administration was conducted by an elected West Berlin government.
West Germany was allied with the United States of America, the UK and France. A western capitalist country with a "
social market economy", the country would from the 50s onwards come to enjoy prolonged economic growth ( Wirtschaftswunder) following the currency reform of June 1948 and helped by the fact that the Korean war (1950–53) led to a worldwide increased demand for goods, where the resulting shortage helped overcome lingering resistance to the purchase of German products.
East Germany was at first occupied by and later (May 1955) allied with the
Soviet Union. An authoritarian country with a Soviet-style economy, East Germany soon became the richest, most advanced country in the Soviet bloc, but many of its citizens looked to the West for political freedoms and economic prosperity.
West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany)
The Western Allies turned over increasing authority to Western Germany and moved to establish a nucleus for a future German government by creating a central Economic Council for their zones. The program later provided for a West German constituent assembly, an occupation statute governing relations between the Allies and the German authorities, and the political and economic merger of the French with the British and American zones. On 23 May 1949, the "Grundgesetz" (Basic Law), the
constitutionof the Federal Republic of Germany, was promulgated. Following elections in August, the first federal government was formed on 20 September 1949, by Konrad Adenauer(CDU). The next day, the occupation statutecame into force, granting powers of self-government with certain exceptions.
In 1949 the new "provisional" capital of the
Federal Republic of Germanywas established in Bonn, after after Chancellor Konrad Adenauerintervened emphatically for Bonn (which was only fifteen kilometers away from his hometown). Most of the members of the German constitutional assembly(as well as the U.S. Supreme Command) had favoured Frankfurt am Mainwhere the Hessian administration had already started the construction of a plenary assembly hall. The Parlamentarischer Rat(interim parliament) proposed a new location for the capital, as Berlinwas then a special administrative region controlled directly by the allies and surrounded by the Soviet zone of occupation. The former Reichstag buildingin Berlin was occasionally used as a venue for sittings of the Bundestag and its committees and the Bundesversammlung, the body which elects the German Federal President. However the Soviets disrupted the use of the Reichstag building by institutions of the Federal Republic of Germany by flying supersonic jets near the building. A number of cities were proposed to host the federal government, and Kassel(among others) was eliminated in the first round. Other politicians opposed the choice of Frankfurt out of concern that Frankfurt, one of the largest German cities and a former centre of the old German-dominated Holy Roman Empire, would be accepted as a "permanent" capital of Germany, thereby weakening the West German population's support for reunification and the eventual return of the Government to Berlin.
Petersberg agreementWest Germany quickly progressed toward fuller sovereignty and association with its European neighbors and the Atlantic community. The London and Paris agreements of 1954 restored most of the state's sovereignty (with some exceptions) in May 1955 and opened the way for German membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation(NATO). In April 1951, West Germany joined with France, Italy and the Beneluxcountries in the European Coal and Steel Community(forerunner of the European Union).
The outbreak of war in Korea (June 1950) led to U.S. calls for the rearmament of West Germany in order to defend western Europe from the perceived Soviet threat. But the memory of German aggression led other European states to seek tight control over the West German military. Germany's partners in the Coal and Steel Community decided to establish a
European Defence Community(EDC), with an integrated army, navy and air force, composed of the armed forces of its member states. The West German military would be subject to complete EDC control, but the other EDC member states ( Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourgand the Netherlands) would cooperate in the EDC while maintaining independent control of their own armed forces.
Though the EDC treaty was signed (May 1952), it never entered into force. France's Gaullists rejected it on the grounds that it threatened national sovereignty, and when the French National Assembly refused to ratify it (August 1954), the treaty died. The French had killed their own proposal. Other means then had to be found to allow West German rearmament. In response, the
Brussels Treatywas modified to include West Germany, and to form the Western European Union(WEU). West Germany was to be permitted to rearm, and have full sovereign control of its military; the WEU would however regulate the size of the armed forces permitted to each of its member states. Fears of a return to Nazism, however, soon receded, and as a consequence these provisions of the WEU treaty have little effect today.
West Germany, soon benefiting from the currency reform of 1948 and the Allied
Marshall Plan, saw the fastest period of growth in European history from the early 1950s on. Industrial production increased by 35%. Agricultural production substantially surpassed pre-war levels.  The poverty and starvation of the immediate postwar years disappeared, and Western Europe and especially West Germany embarked upon an unprecedented two decades of growth that saw standards of living increase dramatically. This period of time became soon known as the "economic miracle" or Wirtschaftswunder, and is strongly associated with then-Minister of Economy Ludwig Erhard.
