History of Germany 1945- 1990

General Information
Number of Hours: 
Wednesday 15:45 - 17:15
Preliminary requirements: 
  1. Interest in political history of Germany and Europe in times of Cold War
  2. Interest in different  political systems of West- and East Germany
  3. Interest in postwar german society and culture
Course Description: 

1. Scientific historical and political approach;

2. History of postwar Germany from division to unification;

3. Development of  society and culture in two German states;

Aims of the course: 

W1. Methods of historical interpretation and explanation;

W2. Methods of analysis of political systems;

W3. Historical and political development of the two German states (Federal Republic of Germany and German Democratic Republic);

W4. The Berlin crisis 1948,1953, 1958/59, 1961;

W5. Relations of the two German states;

W6. Society and culture in  two German states;

W7. Breakdown of the wall and the process of unification;


U1. Ability to use methods of historical interpretation/explanation and analysis of political systems;

U2. Ability to interpret /explain the reasons of  outbreak of Cold War in Europe;

U3. Ability to interpret/explain the reasons of the division of Germany;

U4. Ability to judge the different political developments and systems of  the West- and East German state;

U5..Ability to judge the political role of the two German States in the bloc system of Cold War (NATO, European Union, Warsaw Treaty, Comecon);

U6. Ability to judge the change in society and culture in East- and West Germany;

U7. Ability to judge the breakdown of soviet bloc and East German state and the process of unification;


K1. Learning  Responsibility, Fair-play.  Tolerance,  Respect of Diversity;

K2. Ability for Teamwork:

Teaching methods: 

Supervised Seminar with an Introduction/program of the Lecturer followed by  paper- or power-point presentations of students and group discussions about the presentations

Evaluation & Completion: 
  1. Permanent  p resence in teaching hours;
  2. Participation in discussions;
  3. Presentation (Paper or Powerpoint) of  one topic ;Time :20 minutes;
  4. Oral Exam on one topic ; Time 20 minutes –  Five Questions;
  5. An  Essay on one topic  (15 pages including front page, index and list of literatur)

Students can decide what they prefare, Oral exam or Essay.

Basic Literature: 

J.Fisher: Disciplining Germany. Youth, Reeducation and Reconstruction after Second World War, 2007;

M.Fulbrook: The two Germanies. Problems of Interpretation, 1992

M. Fulbrook:  Anatomy of a Dictatorship. Inside GDR 1949-1989, (1997)

L. Kettenacker: Germany since 1945, (1997)

A.Mc. Adams: Germany Divided. From the Wall to Unification, 1993

G. Ritter: Continuitiy and Change in Germany. Political and Social developments after  1945 and 1989/90 (2000)

Additional Literature: 

J. Ausland: Kennedy, Khrushchev and the Berlin-Cuba Crisis 1961-1964, (1996)

J.Arnold (Ed): Cold War. Essential Reference Gulide , 2012 

L.Brune: Chronology of Cold War, 2006