VfZ Heft 1 / 2003

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VfZ Heft 1 / 2003
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Jubiläumsheft zum 50. Geburtstag der Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte

München 2003: Oldenbourg Verlag
Jahresabo: € 48,00



Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte
Redaktion Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Leonrodstraße 46b, 80636 München, vfz@ifz-muenchen.de
Jaroschka, Gabriele

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, liebe Leser,
Ihre Zeitschrift feiert den 50. Geburtstag. Der Verlag gratuliert den Herausgebern und der Redaktion zum jugendlichen Alter dieses Forums der internationalen Forschung. Vor allem aber danken wir den Beziehern und Lesern der VfZ für ihr Interesse und für ihre Treue.
„Geschichte schreiben, während sie noch qualmt“ – mit diesem Zitat skizziert Hans-Peter Schwarz Aufgabe und Faszination der Zeitgeschichte und ihrer Zeitschrift. Dieses Jubiläumsheft entwirft mit seinen Beiträgen ein mehr als lesenswertes Spektrum der neueren Zeitgeschichtsforschung.
Die Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte versprechen auch für die Zukunft, was sie in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten gehalten haben: Information aus erster Hand und seriöse Auseinandersetzung mit den aktuellen Themen. Dennoch: wer rastet, der rostet. Dies wird Ihrer Zeitschrift nicht passieren. Sie verjüngt sich im Erscheinungsbild – vorsichtig, wie es sich gehört -, um Ihnen die Lektüre zu erleichtern, doch ohne sich modisch zu putzen. Die nächsten Hefte werden Ihnen zeigen, wie die VfZ durch attraktive neue Elemente die Auseinandersetzung mit der Zeitgeschichte weiter fördern wollen.
Herzlicher Glückwunsch der Zeitschrift und ihren Lesern!

Ihr Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag



Karl Dietrich Bracher: Es begann mit der Weimarer Erfahrung
Karl Dietrich Bracher, It started with the Weimar experience
Research into contemporary history as it developed in the Federal Republic of Germany after 1945 was at first entirely occupied with the failure of the Weimar Republic and of the European order of peace after the initial catastrophe of the First World War, and with the terrible consequences resulting from this. Up to the present day, this experience has lost none of its importance. Its effects are still noticeable, and they are intertwined inseparably with many aspects of recent and most recent historical developments, such as, for example, the conflicts which broke out on the Balkans during the last years, or the terrible problems of overdue compensation for forced labour, persecution and expulsion. The purview of contemporary history can therefore not be limited to the "epoch of the contemporaries". Karl Dietrich Bracher, the doyen of this discipline, stresses this as firmly as he pleads for an undiminished continuation of research into Weimar history, which can, in his view, still contribute decisively to the understanding of the 20th century.

Hans-Peter Schwarz: Die neueste Zeitgeschichte
Hans-Peter Schwarz, Recent Contemporary History
In his essay, the author pleads for understanding "the most recent contemporary history" after the radical change of 1989/91 - as well as earlier periods - as a genuine field for research into contemporary history, and he suggests taking the last decade into greater account than it has been done so far. A description and analysis of recent contemporary history that lives up to academic standards is feasible. This can, for example, be illustrated by looking at the events in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s. Various academic disciplines - such as the political sciences, international politics, economics, regional history, history, sociology and law - have always been engaged in the field of recent contemporary history. The contributions of serious journalism and of well-informed decision-makers deserve to be taken into account. When looking back on how contemporary history has developed since its emergence in the early 1950s, it becomes evident that the discipline was, in its early days, indeed focussed on what was then still very recent history, as the events between 1914 and 1945 did not lie further back than 10, 15, 20 or 25 years. It was the systematic and critical analysis of these events which won the discipline public acknowledgement. This is something to build on.

Horst Möller, Diktatur- und Demokratieforschung im 20. Jahrhundert
Horst Möller, Research into Dictatorship and Democracy in the 20th Century
In his essay, the author tries to point out new ways in the research into dictatorship and democracy in the 20th century. A comparative approach, which is still very rarely found in contemporary history, is, in his view, most likely to yield success. By looking further afield and pointing out the specifics of the research into the age of Enlightenment, he refutes arguments against a comparative approach. Such an approach is, according to the author, imperative in order to grasp the characteristics and landmarks of an epoch like, for example, the period between the wars with its multilateral and dialectic interconnections between the states of Europe. After sketching the history of the two approaches, Möller goes on to discuss the possibilities and the limits of theories of fascism and of totalitarianism in the light of recent research. As a conclusion, Möller pleads for intensifying the research into the workings of democracy, which he holds to be not only an academic task, but also a political necessity.

Hermann Graml und Hans Woller, Fünfzig Jahre Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 1953-2003
Hermann Graml und Hans Woller, Fifty Years of Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte. 1953 - 2003
The authors start by depicting the foundation of the journal, in which politics and bureaucracy where involved, as well as historians. The founders' motives and the goals which they had in mind are analysed. These were information about the emergence, the nature, the structure and the atrocities of the NS-regime, but also help with understanding the period in an European and global context. Each contribution was to fulfil the strictest criteria of methodological accurateness and be committed to the spirit of humanism. The authors examine which were the prior topics dealt with as a result of this pledge, and they look at the background and the profile of the authors. It does also become clear that, why, and in what way Hans Rothfels, who was, beside Theodor Eschenbach, chief editor during the first 25 years, shaped the identity of the VfZ to a very remarkable extent. Last but not least, the extraordinarily strong influence which emanated from the journal even in its early days, and which went far beyond the limited circle of professional historians, but reached the whole of society in the Federal Republic of Germany, are examined. This success was reflected by the fact that the VfZ quickly developed into the historical journal with the highest circulation, thereby exceeding all expectations. It then follows the exciting story of the changes which had become necessary after Rothfels had died and Eschenburg had left, and which could not be effected without a dispute. The outline of the second twenty-five years of the journal explains how the successors, Karl Dietrich Bracher, Hans-Peter Schwarz and then also Horst Möller, maintained and enriched the tradition set up by Rothfels and Eschenburg and how they took the challenge of new topics, but remained careful to keep to continuity.

Jürgen Zarusky, Die Schriftenreihe der Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte
Jürgen Zarusky, The Schriftenreihe of the Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte.
This essay shows how the Schriftenreihe of the Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte was established and how it developed. The series was founded a few years after the VfZ in order to make room for studies and documentaries which were too extensive for the journal, yet too brief for any other of the Institute's series. The foundations were essentially laid by Hans Rothfels, who was at the time, together with Eschenburg, editor of the VfZ, and by Martin Broszat, who was then a sub-editor. The series' strict regularity of appearance was born of Broszat's initiative. It quickly developed its own profile and gave the editors the opportunity of being able to react swiftly to current trends in research, and of setting their own emphases. More than 80 volumes have appeared so far, and they mirror the main tendencies of research into contemporary history during the last four decades.


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