Download Developments in West German Politics by Gordon Smith, William E. Paterson, Peter H. Merki PDF

By Gordon Smith, William E. Paterson, Peter H. Merki

This e-book supplies updated checks of key tendencies and matters within the Federal Republic with adequate history research to make the therapy of a number of the subject matters available to these with no targeted earlier wisdom of German politics.

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To reinfuse future German politics, of all countries, however, with Peter H. Merkt 21 the spirit of nationalism seems a dubious undertaking in view not only of the German past but even more of the future in which the old nation-state may soon be as outdated as powdered wigs and front-loading muskets. Far from a German nationalist revival, the Federal Republic in the 1990s will more likely be dominated by a resurgence of the spirit of Helsinki and of the accelerated integration of the European Community.

Even notable historians such as Friedrich Meinecke and Gerhard Ritter blamed the Third Reich and its excesses simply on the Weimar 'politics of the masses' and on totalitarianism, an explanation that matched the anti-Soviet and anti-Communist line of the day. As late as 1961, according to public opinion polls about election candidates, three-quarters of West German adults thought that having fled abroad and served in foreign armies, as chancellor candidate Willy Brandt had done during the Nazi years, marked a man as unworthy of high political office, perhaps even a traitor to the nation.

University students also express opinions on the subject, but there is nothing to suggest that these concerns are shared deeply and widely among German youth, or by the public at large. Historical continuity, after all, can be understood in many different ways and the generations that grew up since 1945 have little reason to identify with the nationalistic zealots of another age, and their opinions, pro and con. , was 15 to 25 years old) in the Second World War or earlier amounts to only about one-fifth of the West German population today, and it does acknowledge the problem of collective responsibility either positively or by the violent rejection we might expect from the millions of ex-Nazis and a few neo-Nazis.

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