Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 3 (1998)

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Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 3 (1998)
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München 1998: Oldenbourg Verlag
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Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte
Redaktion Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Leonrodstraße 46b, 80636 München,
Jaroschka, Gabriele



Rubrik: Aufsaetze

Mathias Beer: Im Spannungsfeld von Politik und Zeitgeschichte. Das Grossforschungsprojekt "Dokumentation der Vertreibung der Deutschen aus Ost-Mitteleuropa".

With ist unchallenged political and scholarly value and the long period over which it was composed (1951-1961), during which three generations of German historians (Hans Rothfels, Werner Conze, Theodor Schieder, Martin Broszat, Hans-Ulrich Wehler) participated in, "the Documentation of the Expulsion of Germans from Eastern Europe" offers the opportunity to examine the relationship between politics and contemporary history during the formative period of the Federal Republic of Germany. Methodical and innovative in content, this project is, on the one hand, a remarkable example of the continuity in which the German science of history was politicised and thus an instrument of the state from the Weimar period to the early Federal Republic. On the other hand, it represents a break with the conformity of West German historiography to politics in the second half of the 1950`s. Therefore the "Documentation of the Expulsion" is to be seen as an important link between West German contemporary history, which in its beginnings was still committed to older national political goals, and a modern social historical approach to research in contemporary history. The "Documentation of the Expulsion" comes up against its limits precisely at that point where the modern approach to social history begins with its investigation of the premises, the history, and the consequences of National Socialism in the context of European history.

Jaromir Balcar: Instrument im Volkstumskampf? Die Anfaenge der Bodenreform in der Tschechoslowakei 1919/20

Land Reform in Czechoslovakia, the laws of which were passed in 1919/20 by the Revolutionary National Assembly, was intensely debated throughout the interwar period and even after 1945. While the Czech side emphasized its absolute social necessity, German critics claimed that its sole aim was to transfer landed property in Czechoslovakia, the author examined the protocols of the Committee for Land Reform and the sessions of the party chairmen. The documents reveal that - contrary to the public discussions at the time - nationalist arguments played hardly any role in the debates of the Committee for Land Reform and among the party chairmen. Equivocal and spongy formulations resulted not from any effort to give the executive power to discriminate against minorities, but rather from the specific political character of the country. Czechoslovakia`s "democracy of consensus" sought as far as possible, to have decisions taken unanimously, and was, therefore, impelled to reach compromises acceptable to all sides in every controversy. Where compromise could not be reached, decision was avoided and the solution of problems left to the executive. Land reform and the way it was implemented are prime examples of difficulty generated by the system itself.

Elmar Krautkraemer: Gentlemen`s agreement zwischen London und Vichy? Die Geheimverhandlungen im Herbst 1940.

For a long time the secret negotiations between the British and the Vichy government were a cause of dispute in British and French treatments of contemporary history. For some they constituted evidence of a "double jeu" on the part of Marshall Petain. Others tried to play down the importance of these, especially since in the summer of 1945 Churchill, out of consideration for de Gaulle, denied their existence. Based on British Foreign Office files, particularly on a document that until now has not been taken into account sufficiently, this study demonstrates how significant these negotiations in actuality were for the British Foreign Office and especially for Churchill himself. London did support the Vichy government's claim to legitimacy; indeed, the British government at times was even prepared to replace the head of France Libre, thereby considering the restoration of the French monarchy with the aid of the Count de Paris in North Africa.

Jochen Laufer: Die UdSSR und die deutsche Waehrungsfrage 1944-1948.

What position did the Soviet Union and the other occupying powers take forward a common currency reform in Germany after the German capitulation? Was there a specific approach by the SMAD to German monetary affairs which differed from that of the Moscow central office? Using sources taken from the Moscow archives as a basis, the study examines the issuing of the Military Matk by the USSR (1945/46), the Soviet`s occupation costs in Germany, the first initiatives of the Soviet Military Administration for currency reform in 1946, the Soviet`s tactical manoeuvring against the suggested currency reform of the Western Powers in 1946/47, and finally the Soviet preparations for currency reform in the Soviet occupied zone in Germany. The study thereby demonstrates that Soviet policy on the question of German currency reform aimed not at a common currency reform in all four zones of Germany, but rather toward averting or delaying it.

Rubrik: Diskussion

Freya Eisner: Kurt Eisner und der Begriff "Freistaat"

Kurt Eisner not only gave the name "Free State" (Freistaat) to the state of Bavaria to denote its status as a republic. Indeed, he first introduced the concept, which he probably adopted from the United States of America, in an historical context when on November 7/8, 1918 he called upon the "Citizens of Munich!" and declared "Bayern ist fortan ein Freistaat". This key statement was telegraphed to the press and subsequently published in detail by numerous newspapers, before the proclamation of Bavaria as a republic had even reached the national and state level. In this endeavour to lay claim to Bavaria`s traditional sovereign status within the German empire, the concept of "Free State" meant federal as well, and in this sense influenced the nation's constitution also.

Rubrik: Dokumentation

Elke Scherstjanoi: Die sowjetische Deutschlandpolitik nach Stalins Tod 1953. Neue Dokumente aus dem Archiv des Moskauer Aussenministeriums

Recently opened Soviet archives dating from spring 1953 shed new light on the plans Soviet leadership had for Germany at that time. After Stalin's death, the Kremlin displayed for several weeks an unusual eagerness to negotiate and offer concessions, especially after Churchill had stated that the question of a free Western alliance system was compatible with Soviet security concerns. To Stalin heirs it still seemed possible to prevent the integration of the Federal Republic into the Western Military alliance. Therefore, while preparing for all-German elections and a peace treaty, they offered new proposals which went beyond Stalin's Peace Notes of 1952. The heart of the proposal was the speedy establishment of an all-German interim government having wide-ranging responsibilities, yet without any authority to intervene in the sovereignty of the two existing governments They wanted to win over the Germans with the idea of allied troop withdrawal prior to the vote and peace treaty. However, the initiative was thwarted by the way domestic affairs were developing within East Germany, to which Kremlin leadership reacted too slowly and clumsily. The international environment changed dramatically on June 17, 1953. Ungovernable by conventional means, the deployment of Soviet tanks in East Germany made a mockery of the Kremlin's willingness to cooperate. Little by little the Soviet party leadership gave up its illusion of a quick solution to the German question.

Rubrik: Notiz

Dierk Hoffmann : Die Integration von Fluechtlingen und Vertriebenen nach 1945. Interdisziplinaere Ergebnisse und Forschungsperspektiven. Ein Forschungskolloquium des Instituts fuer Zeitgeschichte.

Mitarbeiter dieses Hefts

Dr. Mathias Beer
Jaromir Balcar
Dr. Elmar Krautkraemer
Dr. Jochen Laufer
Dr, Freya Eisner
Dr. Elke Scherstjanoi

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