The East German Leadership and the Division of Germany: Patriotism and Propaganda 1945-1953 - Oxford Historical Monographs (Hardback)
  • The East German Leadership and the Division of Germany: Patriotism and Propaganda 1945-1953 - Oxford Historical Monographs (Hardback)
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The East German Leadership and the Division of Germany: Patriotism and Propaganda 1945-1953 - Oxford Historical Monographs (Hardback)

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£147.50
Hardback 320 Pages / Published: 13/07/2006
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Would it have been possible to build a unified and democratic Germany half a century before the fall of the Berlin Wall? This book reassesses this question by exploring Germany's division after the Second World War from the point of view of the SED, the communist-led and Soviet-sponsored ruling party of East Germany. Drawing on unpublished documents from the SED archives, Dr Spilker rejects claims that the East German comrades and their Soviet masters had abandoned their struggle for socialism and were willing to accept a democratic Germany in exchange for a pledge to neutrality. He argues that the communists' sudden switch to a multi-party approach at the end of the war was a tactical move inspired not by a desire for compromise but by the mistaken belief that they could win political hegemony - and the chance to introduce socialism throughout Germany - through the ballot box. Communist optimism, as this book shows, rested on specific assumptions about the situation after the war, all of which revolved around the prospect of political instability and social unrest in West Germany. The comrades in East Berlin did not just say that their regime would ultimately prevail, they genuinely believed it. Nor should their hopes be dismissed as a mere fantasy. In the aftermath of the war, the economic gap between the two Germanies was still relatively narrow and West Germany's future success as a magnet for the people in East Germany was by no means guaranteed.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199284122
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 528 g
Dimensions: 223 x 145 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
...cogent and persuasive...Specialists will find the book stimulating...But the book's vigorous argument, and direct, unpretentious prose will also make it accessible to a wider audience interested in the early phases of the Cold War. * Gareth Pritchard The English Historical Review *
Spilker often breaks new gorund...a well structured and readable study... * Dierk Hoffmann Bulletin German Historical Institute *

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