A New ‘Generation’ of Democratic Politicians? Models of Political and Social Progress in Germany, France, and Italy between Dictatorship and the Cold War

A New ‘Generation’ of Democratic Politicians? Models of Political and Social Progress in Germany, France, and Italy between Dictatorship and the Cold War

Deutsches Historisches Institut Rom; in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Deutschen Historischen Insitut Paris
DHI Rom, Via Aurelia Antica, 391, I-00165 Rom
Vom - Bis
18.04.2012 - 19.04.2012
Späth, Jens

How did the experience of autocratic government inform the way in which politicians developed new policies in Germany, France, and Italy after the end of the Second World War? What conclusions did politicians draw from their past experiences with totalitarianism? Did a new “generation” of leaders with shared democratic ideas gain the leading positions of these countries? Did any kind of exchange, transfer, or international collaboration exist or did politicians act exclusively within their particular national context? Finally: Was the experience with totalitarian regimes kept alive in public memory and did people try to develop and implement progressive, forward-looking ideas of social organisation? Taking these central questions as a starting point one can raise specific issues about each respective country, which will reflect the contrast between the occupied and collaborating states of France and Italy on the one hand and Nazi Germany on the other. The workshop, covering the period between 1945 and 1960, aims to provide some initial answers to these questions from a comparative point of view. It also strives to analyse whether the year 1945 should be regarded as a break with the past or as the beginning of a phase of continuity in Germany, France, and Italy in terms of how they envisioned a democratic society.


Wednesday, 18 April, 14.00-19.00

14.00 Michael Matheus (Rome): Welcome
14.10 Jens Späth (Rome): Introduction

Section I: Identity and Education
Chair: Steffen Prauser (Paris)

14.30 Sebastian Gehrig (Cambridge/Heidelberg): Coping with the 'Provisional State': The Road Towards a Legal and Political West German Cold War Home Front, 1945-1960

15.00 Tania Rusca (Genoa): (Re-)Founding a Democratic Generation: Primary School Policy and Textbooks in Italy and Germany after the Second World War (1945-1960). A Comparative View.

16.00 Discussion
16.20 Coffee Break

Section II: Intellectuals and Élites
Chair: Lutz Klinkhammer (Rome)

16.40 Dominik Rigoll (Jena): The Forest for the Trees. What Historians Might Discover by Reading Jean Améry and Eugen Kogon

17.10 Mauve Carbonell (Luxembourg): The Influence of the Second World War on the Career Paths of the European Elite: the Case of the Members of the High Authority of the ECSC, 1952-1967

17.40 Discussion

Public Keynote Lecture
18.00 Andreas Wirsching (Munich): Towards a New Political Culture? Totalitarian Experience and Democratic Reconstruction after 1945

19.00 Reception

Thursday, 19 April, 9.00-13.00

Section III: Socialist Politics and Memory
Chair: Martin Baumeister (Munich)

9.00 Jan de Graaf (Portsmouth): Using Prewar History to Defend Postwar Decisions. SFIO and PSI Arguments on the Local, National and Transnational Levels, 1943-1958

9.30 Brian Shaev (Pittsburgh): Inheriting Horror: French Socialists, German Social Democrats, and the Fight for a Democratic, Peaceful Future, 1945-1960

10.00 Jens Späth (Rome): Two “Difficult Outsiders”: Antifascism and Democracy in Lelio Basso and Wilhelm Hoegner

10.30 Discussion
11.00 Coffee Break

Section IV: The Economic and International Affairs
Chair: Jens Späth (Rome)

11.20 Christine Vodovar (Rome): French and Italian Socialists and the Economic and Social Renewal after the Second World War

11.50 Enrico Pugliese (Reading): French and Italian Socialist Parties and the New Internationalism (1945-1957)

12.20 Discussion
12.40 Steffen Prauser (Paris): Comments and Conclusions


Jens Späth

Deutsches Historisches Institut in Rom, Via Aurelia Antica, 391, I-00165 Rom


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