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Germany Research Project
Germany is a prominent country in Europe as it stands as the second most crowded nation and the biggest economy in Europe. Seeing how it has the largest economy, it does alter the links between the prominent nations in the world. German history is filled with social and political movements. Adolf Hitler and the era of Nazism is an unfortunate and prominent part of the History of the nation. It was after both the world wars that Germany was destabilized and broken into two pieces. Following the Second World War, in 1945 the country was taken hold by the Allied powers which included United Kingdom, America, France and the Soviet Union. (CIA)
After the invasion, Germany was torn into two nations with the Berlin wall in between. In 1949, just near the beginning of the cold war, two states were created. One was the Western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the other one was Eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The two states were basically created on the differences of the governing system. It was in those days that the spread of democracy and communism was making its move. The two major players in the Cold war were America and the Soviet Union. Thus one of the Germany, the democratic FRG was linked to the West and was pro-America. It eventually went on to become part of the EC which was then the European Union and NATO. (CIA)
The GDR however stayed on the communist side and was a prominent member in the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. Just as the strength of communism began to drop and the U.S.S.R. starting getting weak, Germany was moving toward unification. Thus, as soon as the cold war ended, Germany was unified in the 1990. At Present, Germany's current name is the Federal Republic of Germany and its capital is Berlin. (CIA).
Germany as a nation has gone through different rules and thus has been shifted from a democratic and a dependant state. After the World War 2, Germany was occupied in four different zones by the countries mentioned before. All the powers lifted their rights from the nation on March 15, 1991. (CIA)
There have been political alterations in the Germany keeping the Second World War in time. The political unrest had begun following the First World War. The German population and the government were not in favor of the Treaty of Versailles. Many even opposed Germany's agreement to it. Following the First World War, unrest began and so did the alterations of government. Thus two political transformations were really prominent. One change was prior to the Second World War in which Adolf Hitler ruled over Germany. His way of keeping the nation and causes chaos all over the world led to the Second World War. Following the second war, Hitler's regime fell and Germany was divided. With democracy growing in one side of Germany, it wasn't till long that it would overtake the East as well. Thus, the second political change occurred after world war two and it will be discussed below.
Before Democratization: Nazism at its peak
The unrest in Germany started initially when the mixture of the treaty of Versailles and the Great Depression came forward. The Treaty was something that many Germans did not approve of. A major reason was that Germany wasn't asked before the Treaty was made. Another reason was that in the treaty Germany was also included to be a cause of causing the First World War. Yet another reason, Germany didn't approve of Versailles was that Germany lost much of its land and acquisitions. (Grosser, 1964) The German population and many opposition parties in the country wished to overthrow the government. It was in 1919, that the Spartacists started a revolt in Berlin which caused the government to go to Weimer. Consequently, the name of the new government was set to Weimer republic. The 1920s were very severe years for Germany as starvation and poverty had hit its peak. (Grosser, 1964) The political unrest wasn't getting better by the 1930's the depression had hit Germany really hard. Amidst these crises, the president of Germany in 1933, President Hindenburg asked Hitler to attain the post of a chancellor and go on for the coalition government. Over the turn of events, Hitler gained more and more control and finally became the Furher (leader) when the president passed away. As Hitler passed away he made sure that all the actions he did pave way for an even stronger dictatorship.
Hitler was determined to go after Jews and commit their mass murder. It should be noted that the Holocaust or genocide of Jews didn't reach its peak until 1941. Due to Hitler winning battles after battles, more and more Jews came under his control. The invasion of Poland marked the start of the Second World War. There were two million Jews in Poland alone. (Farmer, 2007) Until earlier, the only thing Hitler started against Jews was their deportation. None of the public appearances or speeches that Hitler made that time hinted his cruel intentions for Jews. However, little by little Hitler's hatred against Jews started coming out.
Operation Barbarossa which was launched by Hitler against Russia came into action in 1941. The peak of the Holocaust and this operation were side by side. Hitler was anti-Jewish from the start but he went to make an anti-Semitic society. It could be argued that how exactly a vicious dictator came to be so popular and controlling in the country. The reason was that almost every person in German regardless of which class, age or gender they were, they agreed with his anti-Semitic theories to some extent. (Farmer, 2007) This can be showed by the fact that most of the people who actually voted for Hitler were the ones who wanted to get rid of Jews. The euthanasia programmed was the first mass killing of Jews that was commanded by Hitler. (Farmer, 2007) Hitler's major goal thus was the extermination of Jews from Germany and its linking countries. By 1940s, most of the Jews of Germany had emigrated out. (Farmer, 2007) The way Jews were treated in Hitler's era was horrible and unthinkable. Prisoners which include women, children, men, elderly and sick, were carried in boxed cars. The people were kept naked and forced into one boxcar. (Aroneanu, 1996) The boxcars that were there were meant to be for forty people but it held one forty people. There was a pot which eventually overflowed and people excreted directly on the floor leading to even more malicious conditions. As they reached the camps, the people even babies were branded with a hot iron or they were tattooed. Everyone including the women was shaven and they were all forced in a shower room with phenol solution. This lead to death or neurological injury for many of the weak and sick in the camps (Aroneanu, 1996) It was crimes like these and many more which lead to even more and more torture of the Jews.
Post World War II: Democratization in West Germany
Following the Second World War, West Germany was occupied under the Allied forces. Surely, when all the countries were democratic, democracy was thought to be implemented into the occupied Germany as well. However, the Germans had just gone under a regime under Adolf Hitler. The way Hitler organized the country did oppress the Jews, homosexuals and many other races. Nonetheless, for those who benefitted under his regime were likely to oppose the Western change. The politics in Germany basically came into action on the basis of those people who wanted to let go the Nazi past. (Pritchard, 1996) Those who were against Nazism believed that it only came into being due to the political unrest that prevailed in Germany following World War 1. The monopoly capitalist, and the German officer corps aided the Nazis in to power. As it was mentioned, that Nazism was rooted deep in the society and 'Denazification' was mandatory all around. That came there because even the need for reform was called on by the Christians and socialist, this group made a small bulk of the entire German population.
A Majority of the Germans had gone through twelve years of war and Nazism. They were deeply ingrained and affected by Nazi policies and cultures and thus they couldn't be just omitted in the matter of days. (Pritchard, 1996) Most of the Germans were tired and wanted to rebuild their lives and society back to the normal Germany. They wished for Germany to go back how it was and did not want to try out political changes like democracy. (Pritchard, 1996) It wasn't until four years later that the military rule allowed for proper democracy to set in West Germany. (Jarausch, 2006) Another cultural change that was necessary was the demilitarization subsequent to the Nazi regime. The Nazi regime in general was the one who created a lot of show for the people of Germany. It…[continue]
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