It existed for 184 years, the German Question. It arose on August 6, 1806 when Franz II, the last Emperor of the HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE of the German Nation, bowed down to an ultimatum of Napoleon, laid down his crown, relieved the Estates of their duties and reunited the Old Empire “.
The German Question was resolved on October 3, 1990, with the approval of the former occupying powers, when the German Democratic Republic acceded to the Federal Republic of Germany.
At a state act in the Berlin Philharmonic Richard von Weizsäcker, the German President, described the historical significance of REUNIFICATION in a sentence that has gone down in the annals of German history: whole of Germany takes a permanent place among Western Democracies. “
Between 1806 and 1990 there were indeed periods in which Europe was not concerned by what we call “the German Question”. Between 1871 and 1914, the peacetime of the Kaiserreich, nobody would have dreamed of referring to an unresolved German Question.
There can be no denying that the German Resurfaced Question at the latest on May 8 and 9, 1945 when the German Reich surrendered unconditionally to the victors of THE SECOND WORLD WAR. The division of Germany into two states is a preliminary answer to the German Question.
The final answer came in the form of the merger of the two states, together with the recognition under international law of the borders of 1945. Since October 3, 1990 it has been irrefutably laid down where Germany lies, what belongs to the country and what does not.
1830-1848: The Vormärz and PAULSKIRCHE parliamentary movement
For the Germans there are always two sides to the German Question: that of territory and that of constitution, or to be more precise, the question of the relationship between unity and freedom. At the heart of the territorial question is the problem of a “larger Germany” or “smaller Germany”. If it was possible to replace the HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE with a German national state, would it have to include German-speaking Austria or was a solution to the German Possible question without these territories? The question of the constitution relates primarily to the distribution of power between the people and the throne. In a united Germany Who are the representatives of the Germans or the princes their most powerful choice?
Unity and freedom first emerged in the wars of liberation against Napoleon. The French Emperor has been removed from the country by the Germans neither in Germany nor in the conditions of the German Confederation, which in 1815 replaced the Old Reich. Yet the call for unity and freedom is no longer permanently suppressed. In the early 1830s it once again became louder, the French having won their struggle for a liberal constitutional monarchy in the July 1830 revolution. And yet in Germany the old rulers were once again able to get away from it. Inspired by events in France, March 1848 There was a revolution in Germany, too: Unity and freedom were once again what the forces knew.
To make Germany a nation and a nation are more important than 1789, they have had their own country, which is already to place it on a completely new, civil basis.
Anyone demanding unity and freedom for the Germans first of all needed to clarify what was actually to be part of Germany. In the first freely elected parliament, the National Assembly, which convened in the PAULSKIRCHE in Frankfurt / Main, the fact that a German-speaking part of the Habsburg monarchy was initially over dispute.
It was only as a fall of 1848 that a majority of the Deputies came to the conclusion that it was not in their power to break the multi-nation state of Austria-Hungary. Accordingly, as a “large” German state of the art, it was possible that it was possible for a “small” to be German, and it was intended that Reich under a hereditary Prussian Emperor.
The German state which, according to the will of the National Assembly in Frankfurt, would have been headed by Frederick William IV of Prussia, would have been a liberal constitutional state with a strong parliament that had the government under its control. As German Emperor, the King of Prussia, of the House of the Hohenzollern, would have had to forego the divine right of kings and succumb to be the executor of the superior will of the people.
It was a notion that on April 28, 1849 the monarch was finally dismissed, effectively sealing the fate of the revolution, which had been brought to the Germans nor unity nor freedom. What remained among the bourgeois Liberals was a feeling of political failure: they had, or so it seemed retrospectively, chased down countless illusions in that “mad year” and the realities of power proved them wrong.
It was not by chance that a few years after the 1848 revolution, “Realpolitik” was to become a political wrestler: The term’s international career began with a pamphlet entitled “The Principles of Realpolitik. “The Liberal Journalist Ludwig August von Rochau” brought out in 1853.