The three Western Allies retained occupation powers in Berlin and certain responsibilities for Germany as a whole. Under the new arrangements, the Allies stationed troops within West Germany for NATO defense, pursuant to stationing and status-of-forces agreements. With the exception of 45,000 French troops, Allied forces were under NATO's joint defense command. (France withdrew from the collective military command structure of NATO in 1966.)
Political life in West Germany was remarkably stable and orderly. The Adenauer era (1949–63) was followed by a brief period under
Ludwig Erhard(1963–66) who, in turn, was replaced by Kurt Georg Kiesinger(1966–69). All governments between 1949 and 1966 were formed by the united caucus of the Christian-Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU), either alone or in coalition with the smaller Free Democratic Party (FDP).
Kiesinger's 1966–69 "Grand Coalition" was between West Germany's two largest parties, the CDU/CSU and the Social Democratic Party (SPD). This was important for the introduction of new emergency acts — the Grand Coalition gave the ruling parties the two-thirds majority of votes required for their ratification. These controversial acts allowed basic constitutional rights such as
freedom of movementto be limited in case of a state of emergency.
During the time leading up to the passing of the laws, there was fierce opposition to them, above all by the Free Democratic Party, the rising
German student movement, a group calling itself "Notstand der Demokratie" (Democracy in Crisis) and the labour unions. Demonstrations and protests grew in number, and in 1967 the student Benno Ohnesorgwas shot in the head and killed by the police. The press, especially the tabloid" Bild-Zeitung" newspaper, launched a massive campaign against the protesters and in 1968, apparently as a result, there was an attempted assassination of one of the top members of the German socialist students' union, Rudi Dutschke.
In the 1960s a desire to confront the Nazi past came into being (
Frankfurt Auschwitz trials). Successfully, mass protests clamored for a new Germany. Environmentalismand anti-nationalismbecame fundamental values of West Germany. Rudi Dutschke recovered sufficiently to help establish the Green Party of Germanyby convincing former student protesters to join the Green movement. As a result in 1979 the Greens were able to reach the 5% limit required to obtain parliamentary seats in the Bremen provincial election. Dutschke died in 1979 due to the epilepsyhe had from the attack.
Another result of the unrest in the 1960s was the founding of the
Red Army Faction(RAF) which was active from 1968, carrying out a succession of terrorist attacks in West Germany during the 1970s. Even in the 1990s attacks were still being committed under the name "RAF". The last action took place in 1993 and the group announced it was giving up its activities in 1998.
In the 1969 election, the SPD – headed by
Willy Brandt– gained enough votes to form a coalition government with the FDP. Chancellor Brandt remained head of government until May 1974, when he resigned after Günter Guillaume, a senior member of his staff, was uncovered as a spy for the East German intelligence service, the Stasi.
Helmut Schmidt(SPD) then formed a government and received the unanimous support of coalition members. He served as Chancellor from 1974 to 1982. Hans-Dietrich Genscher, a leading FDP official, became Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister. Schmidt, a strong supporter of the European Community (EC) and the Atlantic alliance, emphasized his commitment to "the political unification of Europe in partnership with the USA".
In October 1982, the SPD-FDP coalition fell apart when the FDP joined forces with the CDU/CSU to elect CDU Chairman
Helmut Kohlas Chancellor in a Constructive Vote of No Confidence. Following national elections in March 1983, Kohl emerged in firm control of both the government and the CDU. The CDU/CSU fell just short of an absolute majority, due to the entry into the Bundestag of the Greens, who received 5.6% of the vote.
In January 1987, the Kohl-Genscher government was returned to office, but the FDP and the Greens gained at the expense of the larger parties. Kohl's CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the CSU, slipped from 48.8% of the vote in 1983 to 44.3%. The SPD fell to 37%; long-time SPD Chairman Brandt subsequently resigned in April 1987 and was succeeded by
Hans-Jochen Vogel. The FDP's share rose from 7% to 9.1%, its best showing since 1980. The Greens' share rose to 8.3% from their 1983 share of 5.6%.
East Germany (German Democratic Republic)
In the Soviet occupation zone, the Social Democratic Party was forced to merge with the Communist Party in April 1946 to form a new party, the Socialist Unity Party (SED). The October 1946 elections resulted in coalition governments in the five "Land" (state) parliaments with the SED as the undisputed leader.
