Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 53 (2005), 2
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Hans Rothfels und die deutsche Zeitgeschichte. Herausgegeben von Johannes Hürter und Hans Woller.
209 S., München 2005
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Thomas Schlemmer und Hans Woller: Der italienische Faschismus und die Juden 1922 bis 1945.
Thomas Schlemmer and Hans Woller: Italian Fascism and the Jews, 1922 to 1945.
It has long been regarded as a commonplace that a militant anti-Semitism had not been a characteristic feature of Italian Fascism, a fact which distinguished it markedly from German National Socialism. Many historians, especially scholars like Renzo De Felice, took this for a reason to put a stronger emphasis on the differences between the two ideologies rather than on their affinity, and they even questioned the scientific soundness of the term "fascism". According to this interpretation, the anti-Jewish policy of the fascist regime did not seem to be the result of its genuine ideological disposition, but a secondary consequence of Italy's alliance with National Socialist Germany.
This article holds a different position. It argues that Italian Fascism was racist from the very beginning, and it was not free of anti-Semitic tendencies either. Those tendencies gained more and more influence from the mid-1930s onwards. During this process, it was not an imitation of Hitler and the Third Reich, but rather Italy's colonial war in Abyssinia, with its racist furor and the inner logic of Mussolini's project to create man anew after his fascist ideals, which worked as catalysts for a policy that culminated in the race laws of 1938. The latter were neither a pale imitation of the Nuremberg race laws of 1935, nor did they exist only on paper. On the contrary, the anti-Jewish policy of the regime was radicalized further until 1943, although it certainly never came close to the murderous dynamism of its German counterpart. Yet the fascists of the republic of Salò became accomplices in the persecution and the killing of the Italian Jews by actively supporting the German bureaucracy of extermination. The essay argues that Italian fascism and German National Socialism had more in common than it had long been assumed. Therefore, it seems doubtful to take racism and anti-Semitism as major criteria in order to distinguish between the two phenomena.
Peter Langer: Paul Reusch und die Gleichschaltung der "Münchner Neuesten Nachrichten" 1933 bis 1936.
Peter Langer: Paul Reusch and the Gleichschaltung of the "Münchner Neueste Nachrichten".
From the 1920s onwards, the "Gute-Hoffnungs-Hütte"group (GHH) was the majority shareholder of the Munich newspaper publisher Knorr & Hirth, which published, among others papers, the largest newspaper in Southern Germany, the "Münchner Neueste Nachrichten" (MNN). In 1933, Paul Reusch, the GHH's chief executive of many years' standing, was compelled to take side for or against the new regime, because the seizure of the group's capital was diametrically opposed to the group's interests. After a short period of hesitation Reusch decided to submit to the NS regime, like most of his colleagues in the boardrooms of the heavy industry in the West of Germany. This can be reconstructed from Reusch's papers in detail. By looking at the case of the MNN, the author tries to gauge what freedom of action a formerly powerful industrial magnate still had before the dictatorship was firmly established. The essay also tries to uncover what Reusch knew about the terror in the early period of the NS regime, and how he dealt with victims of National Socialism in his immediate personal sphere.
Barbara Lambauer: Opportunistischer Antisemitismus. Der deutsche Botschafter Otto Abetz und die Judenverfolgung in Frankreich (1940-1942).
Barbara Lambauer: Opportunistic anti-Semitism. The German ambassador Otto Abetz and the persecution of Jews in France, 1940 - 1942.
This essay deals with the role of the German embassy in causing and radicalizing the persecution of Jews that took place both in the occupied and in the "free" part of France in the years between 1940 und 1942. It is important to note that the model of occupation enacted in France differed greatly from the situation in other occupied countries: During the period that is analyzed in this article there was no comparable situation in any other country in Western or Eastern Europe that was occupied by the Germans. The mere existence of a German embassy in the occupied zone, which was intended to influence the so-called "sovereign" French government in the unoccupied zone, is an unmistakable sign for this. Originally, measures against the Jewish population at the beginning of the period of occupation were planned neither by the military administration nor by the representative of the SD in situ. Having analyzed the sources available in French and German archives, it has to be concluded that it was the embassy whose actions decided the fate of the French Jews. These actions included an imposition of immediate anti-Semitic measures in the autumn of 1940, the foundation of a French general authority for Jewish matters in March 1941, pressing for a quick deportation of interned Jews from summer 1941, and, lastly, the introduction of the star of David as a mark of identification in June 1942.
Matthias Schulz: Integration durch eine europäische Atomstreitmacht? Nuklearambitionen und die deutsche Europa-Initiative vom Herbst 1964.
Matthias Schulz: Integration through European nuclear power? Nuclear ambitions and the German European initiative in the autumn of 1964.
The policies that the second chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Ludwig Erhard, pursued towards France and towards Europe have been the subject of much controversy. Some scholars have argued that Erhard had been unfriendly towards France and had damaged the European integration process, whereas others have held the contrary position, namely that Erhard had tried very hard to find common ground with President Charles de Gaulle in matters of European and Atlantic policy. Yet it has often been overlooked that the tensions between Germany and France had risen even before Erhard took over from Konrad Adenauer. These tensions originated from divergent nuclear interests and a mutual distrust that had begun to grow at the end of 1962 the latest. Erhard actually tried to distinguish himself as a proponent of European integration, much like Adenauer had done.
This article focuses on Erhard's initiative for a European Political Union, which the latter pursued throughout 1964, and it unearths the connections between this initiative and West Germany's nuclear policy. It reinterprets the reasons for the failure of Erhard's initiative, and thereby sheds light on the most serious crisis that the European integration project has seen up to this day, the so-called "Empty Chair Crisis" of 1965. As a result, Franco-German relations were gravely damaged, and a new and profound rapprochement between France and Germany was only achieved when the Federal Republic acquiesced in the policy of non-proliferation in 1969. The article demonstrates that nuclear and defense issues should not be disregarded when doing research into early European integration history.
Helmut Vogt: "Wir stehen als Freie unter Freien". Der Tag der Souveränität am 5. Mai 1955.
Helmut Vogt: West Germany free of tripartite restrictions (May 5, 1955).
On May 5,1955, after ten years of occupation, West Germany was finally handed back her national sovereignty. The Allied High Commission with its substantial rights of control and intervention ceased to exist. The representatives of Britain, France and the USA lost their proconsular powers and became mere ambassadors. What would have been greeted with enthusiasm in the autumn of 1949 (when the Federal Republic of Germany was founded), went by virtually unnoticed six years later. Against the background of official preparations for the great day the article analyses the main reasons for this remarkable public indifference:
Since the 1952 Bonn Treaty the Occupation Statute had hardly been a burden, and while patiently waiting for its successor (the Paris Treaty of 1954) to take effect, many people saw their country already on an equal footing with its neighbours in Europe. More interest was lost during the long delay caused by the French using the instruments of ratification as a bargaining weapon in their negotiations on the Saar problem. When the date for the formal handover approached there was an overwhelming consensus in Bonn and West Berlin not to provoke the East German rulers by ostentatious gestures. Above all, the SPD opposition took advantage of its parliamentary influence to prevent Federal Chancellor Adenauer from capitalizing on his successful integration policy.
Jürgen Zarusky, Debatten um den Hitler-Stalin-Pakt: Eine Moskauer Konferenz
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