Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte Heft 2 / 2002
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Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,
soeben ist das neueste Heft der Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte
Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte Heft 2 / 2002
Karl Dietrich Bracher zum 80. Geburtstag
Gerhard A. Ritter
Die DDR in der deutschen Geschichte
Carlos Collado Seidel
In geheimer Mission für Hitler und die bayerische Staatsregierung. Der politische Abenteurer Max Neunzert zwischen Fememord, Hitlerputsch und Berlinkrise
Die Commerzbank und die "Arisierung" im Altreich. Ein Vergleich der Netzwerkstrukturen und Handlungsspielräume von Großbanken in der NS-Zeit
Mord in Rom? Der Anschlag in der Via Rasella und die deutsche Vergeltung in den Fosse Ardeatine im März 1944
August H. Leugers-Scherzberg
Herbert Wehner und der Rücktritt Willy Brandts am 7. Mai 1974
Christiane Künzel, "Zum Stand der historischen Aufarbeitung kommunistischer Diktaturen". Internationale Arbeitstagung in der Berliner Außenstelle des Instituts für Zeitgeschichte München vom 29. November bis 1. Dezember 2001
Hersch Fischler, Gerhard Brack, Zur Kontroverse über den Reichstagsbrand. Stellungnahme zu der in der Julinummer der Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 2001 publizierten Notiz
Gerhard A. Ritter, The GDR in German History.
The Soviet model, on the one hand, and on the other, the tradition of the German workers' movement, particularly among its communist elements, played significant roles in the process of transforming German society in the GDR. Here, in light of the debate on continuity and discontinuity in German political development before 1945, the questions of the scope of GDR dictatorship and the tension between the SED leadership's will to exert total control and the obstinacy of the GDR's people in trying to maintain a measure of autonomy are addressed. The essay examines the impact of a planned economy, the overall militarization of GDR society, the attempt to establish a new elite and the resistance by certain segments of the old elite to change. Land reform and, later, forced collective ownership did effectively transform the entire structure of rural society. However, attempts to win over the citizens of the GDR completely failed, because the state could not meet the growing demand for consumer goods. Furthermore, the policy of adhering to minimum standards in providing social services such as social security and health care led to a sharp decline in the standard of living, especially among the elderly and the disabled. Overall, with its conservative industrial policy derived from late 19th century and early 20th century models, the GDR failed to attain standards set by modern societies in the second half of the 20th century. Apart from its being unfree, its failure to meet these standards was a principal reason for its collapse at the end.
Carlos Collado Seidel, From Vehme Murderer to Bavaria's Secret Ambassador? Max Neunzert's Political Gambling from the Hitler-Putsch to the Berlin Crisis.
Max Neunzert, who was a member of the lost generation which could not cope with the collapse of the German Empire after World War I, became a political radical. In the 1920's, he joined völkische groups, fought with the Freikorps, joined the National Socialist Party, worked with the Einwohnerwehr, and became - in all probability - a Fememörder. Neunzert fought for the restoration of the old order, and when he realised that National Socialism and the restoration of the monarchy were not compatible, he turned against the NSDAP and fought actively against Hitler. The essay aims to elucidate the apparent contradiction between the ruthless but consistent life of Neunzert and his being in the confidence of such different characters as Röhm, Hitler and the Crown Prince Rupprecht. Neunzert failed in his monarchic enterprise, but in 1948 he was again recruited to help his Bavarian fatherland. Hans Ehard and his CSU government instructed him to ask the Spanish government whether it would accept a Bavarian government-in-exile on Spanish territory in case of a new war. Neunzert and Ehard were not strangers to one another. In 1925 Ehard, as public prosecutor in a trial on a political murder, had demanded the death penalty for Neunzert. This fact in itself throws a striking light on the political scene after 1945.
Bernhard Lorentz, The Commerzbank and Aryanization in the Altreich. A Comparison between the Structure of Network Systems and the Scope of Action by Major Banks during the NS-Period.
This article analyses the role and function of Germany's large banks in the process of the Aryanization of Jewish companies. It can be argued that the Deutsche Bank and, particularly, the Dresdner Bank were aware much earlier of the business opportunities which Aryanization would offer and were involved in the large-scale acquisitions and take-overs of Jewish companies to a greater extent than the Commerzbank, then Germany's third largest private bank. The Commerzbank's behaviour in the Aryanization of middle-sized companies suggests that the Commerzbank's smaller role was due to its having fewer close contacts with the government and the National Socialist Party. Given the large number of business opportunities and the number of potential investors in the 1930's, would-be buyers had difficulties in finding lucrative investment opportunities. During this period, what banks offered their customers was information. Information of this kind was of particular interest because it had become more and more difficult and even dangerous in the National Socialist system to acquire information from other sources. Thus it can be said that the banks operated successfully as an information network.
Steffen Prauser, Murder in Rome? The Attack in the Villa Rasella and the Shooting in the Fosse Ardeatine in March 1944.
The shooting of 335 people in the Fosse Ardeatine in reprisal for an attack by Italian partisans on a German police unit in Rome was not only one of the biggest German reprisals in western Europe, but it has become, over the last 50 years, the most heatedly discussed criminal act by the National Socialists in Italy. As often happens when events become symbolic, public discourse strays from what one may - with all caution - call "historical reality". The article tries, on the one hand, to establish the range within which interpretation may properly take place when facts discovered by new research into sources are added to what is already known. Answers are given to questions which have been open to free-wheeling interpretations of, for example, the composition of the police unit hit by the partisans' attack. On the other hand, questions remaining open are discussed in the context of historical evidence. Was there, for example, really a "Führerbefehl" which ordered the reprisal and was used as an important piece of evidence by the defence in the postwar trial of the Germans responsible for the shooting? The reconstruction of the event in the larger framework of the German occupation of Rome is completed by a final treatment which explores the questionable juridical status of reprisals which took place against civilians during wartime before the introduction of the Geneva conventions of 1949. It briefly explains whether such reprisals were sanctioned by international law and if so, under which circumstances.
August H. Leugers-Scherzberg, Herbert Wehner and Willy Brandt's Resignation on 7 May 1974.
To what extent Herbert Wehner, the Social Democrats' faction leader, was involved in Willy Brandt's resignation as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany is highly controversial and fraught with legend. The former Chancellor's memoirs and "Notizen zum Fall G." were written shortly after his resignation and they focus on the Günter Guillaume spy scandal. They suggest, as do the memoirs of Brandt's confidant, Egon Bahr, and those of KGB officer Wjascheslaw Keworkow, that with Erich Honecker's assistance, Wehner systematically contrived to bring about the Chancellor's fall. In this essay the author, using new sources drawn from Herbert Wehner's private papers, describes Wehner's relationship to Brandt during the period 1973/74, defines the differences that arose between Wehner, Brandt and Bahr concerning guidelines for government policy on the Ostpolitik, explains the purpose of the secret meetings between Wehner and Honecker and between Brandt and Brezhnev, and finally evaluates the SPD faction leader's role in the Guillaume spy scandal which led to the crisis in the administration. According to Wehner, Brandt was incapable of grasping the far-reaching implications of the scandal. Wehner's ultimatum to openly confront the situation forced Brandt to resign.
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