A series of people's congresses were called in 1948 and early 1949 by the SED. Under Soviet direction, a constitution was drafted on 30 May 1949, and adopted on 7 October, the day when East Germany was formally proclaimed. The People's Chamber "(
Volkskammer)" – the lower house of the East German parliament – and an upper house – the States Chamber "(Länderkammer)" – were created. (The "Länderkammer" was abolished again in 1958.) On 11 October 1949, the two houses elected Wilhelm Pieckas President, and an SED government was set up. The Soviet Union and its East European allies immediately recognized East Germany, although it remained largely unrecognised by non-communist countries until 1972-73. East Germany established the structures of a single-party, centralized, communist state. On 23 July 1952, the traditional "Länder" were abolished and, in their place, 14 "Bezirke" (districts) were established. Even though other parties formally existed, effectively, all government control was in the hands of the SED, and almost all important government positions were held by SED members.
The National Front was an
umbrella organizationnominally consisting of the SED, four other political parties controlled and directed by the SED, and the four principal mass organizations – youth, trade unions, women, and culture. However, control was clearly and solely in the hands of the SED. Balloting in East German elections was not secret. As in other Soviet bloc countries, electoral participation was consistently high, with nearly unanimous candidate approval. Berlin
World War II, Berlinbecame the seat of the Allied Control Council, which was to have governed Germany as a whole until the conclusion of a peace settlement. In 1948, however, the Soviet Union refused to participate any longer in the quadripartite administration of Germany. They also refused to continue the joint administration of Berlin and drove the government elected by the people of Berlin out of its seat in the Soviet sector and installed a communist regime in East Berlin. From then until unification, the Western Allies continued to exercise supreme authority—effective only in their sectors—through the Allied Kommandatura. To the degree compatible with the city's special status, however, they turned over control and management of city affairs to the West Berlin Senate (executive) and House of Representatives, governing bodies established by constitutional process and chosen by free elections. The Allies and German authorities in West Germany and West Berlin never recognized the communist city regime in East Berlin or East German authority there.
During the years of West Berlin's isolation—176 kilometres (110 mi.) inside East Germany—the Western Allies encouraged a close relationship between the Government of
West Berlinand that of West Germany. Representatives of the city participated as non-voting members in the West German Parliament; appropriate West German agencies, such as the supreme administrative court, had their permanent seats in the city; and the governing mayor of West Berlin took his turn as President of the Bundesrat. In addition, the allies carefully consulted with the West German and West Berlin Governments on foreign policy questions involving unification and the status of Berlin.
Between 1948 and 1990, major events such as fairs and festivals were sponsored in West Berlin, and investment in commerce and industry was encouraged by special concessionary tax legislation. The results of such efforts, combined with effective city administration and the West Berliners' energy and spirit, were encouraging. West Berlin's morale was sustained, and its industrial production considerably surpassed the pre-war level.
The Final Settlement Treaty ended Berlin's special status as a separate area under Four Power control. Under the terms of the treaty between West and East Germany, Berlin became the capital of a unified Germany. The Bundestag voted in June 1991 to make Berlin the seat of government. The Government of Germany asked the allies to maintain a military presence in Berlin until the complete withdrawal of the Western Group of Forces (ex-Soviet) from the territory of the former East Germany. The Russian withdrawal was completed 31 August 1994. Ceremonies were held on 8 September 1994, to mark the final departure of Western Allied troops from Berlin.
Government offices have been moving progressively to Berlin, and it became the formal seat of the federal government in 1999. Berlin also is one of the Federal Republic's 16 "Länder".
Relations between East and West Germany
Under Chancellor Adenauer
West Germanydeclared its right to speak for the entire German nation with an exclusive mandate. The Hallstein Doctrineinvolved non-recognition of East Germany, and restricted (or often ceased) diplomatic relations to countries that gave East Germanythe status of a sovereign state.
The constant stream of East Germans fleeing across the
Inner German borderto West Germany placed great strains on East German-West German relations in the 1950s. East Germany sealed the borders to West Germany in 1952, but people continued to flee from East Berlinto West Berlin. On 13 August 1961, East Germany began building the Berlin Wallaround West Berlin to slow the flood of refugees to a trickle, effectively cutting the city in half and making West Berlin an enclave of the Western world in communist territory. The Wall became the symbol of the Cold Warand the division of Europe. Shortly afterwards, the main border between the two Germans states was fortified.
Letter of Reconciliation of the Polish Bishops to the German Bishopsof 1965 was controversial at the time, but is now seen as an important step toward improving relations between the German states and Poland.
