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Germany

From Prewar to Postwar: How Ordinary Germans Experienced the 20th Century

In this edition of Wilson Center NOW we are joined by author Konrad H. Jarausch who discusses his latest book, “Broken Lives: How Ordinary Germans Experienced the Twentieth Century.” Jarausch explores how ordinary German citizens fell for Nazi propaganda and often perpetrated or collaborated in the regime’s crimes. He also explores how the defeated survivors were able to recivilize themselves, becoming democrats and Western allies.

Guest

Dr. Hope M. Harrison: 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Dr. Hope Harrison was a Public Policy Fellow with the History and Public Policy Program as well as the Cold War International History Project at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. from June 2014 to October 2016. She is an Associate Professor of History & International Affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Her focuses are on the Berlin Wall, Germany, international history of the Cold War, and Russian foreign policy. She is also the author of the award-winning book Driving the Soviets up the Wall (Princeton Univ. Press, 2003).

Broken Lives: How Ordinary Germans Experienced the Twentieth Century

How could a cultured people like the Germans have fallen for Nazi propaganda and have collaborated in their crimes? And how were the defeated survivors able to recivilize themselves, become democrats and Western allies? The transatlantic historian Konrad H. Jarausch takes a fresh look at this puzzle, based on over 80 autobiographies of the Weimar children.

Top Reads on the Care Economy from Apolitical

Apolitical, a global platform connecting public servants to the ideas and people they need to solve society’s hardest challenges, partnered with the Wilson Center’s Maternal Health Initiative and Women in Public Service Project, through the generous support of EMD Serono, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany to create a spotlight on The Care Economy.

Vladimir Putin’s Stasi ID: A Press Sensation and Its Historical Reality

Recently, a press sensation began in Germany and spread across the globe when an identification card from the East German Ministry of State Security (MfS, or Stasi) was found in the Stasi Records Archive with the name and picture of the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

(On a personal note, I did not find the ID card, despite some early press reports to the contrary.)

It has been a well-known fact that Putin served from 1985 to 1990 as a KGB officer in Dresden; now, some journalists decided, he had worked for the Stasi as well!

North Korea and the Stasi Archives

East German Stasi files from the 1980s paint a contradictory picture of ideological discord and solidarity, while also revealing North Korea’s reactions to a rapidly changing world

When looking over the existing research on North Korean history, one will discover a relatively low number of studies dealing with the 1980s, especially in the Western literature.

From Plowshares to Swords: The United States’ Shift from Nuclear to Conventional Deterrence

The Cuban Missile Crisis almost drove the world into thermonuclear war. However, the Berlin Crisis of 1961 redefined the United States’ strategy of deterrence by emphasizing US conventional forces over nuclear weapons. This new approach to deterrence helped address the balance of power between the United States and the Soviet Union, but at the cost of a military-industrial complex that became permanently established within the United States’ political economy. 

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