Contemporary History Podium 2021: "More than a Footnote! The Soviet Zone of Occupation and the GDR in German and European History"


Researching the history of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) is necessary to better understand current issues such as the tensions presently perceptible in Eastern Germany, which are at least partially rooted in the years between 1945 and 1990. Additionally there is the still ongoing historiographical problem of which new questions need to be asked about the GDR as part of German and European history. The authors of the “Contemporary History Podium” first discuss the history of the Soviet Zone of Occupation (Jürgen John) and the early GDR (Elke Scherstjanoi). Petra Weber subsequently deals with the social history of the GDR in an intra-German context, Frieder Günther makes observations about research into government agencies in East-West comparison, and Florian Peters searches for the historic place of the GDR in the history of Eastern Europe. Finally Michael Schwartz considers the historical role of the GDR in transformations since the 1980s.


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