In 1969, Chancellor
Willy Brandtannounced that West Germany would remain firmly rooted in the Atlantic alliance but would intensify efforts to improve relations with Eastern Europe and East Germany. West Germany commenced this " Ostpolitik," initially under fierce opposition from the conservatives, by negotiating non-aggression treaties with the Soviet Union, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Hungary.
West Germany's relations with East Germany posed particularly difficult questions. Though anxious to relieve serious hardships for divided families and to reduce friction, West Germany under Brandt's "Ostpolitik" was intent on holding to its concept of "two German states in one German nation." Relations gradually improved. In the early 1970s, "Ostpolitik" led to a form of mutual recognition between East and West Germany. The Treaty of Moscow (August 1970), the Treaty of Warsaw (December 1970), the
Four Power Agreement on Berlin(September 1971), the Transit Agreement (May 1972), and the Basic Treaty (December 1972) helped to normalise relations between East and West Germany and led to both " Germanies" joining the United Nations, in September 1973. The two German states exchanged permanent representatives in 1974, and, in 1987, East German head of state Erich Honeckerpaid an official visit to West Germany.
The reunification of East and West Germany
International plans for the unification of Germany were made during the early years following the establishment of the two states, but to no avail. In March 1952, the Soviet government proposed the Stalin Note to hold elections for a united German assembly while making the proposed united Germany a neutral state, as eventually did
Austria. The Western Allied governments refused this initiative, while continuing West Germany's integration into the western alliance system. The issue was raised again during the Foreign Ministers' Conference in Berlin in January–February 1954, but the western powers refused making Germany neutral. Following Bonn's adherence to NATO on 9 May 1955, such initiatives were abandoned by both sides.
During the summer of 1989, rapid changes took place in East Germany, which ultimately led to
German reunification. Widespread discontent boiled over, following accusations of large scale vote-rigging during the local elections of May 1989. Growing numbers of East Germans emigrated to West Germany via Hungary after the Hungarians decided not to use force to stop them. Thousands of East Germans also tried to reach the West by staging sit-ins at West German diplomatic facilities in other East European capitals. The exodus generated demands within East Germany for political change, and mass demonstrations with eventually hundreds of thousands of people in several cities – particularly in Leipzig– continued to grow. On 7 October, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachevvisited Berlin to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of East Germany and urged the East German leadership to pursue reform, without success.
On 18 October, Erich Honecker was forced to resign as head of the SED and as head of state and was replaced by
Egon Krenz. But the exodus continued unabated, and pressure for political reform mounted. On November 4, a demonstration in East Berlin drew as many as 1 million East Germans. Finally, on 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall was opened, and East Germans were allowed to travel freely. Thousands poured through the wall into the western sectors of Berlin, and on November 12, East Germany began dismantling it.
On 28 November, West German Chancellor
Helmut Kohloutlined a 10-point plan for the peaceful unification of the two Germanies based on free elections in East Germany and a unification of their two economies. In December, the East German "Volkskammer" eliminated the SED monopoly on power, and the entire Politbüro and Central Committee – including Krenz – resigned. The SED changed its name to the Party of Democratic Socialism(PDS) and the formation and growth of numerous political groups and parties marked the end of the communist system. Prime Minister Hans Modrowheaded a caretaker government which shared power with the new, democratically oriented parties. On 7 December 1989, agreement was reached to hold free elections in May 1990 and rewrite the East German constitution. On 28 January, all the parties agreed to advance the elections to 18 March, primarily because of an erosion of state authority and because the East German exodus was continuing apace; more than 117,000 left in January and February 1990.
In early February 1990, the Modrow government's proposal for a unified, neutral German state was rejected by Chancellor Kohl, who affirmed that a unified Germany must be a member of NATO. Finally, on 18 March , the first free elections were held in East Germany, and a government led by
Lothar de Maizière(CDU) was formed under a policy of expeditious unification with West Germany. The freely elected representatives of the "Volkskammer" held their first session on 5 April, and East Germany peacefully evolved from a communist to a democratically elected government. Free and secret communal (local) elections were held in the GDR on 6 May, and the CDU again won most of the available seats. On 11 July, the two Germanies entered into an economic and monetary union.
During 1990, in parallel with internal German developments, the Four Powers – the Allies of World War II, being the United States, United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union – together with the two German states negotiated to end Four Power reserved rights for Berlin and Germany as a whole. These "Two-plus-Four" negotiations were mandated at the
OttawaOpen Skies conference on 13 February 1990. The six foreign ministers met four times in the ensuing months in Bonn (5 May), Berlin (22 June), Paris (17 July), and Moscow (12 September). The Polish Foreign Minister participated in the part of the Paris meeting that dealt with the Polish-German borders.
