Two Germanys, ‘One People’? Central Europe, 1945-1990

I designed and regularly teach this second-year module on post-war German history. .

Module description: In 1989-90, German ‘reunification’ brought together populations changed by 40 years of different lived experiences, within borders that had not bounded any previous German state. This module examines the social, political, and cultural history of East and West Germany in comparative perspective, focusing on how they related to one another as well as to pre-1945 German history. Special emphasis is placed on relationships with European neighbours, allied superpowers, and migrant populations in order to show how contemporary Germany has been shaped by transnational processes and how non-Germans have likewise helped define what it now means to be ‘German’.

This class includes lectures and seminars on the following topics:

WeekLecture topicSeminar topic
1New Germanys in New BordersGerman Refugees
2DenazificationGermans and Minorities after 1945
3Dividing Up Germany Allies and Occupiers
4 The ‘Economic Miracle’ in East and West Käfer vs. Trabi: Cars and Consumption
5Gender in East and WestGerman Sexualities
7Germany in the WorldThe World Comes to Germany
8New Social MovementsÖkopax in East and West
9Everyday Life in Late SocialismSubcultures and Sexual Minorities
10German UnificationThe End of the (Cold War) World
11United Germany in an Expanding EuropeIdentity and Diversity since Unification