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A Question of Priorities

Democratic Reform and Economic Recovery in Postwar Germany

Rebecca Boehling

320 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-035-9 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (November 1996)

ISBN  978-1-57181-159-2 $34.95/£24.00 Pb Published (November 1996)

eISBN 978-1-78533-011-7 eBook

Hb Pb   Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Buy the ebook from these vendors

"A well-written and informative source ... a useful contrast to much of the existing literature."  · H-Net Reviews (H-German)

"... a much appreciated contribution to the current discussions about the reunification of Germany and what it can mean for its economy and relationships to the other European powers."  · Wisconsin Bookwatch

"... most welcome as the first detailed analysis of political reconstruction in major postwar German cities available in English."  · Choice

... unique quality. There is really nothing in English - and relatively little in German - that explores the early days of the occupation of Germany with this degree of detail or with such an extensive knowledge of the interaction between Germans and Americans at the local level."  · Thomas Schwartz, Vanderbilt University

Over the last few years, there has been a noticeable increase in studies on the postwar period of Germany, reflecting the crucial importance of these years for an understanding of the developments in the two Germanys. With her study of U.S. occupation policy and its effects on German social and political developments in Frankfurt, Munich, and Stuttgart, Rebecca Boehling offers a most valuable contribution to this debate. She examines the decisions made by the U.S. Military Government regarding German municipal personnel from the first year of the occupation, when all city officials were appointed directly by Military Government of with its explicit approval, through the first postwar municipal elections in 1946 and 1948, when democratic self-government was gradually restored. Boehling explores the far-reaching effects of personnel decisions on German political life within the framework of U.S. policies intended to denazify and democratize Germany. The conclusion she draws is that the early local-level German developments under U.S. occupation facilitated economic recovery in a manner that restricted the implementation of political and social goals of democratization.

Rebecca Boehling teaches in the Department of History at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Series: Volume 2, Monographs in German History
Subject: Postwar History
Area: Germany

LC: DD901.F78 B64 1996

BL: YC.1997.a.470

BISAC: HIS014000 HISTORY/Europe/Germany; HIS037070 HISTORY/Modern/20th Century; POL000000 POLITICAL SCIENCE/General

BIC: HBJD European history; HBLW3 Postwar 20th century history, from c 1945 to c 2000


List of Abbreviations


Chapter 1. American Preparations for Postwar German Self-Government
Chapter 2. Structure, Jurisdiction, and Policies of the Office of Military Government – U.S. Zone (OMGUS)
Chapter 3. From Resistance and Liberation to Conquest and Occupation
Chapter 4. The Stunde Null: American Occupiers, German Appointees, and Pre-democratic Municipal Administration
Chapter 5. German Grassroots Democracy and U.S. Military Government: Early Manifestations of Local Self-Government
Chapter 6. U.S. Military Government in Retreat: The Return of German Self-Government and the Results of Democratization Initiatives
Chapter 7. Conclusion: The Legacy of the U.S. Occupation


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