Of key importance was overcoming Soviet objections to a united Germany's membership in NATO. This was accomplished in July when the alliance, led by President
George H.W. Bush, issued the London Declaration on a transformed NATO. On 16 July, President Gorbachev and Chancellor Kohl announced agreement in principle on a united Germany in NATO. This cleared the way for the signing in Moscow, on 12 September, of the Treaty on the Final Settlement With Respect to Germany– in effect the peace treaty that was anticipated at the end of World War II. In addition to terminating Four Power rights, the treaty mandated the withdrawal of all Soviet forces from Germany by the end of 1994, made clear that the current borders (especially the Oder-Neisse line) were viewed as final and definitive, and specified the right of a united Germany to belong to NATO. It also provided for the continued presence of British, French, and American troops in Berlin during the interim period of the Soviet withdrawal. In the treaty, the Germans renounced nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and stated their intention to reduce the (combined) German armed forces to 370,000 within 3 to 4 years after the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, signed in Paris on 19 November 1990, entered into force.
Conclusion of the final settlement cleared the way for unification of East and West Germany. Formal political union occurred on 3 October 1990, executed – not without criticism – via Article 23 of West Germany's Basic Law as the accession of the restored five eastern "Länder" (meaning that technically, East Germany was subsumed into West Germany). On 2 December 1990, all-German elections were held for the first time since 1933. The "new" country stayed the same as the West German legal system and institutions were extended to the east. The unified nation kept the name
Bundesrepublik Deutschland(though the simple 'Deutschland' would become increasingly common) and retained the West German "Deutsche Mark" for currency as well. Berlinwould formally become the capital of the united Germany, but the political institutions remained at Bonnfor the time being. Only after a heated 1991 debate did the " Bundestag" conclude on moving itself and most of the government to Berlin as well, a process that took until 1999 to complete, when the "Bundestag" held its first session at the reconstructed "Reichstag" building. Many government departments still maintain sizable presences in Bonn as of 2008.
In the 2000s Germany has been at the centre of the
European Union(often acting with Francein this connection). The German government is a strong supporter of the enlargement of NATOand the European Union. German troops participate in the multinational efforts to bring peace and stability to the Balkans. The nation is doing well economically, being the world's third-richest economy (nominal GDP) (behind only the USA and Japan). It is among the top five countries in Internetaccess worldwide. Many Germans speak English and/or French, in addition to German, and perhaps one of the many minority languages.
Most of the social issues facing Western countries in general — immigration, aging populations straining social-welfare and pension systems — are important in Germany. Employment is a particularly sensitive subject in present day Germany — figures released in February 2005 showed an unemployment rate of 12.6% of the working age population, or 5.2 million workers, the highest jobless rate since the 1930s. Particularly worrying is the concentration of the highest unemployments rates in the Länder of former
East Germany, where unemployment reaches 20%.
In 2001 the discovery that the terrorist cell which carried out the attacks against the
United Stateson 11 September 2001 was based in Hamburgsent shock waves through the country. The government of Chancellor Gerhard Schröderbacked the following U.S. military actions, sending a force of Bundeswehrtroops to Afghanistanas part of a NATO effort to provide security in that country after the ousting of the Taliban.
Germany adopted a far more sceptical attitude toward America's
2003 invasion of Iraq; many commentators credit the SPD's re-election in autumn 2002 to strong opposition to the impending invasion. Most of the public was strongly against the conflict, and any deployment of troops.
After a bitter defeat for the SPD in regional elections in the state of
North Rhine-Westphalia(22 May 2005), Chancellor Schröder asked the German Bundestag(lower house of parliament) for a vote of no-confidence. Schröder argued that it had become increasingly difficult to push for the necessary socio-economic reforms because of the opposition majority in the upper house of the parliament, the Bundesrat, as well as the tensions within his own party. After losing this vote, as intended, on July 1st, Chancellor Schröder was able to ask Federal President Horst Köhlerto call new national elections. On 21 July 2005 the President agreed to Chancellor's request and dissolved the parliament, scheduling early parliamentary elections for 18 September. The elections resulted in a stalemate for both major parties, SPD and CDU/CSU, as they won almost the same number of seats, but not enough to form a majority without the support of several smaller parties. This was resolved on November 11th 2005, when both parties agreed to form a " Grand Coalition" led by Dr Angela Merkelwho became the first female Chancellor of Germany. The elections also resulted in a historic change of the German political system, since an all-German Left Party, which emerged as a result of the right-shift of the SPD, entered the German Bundestagand afterwards also several Western state parliaments changing the German party system from a four party system to a five party system. [ Ingar Solty, "The Historic Significance of the New German Left Party", in Socialism & Democracy 46, Vol. 22, No. 1 (March 2008), pp. 1–34]
*Fulbrook, Mary. [http://www.ucl.ac.uk/German/staff/fulbrook.htm] "The Two Germanies, 1945–90" (ch. 7) and "The Federal Republic of Germany Since 1990" (ch. 8) in "A Concise History of Germany" (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004): 203–249; 249–257.
