Germany is No More: Defeat, Occupation, and the Postwar Order

Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann

in The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199237395
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Germany is No More: Defeat, Occupation, and the Postwar Order

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This article focuses on a completely back lashed Germany after the Second World War. More people died in the Second World War than in any other conflict before or since. Particularly between the Elbe and the Volga, the Nazi war of extermination left a wasteland of death. This article traces the gradual transformations that came over Germany post 1945. After the ‘unconditional surrender’ of 8 May, 1945 — the formulation was initially coined for the defeated Southern states in the American Civil War — German territories came under the control of the four Allied Powers, creating an ambiguous legal status unprecedented in the history of modern international law. Divided into four major territories, each under the control of the allied forces, Germany was no longer a sovereign state. This article further traces the effects of the post-war era followed by the gradual embracing of democracy. The Cold War and the final descending of peace in the German territory winds up this article.

Keywords: Germany; nazis; war of extermination; Allied Powers; sovereign state; democracy

Article.  10996 words. 

Subjects: History ; Cold War

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