SoSe 17: "We are to hold Germany for western civilization." – Political, economic, and cultural entanglements in the American occupation of Germany, 1945-1949
This seminar is designed to give students a broad understanding of the U.S. occupation of Germany in the early post-World War Two era. The end of the Second World War offered unprecedented ... Lesen Sie weiter
This seminar is designed to give students a broad understanding of the U.S. occupation of Germany in the early post-World War Two era. The end of the Second World War offered unprecedented possibilities and challenges to American international leadership. To the United States the war had proven that enduring peace could only be achieved through close international cooperation. Occupied Germany became a blueprint for America´s internationalization efforts. The destruction of industry, infrastructure, and political life demanded for an almost complete reconstruction and remodeling of German society. American understandings of democracy, capitalism, and mass culture dominated the discourses around the future of Germany. This seminar introduces students to the most important American political, economic, and cultural programs in occupied Germany. It traces their interconnections, and situates them within public and political discourses on American responsibility and global leadership. Among others, we will look at the Denazification and Reeducation programs, the Marshall Plan, the Nuremberg Trial, and cultural programs such as the Amerika Häuser. What agenda guided all those programs? How did they influence or contradict one another? What can they tell us about American national self-perception after the Second World War? The emerging Cold War plays a significant role in this context. We will analyze the influence of Soviet power on American discourses on political identity and see in how far the bipolar conflict influenced U.S. policies towards Germany. Regular participation --no more than two (2) unexcused absences -- in the seminar is required for both the Teilnahme- and Leistungsschein.