Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 3/2002
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Hans Maier, Deutungen totalitärer Herrschaft 1919-1989.
Hans Maier, Interpretations of Totalitarian Rule, 1919 - 1989.
At their emergence, the modern totalitarian regimes have been interpreted partly by means of traditional political categories - tyranny or despotism -, and partly with the help of newly defined notions - such as totalitarianism, political or secular religions. This is not only due to various modes of perception and different "political geographies", but also to fundamentally distinct ways of interpretation and of historical judgment. This essay traces the development of the respective perceptions and terminologies, and it especially investigates if, and in what way, the concepts of totalitarianism and of political religion, which were again brought into the limelight of the historical and the philosophical discussion after 1989/90, have been fruitful.
Jochen Streb, Internationaler Wettbewerbsfähigkeit durch nationale Technologiepolitik? Lehren aus der staatlichen Förderung der Synthesekautschukproduktion in Deutschland und in den USA während des Zweiten Weltkriegs. Jochen Streb, International Competitiveness through a National Policy for the Advancement of Technology? Lessons from the Government Aid for the Synthetic Production of Natural Rubber in Germany and the United States during World War II.
By comparing technological change and economic development in the German and in the U.S. synthetic rubber industries during World War II, the author analyses how the government demand for innovative goods influenced the research and development, the production, and the marketing activities of private firms. Four main results were obtained: firstly, the low market price of natural rubber in the 1930s forced the state to give sales guarantees. These were badly needed to motivate private firms to produce the synthetic rubber BUNA S. Secondly, the German synthetic rubber producer I.G. Farben, which had been given a fixed price contract, achieved higher cost reductions than the American firms, which were working under cost-plus contracts. Thirdly, the patent sharing agreements of the U.S. synthetic rubber programme caused the firms to hold back inventions and to build up a tacit knowledge among their staff instead. Fourthly, the vertically integrated American synthetic rubber producers considered the needs of the less well developed rubber fabricators more carefully than the non-integrated German rubber producers did.
Marc Frey, Drei Wege zur Unabhängigkeit. Die Dekolonisierung in Indochina, Indonesien und Malaya nach 1945. Marc Frey, Three Ways of Achieving Independence: Decolonization in Indochina, Indonesia and Malaya.
This article traces the development of cultural, economic and political relations between Southeast Asia and Europe in the era of decolonization. It suggests a new approach towards the study of decolonization: instead of focusing on the political aspects, namely transfers of power, decolonization is here conceived of as a multilayered process that entailed the restructuring of economies as well as the redefinition and development of national cultures. In short, decolonization meant the creation of "imagined communities". The article looks at the period between 1945 and the mid-1960s; in particular it deals with the three principal cases of decolonization in Southeast Asia, namely Indonesia/the Netherlands, Vietnam/France, and Malaya/Great Britain. It argues that bilateral relations in the period following the transfer of power reflected the ways and means by which independence had been achieved. Former colonial powers remained actors in the region by preferentially allocating development aid to the countries concerned. Southeast Asian countries, in turn, utilized their ties to former colonial powers in order to neutralize or diffuse the influence of outside actors such as China and the United States.
Manfred Kittel, Preußens Osten in der Zeitgeschichte. Mehr als nur eine landeshistorische Forschungslücke. Manfred Kittel, Prussia's East in Contemporary History. More than a mere Gap in the Research into Regional History
The history of the former eastern provinces of Prussia, that is Pomerania, Silesia and East Prussia, during the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich has largely been ignored by scholars of contemporary and regional history in the Federal Republic of Germany - although it has been stressed, again and again, that the German territories East of the Elbe were crucial to the decline and the fall of the Weimar democracy. Proceeding from a survey of gaps that exist in the research work with early contemporary history, this essay gives a detailed account of both the academic and the socio-political reasons for the development in question: starting with the Germans' attempts after 1945 to find a new identity devoid of all historical dimension and, above all, to dissociate themselves from their Prussian heritage, it goes on to examine the consequences which the "Western Alliance" and the détente policy had for the interest in the East. Furthermore, it deals with problems relating to the organisation and the politics of the academic discussion, as, for example, the fact that the abandonment of the notion of "country" in favour of a stress on ethnic origin, which had formerly been common with German scholars working in this field, still had its repercussions after 1945. The article concludes with a reflection on the opportunities for researchers in contemporary history dealing with the former eastern provinces of Prussia that might result from the fact that the international constellations were fundamentally changed when the era of the Cold War came to an end in 1989/90.
Franz-Werner Kersting, Helmut Schelskys "Skeptische Generation" von 1957. Zur Publikations- und Wirkungsgeschichte eines Standardwerkes.
Franz-Werner Kersting, Helmut Schelsky's "Sceptic Generation" of 1957 - a Classic. An Analysis of the Publication and the Effect of a Standard Work.
Schelsky's 1957 study on the youth in the West German post-war reconstruction period (from 1945 to 1955) soon won classical status and was of seminal influence. The article tries to give a - much-desired - systematic account of its publication, its reception and the ramifications it entailed for the general public. There are several basic prerequisites and general preconditions for this success story: the author's well established reputation, his efficient synthesis on the basis of variegated data, and the ongoing discussion about the then current phenomenon of a rebellious youth (Halbstarkenkrawalle). Yet, the work's most intriguing feature was probably its very title, which indicated a factual account as well a social message, and which proved consonant with dominant trends in the Zeitgeist. The study's content, it is argued, was indelibly coloured by the author's own precarious biographical experience and by the mental disposition that the generation to which he belonged displayed during the transition from the Third Reich to the establishment of the Federal Republic. The article comes to the conclusion that a close reading of Schelsky's book on the "Sceptical Generation" will help to put the 1968 movement into historical perspective. The vision which the young "Sceptics" upheld about themselves and others for a society to come was part and parcel of the intellectual frame of reference that shaped the mentality inherent in the violent protest which a later student generation felt legitimized to entertain.
Ingo Haar, Quellenkritik oder Kritik der Quellen? Replik auf Heinrich August Winkler.
Ingo Haar, Critical Reading of Historical Sources or Criticism of the Sources? Reply to Heinrich August Winkler
Ingo Haar rejects Heinrich August Winkler's accusation that he should have presented Hans Rothfels, one of the most prominent representatives of the German research into contemporary history, of paving the way for the National Socialist policy of extermination. Furthermore, Haar criticizes Winkler's interpretation of Rothfels' disputed speech "The German Idea of the 'Nation' from Frederick the Great to the Present"; according to Winkler, Rothfels presented himself in 1930 as a "Vernunftrepublikaner", that is to say, a supporter of the republic of Weimar for rational reasons, and as being in favour of Gustav Stresemann. Haar concedes that there is indeed some approval for Stresemann in the speech in question; this approval is, however, nowhere to be found in a new version of the speech, delivered by Rothfels in 1933. Winkler therefore refers to a quote which is not authentic. By deleting one passage and adding another one, in which Rothfels expresses his support for a coalition of the presidential regime with the new "national movement", the tone of the text is considerably altered.
Andreas Eichmüller, Die Verfolgung von NS-Verbrechen durch westdeutsche Justizbehörden seit 1945 - Inventarisierung und Teilverfilmung der Verfahrensakten. Ein neues Projekt des Institut für Zeitgeschichte.
Redaktion Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte
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