Article

Democracy and Dictatorship in the Cold War: the Two Germanies, 1949–1961

Andrew I. Port

in The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199237395
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199237395.013.0027

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Democracy and Dictatorship in the Cold War: the Two Germanies, 1949–1961

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The ‘long 1950s’ was a decade of conspicuous contrasts: a time of dismantling and reconstruction, economic and political, as well as cultural and moral; a time of Americanization and Sovietization; a time of upheaval amid a desperate search for stability. But above all, it was a time for both forgetting and coming to terms with the recent past. This article focuses on the two forms of government that controlled Germany, democracy, and dictatorship. The Cold War was without doubt the main reason for the rapid rehabilitation and integration of the two German states, which more or less took place within a decade following the end of the Second World War. This article further elaborates upon the political conditions under dictatorship and its effect on the social life. East Germany, under the Soviet control underwent as much political upheaval. It was not until the second half of the twentieth century that Germany became a democracy.

Keywords: democracy; dictatorship; Cold War; forms of government

Article.  13319 words. 

Subjects: History ; Cold War

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