Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 52 (2004), 1

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Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 52 (2004), 1
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München 2004: Oldenbourg Verlag
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Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte
Redaktion Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Leonrodstraße 46b, 80636 München,
Jaroschka, Gabriele

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

soeben ist das neueste Heft der Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte erschienen.



Christian Hartmann, Verbrecherischer Krieg - verbrecherische Wehrmacht? Überlegungen zur Struktur des deutschen Ostheeres 1941-1944
Criminal war - criminal Wehrmacht? Some reflections on the structure of Germany's eastern army 1941-1944.

How large was the proportion of criminals in the German Wehrmacht? Were there many or few of them? This article tries to refocus a long and passionately led debate on its central issue by summarizing a large amount of literature and many sources as briefly as possible. The aim is, however, to present something more than just an intermediary result. It is rather to look at our current knowledge about the crimes of the Wehrmacht from the perspective of the event which shaped its history most decisively - war itself. Examining the example of the German-Soviet war, the by far most important theatre of operations for the Wehrmacht, this article attempts to assess the scale and the importance of the Wehrmacht's war and NS-crimes. So far, it has not been possible to give exact figures in answer to our initial question. It is, however, definitely possible to detect certain structures - structures of war, of terror, and also structures of the German deployment of troops and occupation forces.

Tobias Schneider, Bestseller im Dritten Reich. Ermittlung und Analyse der meistverkauften Romane in Deutschland 1933-1944
Best-selling novels in the Third Reich: establishment and analysis of the most popular novels in German 1933-1944.

Although Germanists have come to view literature in the Third Reich in a more differentiated way in recent years, the prejudice that readers in Hitler's Germany were mainly fed propagandist "blood and soil" or war literature - and that it was, moreover, even read - is still alive. If one makes the effort to establish empirically what actually were the bestselling novels in the years between 1933 and 1945, a completely different picture emerges. Apart from a few really successful NS-novels (which were, of course, subsidised by the state), the average reader in the Third Reich often preferred surprisingly non-conformist and cheerful novels (for instance by authors like Heinrich Spoerl, Ehm Welk), progressive novels dealing with science, and romantic novels, which are even nowadays well known and much read. One could ask the question, however, if such novels might have actually supported the political course of the National Socialists. In any case, the analysis of what novels sold best allows a surprising and unprejudiced view on literary life during the Third Reich.

Jochen Laufer: Der Friedensvertrag mit Deutschland als Problem der sowjetischen Außenpolitik. Die Stalin-Note vom 10. März 1952 im Lichte neuer Quellen
The peace treaty with Germany as a problem in Soviet foreign policy. The Stalin note of March 10, 1952, in the light of new sources.

As a reply to the most recent publication concerning the history of how the Stalin note of March 10, 1953, came into being, the diplomatic campaign in question is considered in the light of the USSR's long-term policies on Germany and on peace treaties in general. The basis for this is a Russian edition of the sources on the German policies of the Soviet Union in three volumes drawn from the archive of foreign relations of the Russian Federation, which was completed in 2002. The German edition is due to appear in print shortly. From this point of view, one can discern a paradox in Soviet policy: all initiatives for a peace treaty which were undertaken by the Soviet Union since summer 1946 actually aimed at preventing a peace treaty. It was the goal to keep the fight for such a treaty going, both in order to have a topic to mobilise Soviet and East German peace policy, and to preserve the actual military position in Germany.


Karina Urbach/Bernd Buchner: Prinz Max von Baden und Houston Stewart Chamberlain. Aus dem Briefwechsel 1909-1919
Prince Max of Baden and Houston Stewart Chamberlain. From their correspondence 1909-1919.

To this day, Prince Max von Baden (1867-1929), the last imperial Chancellor, has been portrayed as a liberal politician of great integrity. However, his selective memoirs and speeches were to a great extent inspired and written by the moderate Kurt Hahn, his loyal Jewish advisor. The darker side of the Princes political views is revealed in his - so far unpublished - correspondence with the infamous racist writer Houston Stewart Chamberlain. Both men were great admirers of Richard Wagner and met in Bayreuth in 1909. Their friendship blossomed during the First World War, when the Prince encouraged Chamberlain to write anti-English propaganda pamphlets and acted as an intermediary between Chamberlain and William II. Both Baden and Chamberlain had betes noires in common: they believed the war to be the product of a Jewish conspiracy and feared a democratisation and westernisation of Germany. Under Chamberlains influence, Baden celebrated the German government's 1917 announcement of the U-boat war, although he had previously opposed the idea. Yet, while Chamberlain stuck to his reactionary agenda, the Prince started simultaneously to cajole the liberal circles around Paul Rohrbach. It was they who ultimately brought him to power. By November 1918, Chamberlain was shocked that "his Prince" of all people handed over the government to the socialists. As a result, Max von Baden became an outcast in aristocratic and in right wing circles. Though he would advocate a military dictatorship for Germany in 1924, his former friend Chamberlain did not forgive him. He had found another "saviour" by then - Adolf Hitler.


Zeitgeschichte online. Kooperation zwischen dem Institut für Zeitgeschichte München-Berlin und dem Rezensionsjournal sehepunkte

Wolfgang Quint zum 65. Geburtstag

Zum Tod von Helmut Heiber

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