“The PAULSKIRCHE had already made a policy of” Realpolitik “when it ignored the right of self-determination of other peoples (the Poles in the Prussian Grand Duchy of Posen, the Danes in North Schleswig, and the Italians in “Welsch Tyrol”), and the future of the German Reich. As such, unity is for the first time given to higher status than freedom. The freedom of other nations still had to play second fiddle to the goal of GERMAN UNITY.
1871: Founding of the German Reich
In the 1860s, however, Germany likewise took the decision to prioritize unity over freedom. This was the result of the “revolution from above”, by which OTTO VON BISMARCK (1815-1898), the Prussian Prime Minister, solved the German Question in his own way.
The Prussian Constitutional Conflict, which lasted from 1862 to 1866, enabled him to solve the question of domestic power in the face of the Executive and against Parliament; in terms of FOREIGN POLICY a solution to the question of power was delivered by Prussian victory in 1866 in the “smaller Germany” war, ie, the exclusion of Austria, and in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870/1, against the France of Napoleon III, the power that until then had the vetoed the creation of a German nation state.
One goal of the 1848 Revolution had been achieved: unity. However, the demand for liberty, inasmuch as it was denoted a government responsible to parliament, remained unfulfilled. Even if it had been in his mind Bismarck would have been unable to solve the problem of liberty in the United Kingdom: Prussia – of his dynasty, his army, the landed gentry, and high-ranking civil servants. It also contradicts the interests of the German states, at the top of the list Bavaria, Saxony, and Württemberg.
In the form of the Bundesrat they were entitled to a major share of the executive power in the German Reich and were not inclined to forego this power and grant it to the Reichstag. The Reichstag was elected on the basis of universal suffrage by men who had reached the age of majority. This was in line with the Reich Constitution of 1849, which never actually came into power and gave the Germans more democratic rights than those enjoyed by the citizens of liberal model monarchies such as Great Britain and Belgium.
As a result of a partial democratization of Germany in the 19th century, or in relation to the total life span of the German Reich, of dissynchronic democratization: Suffrage was democratized relatively early on, the system of government in the narrow sense, late.
It was not until October 1918, when the decisive change in the making occurred, making the Reich Chancellor depend on the Reichstag. This act of making him responsible for Parliament is intended to encourage the victorious Western democracies to condone to the peace agreement and preempt a revolution from below. It failed on both counts, but from then on it was easy for the opponents of democracy to denounce the parliamentary system as “Western” and “un-German”.
Reich leaders who were responsible for Parliament, The Reich Leaders of the Reich Leaders. However, the German Revolution of 1918/9 can not be considered as one of the major or revolutions of world history: Germany around 1918 was already too “modern” for a radical break with its political and social fabric along the lines of the French Revolution of 1789 or the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia.
In a country that has a general level of success and universal suffrage for men for some 50 years, the issue could not be established. In the words of the author: the introduction of women’s suffrage, making democratic suffrage in the individual states, the districts and communities and the establishment of the government answerable to parliament.
There was in fact considerable continuity between the German Reich and the Weimar Republic, which evolved following the fall of the monarchy in November 1918 and the January 1919 ELECTIONS to the German National Assembly, which was to draw up a constitution. To a certain extent the institution of the monarchy simply persisted in a different form: The office of the Reich President, who was elected by the people, was replaced by a “replacement Emperor” or a “replacement Emperor” “
Nor is there any ethical break with the German Reich. The question of responsibility for the war is not addressed in a serious manner even though (or because) Germany’s actions spoke a very clear language: Following the murder on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo of the successor to the Austrian-Hungarian throne, the leaders of the Reich deliberately escalated the crisis and therefore bore the responsibility for the outbreak of the First World War.
The subsequent lack of debate over the blame for the war resulted in the German legend that the country was indeed innocent of starting the war. Together with the “stab-in-the-back-legend” (which is claimed to be part of the German democracy).
