The East German leadership and the division of Germany : patriotism and propaganda 1945-1953 /

This is the most detailed and up-to-date study of the division of Germany after the Second World War. Drawing on a wealth of unpublished documents, Dirk Spilker reveals the political realities of the situation in post-war Germany, and reassesses the motivations and actions of the Western Allies and...

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Main Author: Spilker, Dirk, 1966-
Format: Book Electronic
Published:Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2006.
Series:Oxford historical monographs.
Online Access:ebook Central Access is available only to authorized users.
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Review by Choice Review

Spilker's important new book revises current scholarship concerning the creation of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Rejecting recent interpretations that see the creation of a neutral Germany as the primary goal of Soviet policy, Spilker argues that the goals of both the Soviets and German communists evolved over time until, by 1947, both groups had accepted the fact that Germany would be divided for the foreseeable future. They did not, however, surrender the idea of one day uniting the nation under socialist auspices. Hence, Joseph Stalin's famous 1952 proposal to create a neutral unified state was not a sincere offer, but rather an attempt to foment unrest among West Germans, culminating in the creation of a single communist Germany. Spilker's argument is persuasive, and the sources support his conclusions. The book is difficult reading, however, not least because the author seems never to miss an opportunity to write in the passive voice. This misgiving aside, this significant book should be on the list of any scholar interested in the early history of the GDR. Summing Up: Essential. Graduate students/faculty. R. W. Lemmons Jacksonville State University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

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