Post war German history: 1945-1961

Course Dates: 20/01/23 - 24/03/23
Time: 14:45 - 16:45
Location: Keeley Street
This course offers a broad survey of German history from the end of the Second World War to the construction of the Berlin Wall at the height of the Cold war.
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Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £110.00

Course Code: HEH47

Fri, day, 20 Jan - 24 Mar '23

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Lines open Monday-Friday 12:00-18:00

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What is the course about?

With the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany in May 1945 the country’s fate was in the hands of the victorious allies whose agreed plans for the post-war settlement quickly led to estrangement and conflicts that brought the Soviet Union and the Western allies to the brink of war by 1948. Decades of tension known as the Cold War followed, causing two politically, economically and ideologically opposed states to emerge from the original zones of occupation. The division of Germany seemed complete and permanent with the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The question how exactly this happened, and why, is at the centre of this course that will explore both the national and the international dimensions of the period, the impersonal forces and the individual actors that shaped it and the experience of the people who lived through it.

What will we cover?

1.Allied post-war planning and the Potsdam Conference
2. German society in 1945
3. The challenges of (physical, political and moral) reconstruction
4. The emergence of the Cold War and the first Berlin crisis of 1948
5. The formation and consolidation of two German states
6. Coming to terms with the Nazi past
7. “Economic miracle” in the West and socialist transformation in the East
8. East Germany from the 1953 uprising to the migration crisis
9. Remilitarisation and European integration of West Germany
10. The second Berlin crisis 1958-61 and the building of The Wall.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Express an informed view about the causes and consequences of the Cold War;
• Identify the main features, leading personalities and key stages in the development of post-war Germany;
• Understand the reasons for the political, social, economic and cultural divergence of the two German states;
• Make sense of ongoing arguments and controversies concerning the division of Germany.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is aimed at interested students of all backgrounds. No knowledge of German or other
special skills are required.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Interactive lecture and discussion.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There are no other costs, and students need not bring anything to class apart from an open mind and a readiness to learn.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

HEH48 Post war German history 1961 to reunification and beyond.

Rudolf Muhs

Dr. Rudolf Muhs, Emeritus Reader in Modern European History at Royal Holloway, University of London, studied at the universities of Freiburg and Edinburgh and has been teaching German history in England since 1987.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.