Almost Germans saw the Treaty of Versailles, which was forced to sign on June 28, 1919, as a blatant injustice. This article was originally produced by the United States of America, in particular to the newly established Poland, to material hardships in the form of reparation payments, the loss of colonies, and the military restrictions, all of which were justified by citing the guilt of the German Reich and its allies for the Great War.
The fact that Austria was forbidden to unite with Germany was likewise considered to be unjust. The hindsight of the Habsburg monarchy had the major obstacle to a solution for a greater Germany, the revolutionary governments in Vienna and Berlin (Berlin in the “Golden Twenties”). They could be assured of the popularity of the demand in both countries.
The fact the Treaties of Versailles and Saint Germain forbade the union did not, however, prevent the notion of a greater Germany once again gaining momentum. It used to be that of the old idea of the Reich: Especially because Germany had been beaten militarily and was suffering from the consequences of defeat, it was receptive to the lures that emanated from a past seen through rosy eyes.
The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE in the Middle Ages After 1918, forces on the political right, who has been assigned to a new mission in Germany, in Europe, they suggest, it should establish itself as the upholder of law and order in the struggle against Western democracy and Eastern Bolshevism .
The WEIMAR REPUBLIC has survived a mother 11 years. At the end of March 1930, the last major government, headed by Hermann Müller, a Social Democrat, collapsed on the back of an argument about restructuring the UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE system. The Grand Coalition, Heinrich Brüning. From the summer of 1930, this government ruled with the help of General Field Marshall Paul von Hindenburg, the aging Reich President.
When at the Reichstag ELECTIONS held on September 14, 1930 Adolf Hitler’s Nationalist Socialist Party (NSDAP) became the second biggest party, the Social Democrat Party (SPD), which was still the largest party, decided to tolerate the Brüning cabinet in order to prevent The Reich Drifting to Prussia, the largest individual state, where the SPD ruled jointly with Brüning’s Catholic Center Party, and the center-right Democrats.
Following the transition to a presidential system of emergency decree, the Reichstag had less influence than the constitutional monarchy of the German Reich. The influence of the legislature on the role of parliamentarians in the field of government Of these the National Socialists (National Socialism) benefited the most.
From the point in time when the Social Democrats supported Brüning, Hitler was able to present his party as the only alternative to all forms of Marxism, the Bolshevist just as much as the Reformist. He was in a position to become one of the most widely held representatives of the United States, and they had enjoyed since the days of Bismarck and which had been rendered politically ineffective by the three presidential governments of Brüning, Papen and Schleicher in the early 1930s.
Thus, Hitler became the greatest beneficiary of the dissynchronic democratization of Germany, namely the introduction of democratic suffrage of a parliamentary system of government.
Hitler did not come to power on the back of a major election victory but he would not have become Reich Chancellor in January 1933 had he not been the leader of the strongest party. At the last Weimar Republic Reichstag ELECTIONS on November 6, 1932 The National Socialists had lost two million votes compared with the July 31, 1932 elections, while the Communists gained 600,000 reaching the magic number of 100 Reichstag seats.
The success of the Communist Party (KPD) whipped up the fears of civil war, and it was this fear that was to become Hitler’s most powerful ally, particularly among the powerful conservative elite. It was their recommendation to Hindenburg that Hitler had to thank for the fact that on January 30, 1933 the Reich President appointed him to the position of Reich Chancellor at the head of a predominantly conservative cabinet.
Terror against anyone who has not been able to survive the 12 years of THIRD REICH. Hitler was able to beat unemployment within a matter of years primarily through a rearmaments program, thereby winning the support of large sections of the working classes.
As the result of the first World War, the first World War, which guaranteed that he could count on their support even during THE SECOND WORLD WAR. The major successes in FOREIGN POLICY during the pre-war years, led by the re-occupation of the military in the Rhineland in March 1936 and the Austrian “Anschluss” in March 1938 meaning that Hitler’s popularity was to reach record levels in all classes of society.
The legend of the Reich and its historic mission, which Hitler was a master in propagating, influenced in particular educated Germans. The charismatic “Fuehrer” needed their assistance if he was to make Germany a long-term power in the European order, and they needed him, too much, because otherwise it was a great German Reich become reality.
