Adenauer and Post-War Germany
Lesson 6: Adenauer and Post-War Germany
When you can accomplish the learning objectives for this lesson, you should begin work on the lesson essay described below. You may use any assigned readings, your notes, and other course-related materials to complete this assignment. Be sure to reread the essay grading criteria on the Grades and Assessments page.
This essay should be about 750 words long, typed double space with one-inch margins on each side. It is worth 100 points and should address the following:
Discuss the details of the Marshall Plan in comparison with the Morgenthau Plan. What were the reasons that led the United States to implement the Marshall Plan? What were the repercussions of this decision with regard to the denazification of Germany? How did the United States profit from this decision in the post-war period?
After completing this lesson, you should be able to do the following:
• Briefly summarize the major military events before and during World War II.
• Describe the situation at hour zero in Germany.
• Provide a chronology of the political events that led to the division of Germany and the beginning of the Cold War.
• Explain the reasons for the economic miracle during the 1950s.
Events Leading to World War II
Before jumping to the end of the Nazi regime in 1945 and the formation of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, I do want to provide a very brief historical overview of the Nazis’ aggressive foreign policy before and during World War II.
After Hitler had secured his dictatorship through the Röhm-Putsch in 1934, he made no secret of his overall intentions to increase Germany’s military power. He violated the Treaty of Versailles by introducing military conscription in 1935 and began to expand the German Wehrmacht into a huge army (in part through conscription, in part by dissolving the SA into the Wehrmacht). In 1936, German troops occupied the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland, while, at the same time, providing military support for General Franco, who became dictator of Spain the same year. Two years later, in 1938, Germany marched into Austria and proclaimed theAnschluss (union) of the two countries. In September of that year, the British Prime Minister Chamberlain appeased Hitler at an international conference in Munich, after which Hitler immediately occupied first theSudentenland (the German-heritage region of Czechoslovakia) and, half a year later, the remaining Czech lands, naming them the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Although France and Great Britain still did not engage the Nazis at that time, they publicly vowed to defend Poland should Hitler dare to invade it as well. Although Hitler continued to assert his peaceful intentions, everybody who had followed his political career or was even vaguely familiar with Mein Kampf knew that war was inevitable. This is precisely what happened on September 1, 1939: Hitler invaded Poland. In response, France and Great Britain declared war against Germany.