Category: German History

Post-Unification and Beyond to a Modern Germany

In the lead-up to reunification and the first all-German elections two months later, German chancellor Helmut Kohl had promised people on both sides a “blooming landscape” in the East within five years, and a country in which, “Things won’t be worse for anybody, and will be much better for many.”

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Voting With Their Cars and Feet

Later that same year, when Hungary ripped down its section of the Iron Curtain, hundreds of unhappy East Germans stormed across the Austrian border, from there traveling on to West Germany.

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Economic Miracle

Taking all the energies and resourcefulness that had made them a great power before, both Germanys set about to regain their place among the world’s major nations.

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Occupation and Rebirth

Germany had fought to the bitter end, and that end had proved quite bitter indeed: much of the “thousand-year Reich” lay in rubble, and the country was occupied by the four major allies who had combined to defeat the Nazi regime (the USA, Britain, the Soviet Union and France).

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World War II

At first, afraid of confronting a resurgent Germany, Western democracies watched its aggression with gritted teeth. But when German troops invaded Poland on 1 September, 1939, the worst war the world has ever known was unleashed.

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