Issue 3/2014

Content Overview: English Titles and Abstracts:

  • Anselm Doering-Manteuffel: German History during Twentieth Century Time Spans.
  • Paul Köppen: “We Can Convert the Disease Into Our Weapon.” Heinrich Brüning’s Austerity Diktat and the Rejection of the French Loan Offers in 1930/31.
  • Tamara Ehs: The “New Austrian People”. Educational Goals and Student Camps During the Schuschnigg Era, 1934 to 1938.
  • Grzegorz Rossolinski-Liebe: Holocaust Amnesia. The Ukrainian Diaspora and the Genocide against the Jews.
  • Volksgemeinschaft and the Social History of the Third Reich.

Abstracts

Anselm Doering-Manteuffel: German History during Twentieth Century Time Spans

 

How can national history be conceived without the borders of a country evolving into the limits of insight? How can the underlying social, technical-scientific and ideological processes be related to the caesuras of the political history of the 20th century? With these central questions in mind, Anselm Doering-Manteuffel, Professor of Contemporary History and Director of the Seminar for Contemporary History of the University of Tuebingen, drafts his concept of Zeitbögen [time spans], which allow for a new structuring of the course of German history since 1900. The 20th century was shaped by three major conflicts, which can each be understood as a struggle for power in order to assert fundamentally irreconcilable socio-political and economic systems: The First World War, the Second World War and the Cold War. The struggle for power was about preventing or (respectively) implementing the Anglo-Atlantic system of “freedom”, i.e. a free-market economy and democracy, as the hegemonic principal. However, the great conflicts not only marked political caesuras, but rather served as catalysts in the more long term developments of the respective time span.

 


Paul Köppen: “We Can Convert the Disease Into Our Weapon.” Heinrich Brüning’s Austerity Diktat and the Rejection of the French Loan Offers in 1930/31


Despite the fact that many generations of historians have discussed the topic extensively, the central issues of Heinrich Brüning’s economic and fiscal policy during the Great Depression still remain unclear. Was his chancellorship merely a period of situational crisis management, during which conceptual action was practically impossible due to the international and domestic circumstances, or did Brüning actually pursue a restoration of the monarchy? Did he opt for an aggravation of the crisis by engaging in deflationary measures due to a lack of alternatives or because of his political convictions? The background of Berlin’s categorical “No!” to French loan offers in 1930/31 may provide new insights into these questions. They ultimately suggest that Brüning’s austerity diktat did actually result from a specific political calculation.

 


Tamara Ehs: The “New Austrian People”. Educational Goals and Student Camps During the Schuschnigg Era, 1934 to 1938

 

With the Hochschulerziehungsgesetz [University Education Act] of 1935, the Austro-Fascist regime introduced university summer camps (the so-called Hochschullager). They were held in the summers of 1936 and 1937 and were compulsory for all male students. Their purpose was to achieve physical and mental militarisation. These camps were places to form an elite ideological community: a nation-building exercise was undertaken in order to form the “new Austrian people”, which was designed to be different from the Nazi identity of the German Reich. During the communal experience of camp life over several weeks, a new Austrian national community was to be sampled. The goals were the assertion of the existence of a sovereign Catholic-German Austria vis-à-vis Hitler’s Germany and the practice of Austrian patriotism by Austrian youth. Additionally, the pre-military training was aimed at a militarisation, which was, however, directed more at establishing discipline rather than achieving sufficient combat training.
                                                                                                                             


Grzegorz Rossolinski-Liebe: Holocaust Amnesia. The Ukrainian Diaspora and the Genocide against the Jews

 

In the first half of 1944, tens of thousand Ukrainians left their country together with the withdrawing German occupiers in order to avoid confrontation with the approaching Red Army and the Soviet authorities. Between the summer of 1941 and their time of departure, all of these Ukrainians had had some kind of experience with the Holocaust, either as observers, as rescuers or as perpetrators. In the second half of the 1940s they were relocated from DP camps to various western countries such as Australia, Canada, the USA and the United Kingdom, while some remained in West Germany and Austria. In their newspapers and numerous memoirs they frequently described and discussed the Second World War, but they either did not mention the Holocaust at all or portrayed it as a crime committed only by the Nazis and a small group of unpatriotic Ukrainians. The participation of the Ukrainian police, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and its Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and various types of ordinary local Ukrainians did not appear in these memoirs and historical discourses. On the contrary, some of these actors, in particular the members of the OUN and the partisans of the UPA, were commemorated as freedom fighters and national heroes. Concentrating on western Ukraine, this article explores how, during the Cold War, the Ukrainian Diaspora forgot the annihilation of the Jews, turned Holocaust perpetrators and war criminals into heroes of Ukraine, and argued that survivors from eastern Galicia and Volhynia, who mentioned Ukrainians as perpetrators, were Soviet propagandists and Jewish chauvinists.

 


Martina Steber/Bernhard Gotto/Elizabeth Harvey/Moritz Föllmer/Peter Longerich/Dietmar Süß: Volksgemeinschaft and the Social History of the Third Reich

 

Lots of fuss over the National Socialist Volksgemeinschaft in German research on National Socialism: With the new edited volume “Visions of Community in Nazi Germany. Social Engineering and Private Lives” the debate reaches the English-speaking world. The editors, Martina Steber and Bernhard Gotto, introduce an innovative model to systematize the meaning, power and impact of the Volksgemeinschaft concept in the Third Reich and in so doing develop a new social history of National Socialism. Moritz Föllmer, Elizabeth Harvey, Peter Longerich and Dietmar Süß critically assess its innovative potential for explaining social and cultural change during the Nazi dictatorship.

 




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