Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 53 (2005), 4

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Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 53 (2005), 4
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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,

das neueste Heft der Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte ist ausgeliefert. Zusätzlich wollen wir Sie auf den jüngst erschienenen Band der Schriftenreihe der Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte hinweisen: Die Italiener an der Ostfront 1942/43. Dokumente zu Mussolinis Krieg gegen die Sowjetunion. Herausgegeben und eingeleitet von Thomas Schlemmer.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag



Jean-François Sirinelli: Die „Baby Boomer“ und der Mai des Jahres 1968 in Frankreich.
The baby boomers and the May of 1968 in France.

The baby boomers were those young people in France who were at the heart of the "Thirty Glorious Years". This was a time of major upheaval, and never before had a generation witnessed such radical and rapid changes in society, as it were a "shedding of the skin", in this country. Furthermore, the times also conferred the second essential aspect of their historical identity on the baby boomers, namely the socio-cultural evolution of the industrialized world. It enabled them to get out of the rut in which young people had hitherto been kept by social practices and cultural heritage. Simultaneously popular culture expanded rapidly and took over the young generation's imagery and sounds. This process became perceptible in the mid 1960s, with 1965 marking a decisive turning point.

Henrik Bispinck, Dierk Hoffmann, Michael Schwartz, Peter Skyba, Matthias Uhl, Hermann Wentker: Die Zukunft der DDR-Geschichte. Potentiale und Probleme zeithistorischer Forschung.
The historiography of the GDR and its future. Opportunities and problems.

Is it really true that most questions on the history if the GDR have been answered? Can a historiography of the GDR only assert itself in the future if it is embedded in a broader post-war historiography? Against the background of such fundamental questions, it seems appropriate to look at the topic from different points of view. First, we have discussed the relevance of the GDR as an independent field of study. Second, we have dealt with the place the GDR takes in the context of German history. Third, we have discussed the benefit of looking at the GDR from a European perspective, and, fourth, from a non-European perspective. Having discussed these various approaches to the history of the GDR, the special role of politics has repeatedly shown through. We therefore plead for not isolating the history of the GDR, but for integrating it with other fields of historical research, and for choosing an approach which considers history and politics.

Helmut Braun: Das „Wundergas“ Helium, die US-amerikanische Innenpolitik und die deutschen Zeppeline.
The "prodigious" gas helium, US domestic policy and the German zeppelins.

The explosion of the hydrogen-filled zeppelin "Hindenburg" on 6th May 1937 had made it evident that a safe use of airships was only possible with helium as carriage gas. However, helium was then only produced in the USA and was there subject to a state tax monopoly. This study examines why the USA did not sell helium to the German Reich although this was widely supported in the States. Two reasons for this have been identified. First, research into the potential usage of helium had shown more and more possibilities of a military employment of this gas far beyond airshipping. Second, and far more importantly, the power to decide whether to provide National-Socialist Germany with helium was in the hands of the US Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes. Not only did Ickes disapprove strongly of National Socialism, but it was also possible for him to humiliate his colleague Cordell Hull, who was Secretary of State at the time, by blocking an export of helium. The sources show that Ickes had apparently been waiting for such an opportunity - and the blockade on a helium export enabled Ickes to confront Hall. So, the reasons for the American refusal to provide Germany with helium for its zeppelins did not only lie in the field of foreign affairs, but are also to be found in the sphere of domestic policy.

Brunello Mantelli: Im Reich der Unsicherheit? Italienische Archive und die Erforschung des Faschismus.
In the realm of insecurity: Italian archives and the research into Fascism.

With the exception of some military records of secondary importance, the Italian archives were not confiscated by the Allies after World War II. This was not very fortunate for research into Fascism, as historians now had to fight on two fronts. They were faced with widely scattered records, and they had to cope with a lot of laws and regulations rather unkind to the historian. This essay deals with the history of Italian archive laws and describes the situation in the archives today. The various records on Fascism are scattered amongst numerous state-run and private archives. Besides the Central State Archives (Rome), there are the Foreign Ministry and the General Staffs of the Armed Forces (army, navy, air force), which are entitled to deal with their records themselves. Apart from those, there are also the independent and hardly accessible archive of the Carabinieri and the Archives of the Istituti Storici della Resistenza which both play an important role for the research into the events after Italy's capitulation on 8th September 1943 (German occupation, Resistenza etc.).


Hersch Fischler: Zum Zeitablauf der Reichstagsbrandstiftung. Korrekturen der Untersuchung Alfred Berndts.
Relevant mistakes in Alfred Berndt's study of the Reichstag fire.

At the beginning of the 1960s, Fritz Tobias claimed that it had not been the National Socialists who had set fire to the Reichstag in 1933, but the Dutchman Marinus van der Lubbe alone. Tobias criticised above all the reports of the fire experts according to which van der Lubbe had not had enough time to start a fire in the plenary assembly hall. These reports had contributed decisively to the verdict of the court, which stated that the arson in the plenary assembly hall of the Reichstag building had been committed by other culprits. In 1964, Hans Mommsen confirmed Tobias' theory that there was only one single culprit, and his criticism of the fire experts in an article in the Vierteljahrshefte. In 1975, a further article by Alfred Berndt appeared in the Vierteljahrshefte, "Zur Entstehung des Reichstagsbrandes. Eine Untersuchung über den Zeitablauf". The author claimed that the fire experts had started out from incorrect details of time and date. According to Berndt, Marinus van der Lubbe had started his doings earlier and the fire in the plenary assembly hall had flared up later than the experts had assumed, and therefore Tobias' theory of one single culprit was all the more probable. However, a scrutiny of Berndt's study proves that his argumentation is founded to a large extent on faulty quotations taken over from Tobias' work. Besides, Berndt's argumentation is in itself implausible. It neither refutes chronological assumptions of the fire experts, not does it make the theory of one single culprit more probable.


Gerhard Wettig: Stalins Aufrüstungsbeschluss. Die Moskauer Beratungen mit den Parteichefs und Verteidigungsministern der Volksdemokratien vom 9. bis 12. Januar 1951.
Stalin's armament resolution. The Moscow consultations with the party leaders and defence ministers of the Eastern bloc states from in January 1951.

North Korea's attack on the southern part of the country in 1950 caused a sentiment of shock in Western Europe, which led to setting up a system of defence against the USSR. Stalin saw his military position threatened in return. He summoned the party leaders and the defence ministers of the Eastern bloc states to a top secret meeting which took place in Moscow from January 9th to January 12th, 1951. On this occasion, he instructed them to push ahead with their defence efforts without regard to the economic situation of their countries. The GDR was omitted in this because Stalin was still hoping for it to extend its influence on Western Germany. This hope was, however, shattered when the integration of the Federal Republic into the Western alliance became apparent. In the course of the year 1951, the USSR therefore started to integrate the GDR into the Eastern process of armament. In his endeavour, Stalin ignored economic necessities during the years 1951 and 1952. As a result, the parts of Central and Eastern Europe that were controlled by the Soviet Union plunged into a deep crisis after Stalin had died.


Dieter Pohl: Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der europäischen Juden durch das nationalsozialistische Deutschland 1933-1945. Ein neues Editionsprojekt

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