Twentieth-Century Germany: Politics, Culture, and Society 1918-1990

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A clear and accessible guide to modern German history Germany played a key role in 20th century history but not of course always a beneficial one This account opens in 1918 at the end of four years of bloody warfare incipient revolution in Germany and determination on the part of the Allies to neutralize Germany and make her pay Since the German army was on the ropes but not on the floor neutralization failed and in the end after the embitterment of the international relations reparations were effectively dropped Another world war this time a war of racial annihilation eventually led to Germany s emasculation and occupation until of course the exigencies of another colder war urged both the Allies and the Soviets to readmit their respective Germanies to the world community The end of the Cold War provided the opportunity for Germany s reunification and she stands once again as a dominant state in Europe The period from defeat in the First World War to defeat in the Second World War saw Germany experience two political extremes its first attempt at democracy with the abdication of the Kaiser and the proclamation of a republic on 9 November 1918 and one of the most reprehensible dictatorships of the modern age following the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor on 30 January 1933 With the unleashing of a second world war and the purposeful mass murder of around six million human beings in unprecedented industrial genocide the collapse from democracy into dictatorship has understandably aroused the most virulent historical controversies The years since 1945 have to an extent been lived in the shadow of the earlier period but also of course in their own right with their own peculiarities none more pronounced than the creation of two Germanies the FRG and GDR one democracy one dictatorship ideological foes in the Cold War The controversies attaching to the later period are as yet less heated but the questions are no less insistent It


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