Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte

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Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte
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München 2003: Oldenbourg Verlag
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€ 48,00



Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte
Redaktion Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Leonrodstraße 46b, 80636 München,
Jaroschka, Gabriele

Kürzlich erschien das Juli-Heft der Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte. Auf große Resonanz in der Presse stieß im Besonderen die Dokumentation von Sven Olaf Berggötz: Die Denkschrift von Ernst Jünger über die Geiselerschießungen in Frankreich 1941/42.



Aram Mattioli, Entgrenzte Kriegsgewalt. Der italienische Giftgaseinsatz in Abessinien 1935–1936
Aram Mattioli, Unlimited violence in war. The Italian use of poison gas in Abyssinia 1935-1936

The era of the World Wars is characterized by a cumulative transgression of boundaries of violence in war and terror of persecution. In this process the war in Abyssinia plays a key role. Between 305,000 and 760,000 of the 10 million inhabitants fell victim to the Italian war of aggression and the ensuing occupation regime. This means that, during this short period of domination by fascist Italy, the East-African empire paid a higher blood toll than the nations that suffered most from World War I. What seems at first sight like a rather anachronistic colonial war fitting into the long history of European expansion, on closer inspection turns out to be a genuine war of conquest, waged with ingenious logistical planning, immense expenditure and state-of-the-art technology, which opened the doors to new dimensions of mass violence. The central issue of this essay is the Italian gas warfare, "perhaps the most serious of all crimes" (Angelo Del Boca) committed by the fascist regime. After Spain, which had done the same in its protectorate in North Morocco, Italy was only the second state that deployed this internationally banned weapon of mass destruction from the air.

Stefan Laube, "Nach einer Mitteilung unserer Geschäftsstelle vom 20. Mai soll Herr Oppenheimer Jude sein". Über den Umgang mit Lebensversicherungspolicen im Dritten Reich
Stefan Laube, "According to a message of our agency from May 20, Mr Oppenheimer must be a Jew. " How life insurance policies were dealt with in the Third Reich

This essay describes attitudes and actions of German insurance companies against Jewish clients from the beginning of the National Socialist era to the debate about restitution in the post-war period. Representatives of the insurance companies were more than indirectly involved in the different proceedings of the Nazi state's seizure of Jewish fortune and property. During the first half of the Nazi period, when gradually tightening regulations of a foreign exchange control system forced Jewish émigrés to sell their insurance policies, insurance companies often helped people who intended to leave Germany to obtain foreign currency. After the "Reichskristallnacht" the situation changed fundamentally: Jewish property was now confiscated in a much more direct way. From now on until the end of the war, including the phase in which the deportations of Jewish citizens took place, insurance companies showed a high degree of cooperation with the SS and the ministry of finance. Especially in searching for the particulars of homeless people, insurance companies cooperated with the Nazi authorities. The moral question is what would have happened to the employees, if they had shown "philanthropic taciturnity". This question must be asked again and again, although in most cases the documents do not reveal a satisfying answer.

Manfred Berg, Schwarze Bürgerrechte und liberaler Antikommunismus: Die NAACP in der McCarthy-Ära
Manfred Berg, Black civil rights and liberal anti-communism: the NAACP during the McCarthy era

The impact of the Cold War on the Afro-American civil rights struggle is a hotly contested issue among historians. On the one hand, America's claim to the leadership of the "free world" was incompatible with domestic racial discrimination and provided the civil rights movement with a potent argument. On the other hand, the anti-communist hysteria of the early Cold War forced black leaders to either join the anti-communist bandwagon, or face marginalization and criminalization. In this situation, the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP), America's largest and oldest civil rights organization, sided with liberal anti-communism and distanced itself from the left. Recently, historians have argued that the NAACP, by becoming "the left wing of McCarthyism" and purging communists from its ranks, retarded the black struggle for decades. Based on extensive research in the NAACP records, this essay argues that much of this criticism is misleading and inconsistent. By and large, the NAACP remained faithful to its liberal creed, did not implement McCarthy-style "purges", and tried desperately to keep the cause of civil rights on the historical agenda.

Chern Chen, Deutsche Militärberater in Taiwan. Die deutsch-nationalchinesischen Beziehungen im Kalten Krieg
Chern Chen, German military advisers in Taiwan. The relations between Germany and Taiwan during the Cold War

After World War II Chiang Kai-Shek and the rump of the Kuomintang forces had retreated to Taiwan in 1949. Yet, Chiang Kai-Shek did not even renounce his hopes of resuming his formerly good relations with Germany after the Cold War had broken out. The Cold War, however, immediately led to severe German caution against Taiwan, and the existing difficulties of maintaining diplomatic relations with Taiwan were further aggravated by different political views within Germany. In the early 1960s, the Taiwanese government finally succeeded in establishing some contacts with the West German state. From 1963 to 1975, German military advisers attended to the rearmament of the Chinese army. This essay shows the impact of the work of German military advisers on Taiwan within the framework of international relations during the 1960s and early 1970s. It also explores the nature of Germany's foreign policy during the Cold War and gives an overall assessment of its far-eastern policy. Last but not least, it looks at what suggestions German military advisers came up with in order to solve diplomatic problems.


Sven-Olaf Berggötz, Ernst Jünger und die Geiseln. Die Denkschrift von Ernst Jünger über die Geiselerschießungen in Frankreich 1941/42
Sven Olaf Berggötz, Ernst Jünger and the hostages. Jünger's memorandum on the shooting of hostages in France 1941/42

During his service as a German occupation officer, the author Ernst Jünger was able to watch the German reprisals against the civilian population from very close proximity, which came on as a reaction to increasing attacks of the French resistance movement. On authority of the military commander (Militärbefehlshaber) in France, Otto von Stülpnagel, Jünger composed a memorandum on this topic between October 1941 and September 1942. In this account, he meticulously reported the escalation and the involved conflicts between the Wehrmachtstab in Paris and the political and military headquarters in Berlin. In spite of its apologetic tendency, this account documents how some individual Wehrmacht officers were able to oppose orders of the National Socialist regime to some degree, without however being in a position to prevent the intensification of the reprisals. Jünger also added copies of last letters written by hostages condemned to death, which are an impressive document of the terrible consequences of this escalation.

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