Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 53 (2005), 3

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Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 53 (2005), 3
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München 2005: Oldenbourg Verlag
Jahresabo: € 52,80



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

Liebe Listenmitglieder,

dieser Tage erscheint die neueste Ausgabe der Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte. Besonders aufmerksam machen möchten wir Sie auf Eckart Conzes Plädoyer für den Leitbegriff "Sicherheit" für die Politikgeschichte der BRD und Britta Scheidelers Auseinandersetzung mit Albert Einsteins politischem Weltbild in der Weimarer Republik.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Gabriele Jaroschka
Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag



Eckart Conze: Sicherheit als Kultur. Überlegungen zu einer "modernen Politikgeschichte" der Bundesrepublik Deutschland.
Eckart Conze: A culture of security. Some thoughts on a "modern political history" of the Federal Republic of Germany.

This essay suggests testing the term "security" as a category of analysis in a "modern political history" of the Federal Republic of Germany. The author shows that and how "security" as a central category of analysis could open new perspectives on the history of the Federal Republic as a whole. This new category could overcome discrepancies between the policies of different governments and decades, and even the epochal threshold of 1989/90. The author integrates his conceptional considerations with the historical development by using empirical methods, in order to demonstrate the feasibility of the scheme suggested. The article deals with the quest for security in the Adenauer years and with the belief in security and progress in the 1960s and early 1970s. It interprets the 1970s as a decade of "inner security", and also looks at the 1980s, for which important developments in the history of the Federal Republic can be analysed under the heading "security", not least with regard to the international security policies of these years and their effect on German society and politics.

Britta Scheideler: Albert Einstein in der Weimarer Republik. Demokratisches und elitäres Denken im Widerspruch.
Britta Scheideler: Democratic and elitist thinking in Albert Einstein. On the political biography of a moralist in the Weimar Republic.

This essay looks at how Einstein thought and behaved in the political sector and how he understood his own role. It investigates the reasons for his thoughts and actions, and compares them to the general tendencies in academic circles and in the contemporary intellectual movement. The inconsistency of both elitist and democratic aspects in Einstein's political thinking explains itself when we look at the way he saw himself: as a scientist, and, therefore, a member of a moral elite. The fact that he regarded himself as a moral authority and his fixation on the moral individual and an harmonious society as central aims coined his non-pluralist idea of democracy, his attitude towards politics, and his commitment as an intellectual in the Weimar republic, which was limited to exerting moral influence on political questions.

Katrin Boeckh: Jüdisches Leben in der Ukraine nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg. Zur Verfolgung einer Religionsgemeinschaft im Spätstalinismus (1945 bis 1953).
Katrin Boekh: Jewish life in the Ukraine after World War II. The persecution of a religious community in late Stalinism (1945 - 1953).

Religious Jews in the Soviet Union were doubly persecuted: first, because of the anti-Semitic attitudes of the Soviet population and regime, second, because of their faith which the atheist ideology did not tolerate. After World War II, the Stalinist system began to agitate openly against Jews again in several campaigns. Whereas these events have often been described, this article tries to draw the attention to the religious persecution of the Jewish communities in the Ukraine. These institutions were the only legal possibility for Jews to help their brothers-in-faith during the hard times after the holocaust or to receive community support, as the Soviet state denied they had been victims of the Nazi murders during the occupation in the World War. The Stalinist state, always keen to demonstrate freedom of creed and conscience, found various and flexible methods to repress Jewish communities. First, they had to register with the state. Then they stood under permanent surveillance of state officials, who attended synagogues, controlled the leaders of the communities as well as the believers, and allowed only little room for religious expression. Social and cultural activities supporting the Jewish population were strictly forbidden. The systematic closure of synagogues finally led to the destruction of many communities.
When Stalin died in 1953, the small number of Jewish believers had been reduced to a minimum. Many of them no longer risked their religious identity by attending services in public. Although Stalin's successors did not stop discrimination against the Jews, the Jewish religion was passed on to the next generation, in strictest secrecy, invisible to the Soviet organs, but in permanent fear of detection. The Jewish renaissance after the Ukraine's national independence in 1991 demonstrated that persecution during the communist era had failed its aim.


