Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 52 (2004), 2
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Klaus Hildebrand, Wiedervereinigung und Staatenwelt. Probleme und Perspektiven der Forschung zur deutschen Einheit 1989/90
Wiedervereinigung and international relations. Problems and perspectives of the academic research into the German unification of 1989/90
In spite of the substantial differences between the founding of the German Reich in 1870/71 and the German reunification in 1989/90, there is a methodological parallel regarding their historiography: both in the 19th and in the 20th century, those major historic events immediately incited the interest of scholars, even before the official documents were made available to the public. Historians started right away to secure the heterogeneous source material, to reconstruct the course of events, and to interpret the complex causal relationships. The conditions of international relations and the reactions of the great powers were essential both for the founding of the Reich and for the reunification.
The academic and the public interest is focused on the following problems: First, there is the debate about how one should denote what happened in 1989/90 (German Wiedervereinigung, Neuvereinigung, Vereinigung or Einheit). Second, there is the question of the compatibility or incompatibility of national reunification and modern, or rather post-modern, development. Third, there is the attitude of the United States of America, the Soviet Union, France and Britain, and the two German states, towards the historic process of reunification. The states and their relations, power and ideas were the forming forces of German and European history during the course of the Germans' national reunification. Therefore, historical works will have to take greater notice of "the role of political history, of the reconstruction of the course of events, and also of biography" than has been done so far.
Manfred Zeidler, Der Minsker Kriegsverbrecherprozeß vom Januar 1946. Kritische Anmerkungen zu einem sowjetischen Schauprozeß gegen deutsche Kriegsgefangene
The Minsk war crimes trial of January 1946. Some critical thoughts on a Soviet show trial against German prisoners of war
In the first years after 1945, trials against German Wehrmacht soldiers and civilians which dealt with war crimes and National Socialist crimes were held in many European countries that had become war zones or that had suffered a longer period of German occupation. By far most of these trials against German soldiers took place in the Soviet Union, which started a series of public trials against a total of 86 defendants in December 1945. This first series lasted until February 1946, and it was followed by a host of further trials, which went on until 1952. According to the Tägliche Rundschau, a newspaper published by the Soviet military administration in Germany, those first trials formed "a great unity with the [concurrent] Nuremberg trial". Using this comparison, the Soviet Union claimed to observe the rules of law and postulated the standards of legal norms developed in Europe and North America to be valid for her own trials. By examining one of them, namely the Minsk trial (15th - 19th January 1946), this paper tries to investigate their quality as regards the observance of the rules of law. Therefore, it does not focus on those cases which are clear and unambiguous, but critically questions dubious and problematic ones. The result must not be taken for a definite or final answer, but one should think about the question to what extent the Minsk trial and, in the end, all trials of this series can be regarded as Stalinist show trials.
Shlomo Aronson, Israelische Atomwaffen und der Sechs-Tage-Krieg von 1967
Israeli Nuclear weapons and the Six-Day War of 1967
This article is based on newly available sources, and it suggests a new interpretation of the road leading to the 1967 Israeli-Arab Six-Day War. Several factors should be considered in order to arrive at a better understanding of the 1967 crisis. First, there is the Israeli nuclear programme, which was launched in 1958 as a consequence of the Suez campaign of 1956. It became the Arab casus belli as well as the focus of Soviet and Anglo-American attention, when it was supposed to bear its initial fruits in 1967. Furthermore, internal discussions in Israel should be taken into consideration, as well as changes in the region resulting from the ascendance of a new Ba'ath regime in Syria and the emergence of two Palestinian organizations in the mid 1960s. The essay also deals with the deployment of French-made ballistic missiles of intermediate range in Israel, with the French-Israeli and the French-German-Israeli connections regarding defence, and with foreign relations at the time.
Ahlrich Meyer, Kleistische Prosa oder Polizeibericht? Anmerkungen zu Ernst Jüngers Denkschrift „Zur Geiselfrage“Kleistian prose or police report?Some comments on Ernst Jünger's memorandum "On the hostage question"
The publication of Ernst Jünger's "Hostage Memorandum" requires some further comments, which should be of interest both for the research on Ernst Jünger and for the historiography of the German occupation in France. The author has been able to prove that Jünger's text, which was drawn up on behalf of the German military administration in Paris, is chiefly based on the reports of the Geheime Feldpolizei and other contemporary documents, which Jünger copied for the most part. There are notes and calendar entries to be found in Jünger's unpublished literary bequest that show Otto von Stülpnagel, the first military commander in France, and his tactically motivated attitude towards the mass killings of French hostages in a different and much more critical light than the memorandum recently published.
Sönke Neitzel, Deutsche Generäle in britischer Gefangenschaft 1942-1945. Eine Auswahledition der Abhörprotokolle des Combined Services Interrogation Centre UK
German generals in British captivity 1942-1945. A selection of minutes recorded by the Combined Services Interrogation Centre UK.
Since the outbreak of World War II, the War Office had systematically bugged German prisoners of war in order to gain information of political and military relevance. The extensive minutes of the bugging campaign are held at the Public Record Office in London, and they present a fascinating insight into the POWs' thoughts. The minutes of the conversations that were listened into at the Special Camp for Staff Officers in Trent Park, an estate west of London, are particularly interesting. Without knowing that they were being bugged, the German Generals talked about their war experience intensively and openly in a relaxed atmosphere. This documentation publishes a selection of minutes on conversations about war crimes, the bomb plot of July 1944, and the expected future course of the war. They show that the individual judgement of German generals concerning their experiences in Russia varied considerably, as well as their opinions on Hitler and the National Socialist system, and that their views on the current war situation in 1943 were very different from those held in 1944. Furthermore, they are proof that knowledge of war crimes in Russia was wide spread within the German military elite.
Schriftenreihe der Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Band 88:
Sowjetische Partisanen in Weißrußland
Innenansichten aus dem Gebiet Baranoviči 1941–1944
Herausgegeben und eingeleitet von Bogdan Musial
Übersetzung der Dokumente aus dem Russischen von Tatjana Wanjat
Vom NS-Regime als Vorwand für Massenverbrechen genutzt, in der Sowjetunion mythisch überhöht und in der jüngsten Debatte über die Wehrmacht höchst umstritten: Bis heute ist die sowjetische Partisanenbewegung als konkrete historische Erscheinung schwer greifbar. Anhand von Quellen aus weißrussischen Beständen ermöglicht Bogdan Musial in der vorliegenden Dokumentation nun Innenansichten des Alltags der Freischärler. Die Beschränkung auf das Gebiet Baranoviči, das bis 1939 als Wojewodschaft Nowogrodek zu Polen gehörte, erlaubt dabei nicht nur den Nahblick auf die Praxis vor Ort, sondern eröffnet auch eine Perspektive auf spezifische Konfliktlinien des Krieges im Osten, die sich hier in besonderer Weise verdichteten. Neben der Entstehung, Organisation und Kampftätigkeit der Partisanenbewegung werden deren Verhältnis zur Zivilbevölkerung, die spezifische Rolle jüdischer Partisanen und schließlich der Konflikt mit der polnischen Heimatarmee beleuchtet, der in einen „Krieg im Krieg“ mündete.
Redaktion Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte
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