- Hans Günter Hockerts: Wiedergutmachung in Deutschland. Eine historische Bilanz 1945-2000. [Abstract]
- Martin Moll: Steuerungsinstrument im "Ämterchaos"? Die Tagungen der Reichs- und Gauleiter der NSDAP. [Abstract]
- Tobias Schneider: Ideologische Grabenkämpfe. Der Philosoph Ludwig Klages und der Nationalsozialismus 1933-1938. [Abstract]
- Werner Link: Die Entstehung des Moskauer Vertrages im Lichte neuer Archivalien.[Abstract]
- Roland Thimme: Das Politische Archiv des Auswärtigen Amts. Rückgabeverhandlungen und Aktenedition 1945-1995.[Abstract]
Hans Günter Hockerts, "Wiedergutmachung" in Germany. A Historical Balance, 1945-2000.
The policy of reparations and its implementation determine whether victims of National Socialist persecution have legitimate claims and who may legitimately claim to be a victim. It deals especially with compensation for lost assets and property and compensation for loss of freedom, health and opportunity. Because the perpetrators' reign of terror extended beyond borders, "Wiedergutmachung" has become an international issue and not remained a domestic one. This essay traces the progress of "Wiedergutmachung" in West Germany, East Germany and, since 1990, unified Germany. First, how West Germany dealt with "Wiedergutmachung" from immediately after the war until unification is discussed. Then, the GDR's handling of reparations is compared to West Germany's. Finally, the essay endeavors to outline the progress that has been made since the caesura of 1989/90 to the establishment of the foundation "Erinnerung, Verantwortung, Zukunft". Have these individual time periods left their mark on the face of "Wiedergutmachung"? What are the reasons for the reparations issue having played such significant political role during the 1990's? To what extent did the East-West con-flict serve as a framework for determining policies? What conclusions can be drawn from the development of "Wiedergutmachung" as a means for the German government and German society to confront its National Socialist past?
Martin Moll, "Ämterchaos", a Coordinating Instrument? The Conferences Held by Reichsleiter und Gauleiter of the NSDAP.
"Ämterchaos" and "Konkurrenzkampf" are accepted terms used to describe the bureaucratic system in the NS state. As his dictatorship continued to exist, and after having fled to his headquarters during the war years, Hitler's style of leadership, according to the current view of historians, displayed an increasing lack of coordination. The frequent meetings with the highest ranking NSDAP functionaries, Gauleiter and Reichsleiter went unnoticed or were perceived at most as mere validating events. This essay, therefore, traces the beginnings of the type of conferences that were held in the early days of the NSDAP and focuses on the astonishing fact that such gatherings, specifically defined as conferences, not only continued to be held after 1933, but actually increased in number during the final phase of the war. Drawing on different sources, among them the diaries of Joseph Goebbels, which are especially rich in evidence description, the author describes the course of the conferences, the speakers at them, the themes treated, the impact of these conferences on the participants and the role Hitler played. In doing so, he has made apparent that Heß's staff and, after 1941, Bormann's party chancellery did not wholly fail in their efforts to use these conferences as a means of the party's holding itself together, but even more as an instrument of coordinating party, state and the Wehrmacht. It should be noted that after such ministerial conferences were discontinued in 1938, nothing like them remained to offer a forum for communication.
Schneider, Tobias, Ideological Trench Warfare. Ludwig Klages and National Socialism from 1933-1938.
Ludwig Klages' role in the Weltanschauungskampf during the Third Reich has been completely neglected by researchers, even though Klages was one of the most popular philosophers and psychologists in Germany from 1933 to 1945. Klages, who, since 1910, had openly expressed his antisemitic and anti-democratic beliefs, was highly regarded by the National Socialists. In 1933, immediately after the Machtergreifung, he was invited by the National Socialists to give lectures at Friedrich-Wilhelm-University in Berlin. Klages' popularity compelled Alfred Rosenberg and Alfred Baeumler, after 1936, to be more openly antagonistic to the philosopher and his followers, but not even their hostility could keep numerous members of the NS elite, such as Baldur von Shirach, from accepting Klages' views. Consequently, the case of Ludwig Klages is a clear example of the ideological disorder within the supposedly tightly disciplined and rigid National Socialist system.
Werner Link, The Framework for Negotiations Leading to the Moscow Treaty in 1970.
The new "Ostpolitik" and the friendship treaty between West Germany and the Soviet Union came about because of changes in the international systems in Europe. The Federal Republic of Germany responded to new conditions by devising a policy of "aktive Anpassung" which it began pursuing as early as the Kiesinger/Brandt coalition government. Confidential talks, in which Germany made concessions in return for overall Soviet restraint, helped to pave the way for later negotiations with Moscow. After the SPD-FDP coalition government had been formed in 1969, Egon Bahr enlarged the framework within which negotiations were conducted. Notably, it linked West Germany's recognizing the borders set by Stalin to the Soviet Union's readiness to accept a letter raising the issue of German unification. Equally important was the construction of a bridge (by the German Foreign Office, not Egon Bahr) linking Soviet non-aggression to German acceptance of the borders. The political significance of the connection between the ratification of the treaty with Moscow in 1970 which led to the more satisfactory Berlin Agreement cannot be denied. From the German point of view, the Moscow Treaty provided a "modus vivendi" having Germany unification as its ultimate goal. The question does arise, however, whether the Soviet Union was, perhaps, prepared to make even greater concessions at the time.
Roland Thimme, The Political Archives of the German Foreign Office. Negotiations for the Return and Publication of Documents 1945-1995.
In 1945, classified historical documents from the German Foreign Office's political archives were confiscated by the three victorious western powers. The return of these documents to the Federal Republic of Germany was hindered in 1958 by the resistance of allied historians at Whaddon Hall who were working on the edition "Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918-1945". Not until 1960 were the United States, France and England able to come to terms with the Federal Republic of Germany on how to continue with the publication of the selected and annotated documents. There came about a new form of scholarly reciprocity from which all those involved benefited. Nevertheless, there were instances in which one or the other governments tried to further their own national interests. The regulatory function of an international committee, however, prevented such singular actions. Distinguished for its neutrality and objectivity, the edition of the "Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918-1945" finally came to a close in 1995 with the publication of its 58th volume. The German Foreign Office did not at any time interfere with the work of historians and gave them free access to documents at all times.