Felix Römer: Das Heeresgruppenkommando Mitte und der Vernichtungskrieg im Sommer 1941. Eine Erwiderung auf Gerhard Ringshausen.
Felix Römer: The command of Army Group Mitte and the war of extermination in summer 1941. A reply to Gerhard Ringshausen.

Not only with regards to content, but also methodologically Ringshausen's criticism of Hürter's results does not stand up to closer examination. Even in its central points, Ringshausen's argumentation is barely based on sources, but it echoes retrospective accounts of members of the military opposition who survived the war uncritically. Contemporary sources, however, disprove those memories and confirm Hürter's findings. The cooperation of the command of Army Group Mitte in realizing the war of extermination against the Soviet Union also reveals itself in its concurrent behaviour when dealing with the "criminal orders", as a new source has now shown once again. Like these sources, Hürter's findings show that the "path to military opposition" evolved slowly and that the conspirators around Henning von Tresckow are not done justice by just idealizing and elating them.

John S. Conway: Flucht aus Auschwitz: Sechzig Jahre danach.
John Conway, Escape from Auschwitz: Sixty years after.

In April 1944, two Jewish prisoners, Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler successfully escaped from Auschwitz, and brought back to the Jewish council in America a detailed report of the mass murders being carried out there, along with a warning of the impending fate of Hungarian Jewry. Unfortunately, because of negotiations proceeding between Eichmann and the Hungarian Jewish leaders, this warning never reached the intended victims, over 400 000 of whom were murdered by the Nazis in the next few months. The reasons for this failure, and the subsequent total silence in Israeli historiography about this significant event, have now been re-examined in the book Escaping Auschwitz, written by the Israeli scholar Ruth Linn, and published in the United States. She deplores the fact that the unique actions of these Auschwitz escapees remained completely unfamiliar to the average Hebrew reader for more than fifty years. Her book is an act of reparation on behalf of a critical and inconvenient witness, and challenges the ideologically-conditioned Israeli national mythology of the Holocaust as systematically propagated for the past fifty years.


Manfred Zeidler: Das "kaukasische Experiment". Gab es eine Weisung Hitlers zur deutschen Besatzungspolitik im Kauskasus?
Manfred Zeidler, The Caucasian experiment. Did Hitler give instructions on the German policy of occupation in the Caucasus region?

The German policy of occupation in the northern Caucasus region in autumn 1942 followed standards that distinguished it markedly from the policy of occupation in other regions of Eastern Europe. This was above all due to the complicated ethnic character of the region with its mostly non-Slavic population, but also to certain expectations for an alliance with the local peoples and to a special consideration for Turkey, where pan-Turanic ambitions had been revived since 1941, fuelled by the hope for a collapse of the Soviet Union. Who, however, formulated the basic outlines of this policy of occupation, and who gave it a binding direction? With reference to the fundamental study by Alexander Dallin on the German policy of occupation in the Soviet Union written in the 1950s, academic research into the topic has up to know assumed that this was done by Adolf Hitler himself, namely in the form of an order by Hitler ("Führerweisung") dated September 8th, 1942, to the then commander-in chief of Army Group A, Field Marshall Wilhelm List. In this order, Hitler appointed List "Commander-in-Chief of the Caucasus" and made him personally responsible for "carrying out all measures that served the goal to bring peace to the region and to exploit its resources".

This documentation intends to correct the current opinion and to look at the character and the importance of the order of September 8th 1942 that has always been regarded as a "Führerweisung" in the general context of the German Caucasus policy of the time.


Horst Möller: Emigration und Akkulturation. Zum Gedenken an Herbert A. Strauss.

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