Jean Edward Smith, "Germany Beyond The Wall: People, Politics, and Prosperity", Boston: Little, Brown, & Company, 1969.
Jean Edward Smith, "Lucius D. Clay: An American Life", New York: Henry, Holt, & Company, 1990.
Jean Edward Smith, "The Defense Of Berlin", Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1963.
Jean Edward Smith, "The Papers Of Lucius D. Clay", 2 Vols., Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1974.XIX
* [http://www.ena.lu?lang=2&doc=309 Germany at the onset of the cold war]
* [http://www.ena.lu?lang=2&doc=4023 James F. Byrnes, Speaking Frankly] (The division of Germany)
* [http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/marshall/large/documents/index.php?pagenumber=1&documentid=24&documentdate=1947-02-28&studycollectionid=mp&nav=OK The President's Economic Mission to Germany and Austria, Report No. 1 (1947)]
* [http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/marshall/large/documents/index.php?pagenumber=1&documentid=22&documentdate=1947-03-24&studycollectionid=mp&nav=OK The President's Economic Mission to Germany and Austria, Report 3 (1947)]
* [http://www.zeitgeschichte-online.de/ Contemporary History] maintained by the "Institute for Contemporary Historical Research in Potsdam" de icon
* [http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/psf/box32/t298x01.html Special German series 2. The Committee on Dismemberment of Germany] Allied discussions on the dismemberment of Germany into separate states, March 29, 1945.
* [http://www.ostberlin.de/en/ East Berlin, Past and Present]
* [http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/History.GerRecon Germany Under Reconstruction] is a digital collection that provides a varied selection of publications in both English and German from the period immediately following World War II. Many are publications of the U.S. occupying forces, including reports and descriptions of efforts to introduce U.S.-style democracy to Germany. Some of the other books and documents describe conditions in a country devastated by years of war, efforts at political, economic and cultural development, and the differing perspectives coming from the U.S. and British zones and the Russian zone of occupation.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
History of Australia since 1945 — The history of Australia since 1945 has seen a move away from Britain in political, social and cultural terms to engagement with the United States and Asia. Postwar Australia After World War II, Australia launched a massive immigration program,… … Wikipedia
History of Laos to 1945 — Note: this article follows the system for transliterating Lao names used in Martin Stuart Fox s History of Laos . It may differ from systems used in other articles. The Lao state dates only from 1945. The idea of a separate Lao nationality was… … Wikipedia
History of Poland (1939–1945) — History of Poland This article is part of a series Chronology List of Polish monarchs … Wikipedia
History of Brazil (1930–1945) — Depression, coffee oligarchs, and the Revolution of 1930The Great DepressionThe tenente rebellion did not mark the revolutionary breakthrough of Brazil s bourgeois social reformers. But the ruling paulista coffee oligarchy could not withstand the … Wikipedia
History of Germany (1945–1990) — History of Germany This article is part of a series … Wikipedia
History of Germany — Despite the lack of a German nation state prior to 1871, the History of Germany dates back to the era of the Germanic tribes. Following the migration period, the Franks subsequently subdued the West Germanic tribes, who made up for most of East… … Wikipedia
History of British fascism since 1945 — Part of the Politics series Party politics Political spectrum … Wikipedia
Military history of Germany — History of Germany This article is part of a series … Wikipedia
Postage stamps and postal history of Germany — This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Germany and philatelically related areas. The main modern providers of service were the Reichspost (1871 1945), the Deutsche Post of the GDR (1949 1990), the Deutsche Bundespost (1949… … Wikipedia
Germany — This article is about the country. For other uses of terms redirecting here, see Germany (disambiguation) and Deutschland (disambiguation) … Wikipedia