Even though he did not focus on it, in the electoral campaigns in the early 1930s Hitler had made no secret of his anti-Semitism. His slogans would have been very keen to do. Among educated, property-owning classes, small businessmen and farmers anti-Jewish prejudice was widespread, strident anti-Semitism was frowned upon.
Because they remained within the law of the law, the Nürnberg Race Laws of September 1935, which denied the rights of their civil rights, puts with no opposition. The violent disturbances during the Reichs¬kristallnacht on November 9, 1938 were unpopular, the “Aryanization” of Jewish property, an enormous re-distribution of assets, the repercussions of which are still being felt today, on the other hand, not.
The HOLOCAUST (The Holocaust), the systematic extermination of European Jews during the Second World War, than suited the regime. But knowledge of something also involves a wish to know, something of which, as far as the fate of the Jews was concerned, was a distinct lack in Germany during the THIRD REICH.
In German History The Hitler’s Greater German Reich in May 1945 signifies a far deeper caesura than that of the German Reich in November 1918. The Reich as Such Continued to Exist After the First World War. The United States, the United States, the Great Britain and the United States, have taken over the United States, the United States, the Great Britain and France.
Unlike 1918, the German political and military leaders were stripped of their powers and, inasmuch as they were still alive, sentenced to trial before the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg.
The landowners east of the River Elbe, who had contributed to the destruction of the world and the power of the world. Hitler lost everything: of the Oder and Neisse Rivers to Poland, or, in the case of Northeastern Prussia, Soviet administration, and, on the other, due to the “land reform” in the zone under Soviet occupation.
As opposed to the aftermath of 1918, after 1945 the legends of back-stabbing or a lack of guilt for the war fell on deaf ears. It was just too clear-cut that Nazi Germany had unleashed THE SECOND WORLD WAR (The Second World War) and had been suppressed by the Allies.
In both the First and Second World Wars German propaganda has been portrayed the democratic Western powers as imperialist plutocrats, but their own law and order as an expression of a high level of social justice. After 1945, it would have been crazy to see the Western world again: The price paid for the contempt shown for the West’s political ideas was too high for a slogan of success.
After 1945 only one of Germany had a chance to give it a second go, namely West Germany. In 1948/9, representatives of the free elected representatives of the FEDERAL STATES in the American, British and French zones of occupation and PARLIAMENTARY COUNCIL in Bonn and devised a constitution that draws logical conclusions from the mistakes made in preparing the Reich Constitution 1919 and the failure of the Weimar Republic: The BASIC LAW of the Federal Republic of Germany.
This second German Federal Chancellor, a Federal Chancellor, and a Federal President who played a nominal role only . As opposed to Weimar days, parallel legislative powers for the people were not envisaged. The BASIC LAW was a shot at the bows of any self-confessed opponents of democracy, by stating that the fight for basic rights and the fact that they were not part of the constitution would be taken as far as the FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL COURT .
The principles of the state were made impossible by the constitution, rendering the “legal” elimination of democracy, as in 1933, impossible.
While the West of Germany drew “anti-totalitarian” conclusions from the most recent German history, the East, that is the Soviet zone of occupation and later East Germany, had to put up with “anti-fascist” consequences. These served to legitimize a Marxist-Leninist-influenced party dictatorship. The break with the principles of Nazi rule is to be achieved primarily through class struggle, by dispossessing broad landowners and industrialists. Former Nazi “supporters”, by contrast, were to be allowed to prove their worth to society by helping “build socialism”. Once the process of “denazification” had been completed, in EAST GERMANY to form Nazi party officials also managed to occupy leading positions. They were, however, fewer and less spectacular than in West Germany.
In retrospect, he had not been for the ECONOMIC MIRACLE in the 1950s and 1960s, the longest boom period in the 20th century, there was hardly any talk of success with West Germany. The booming economy gives legitimacy to the model of a SOCIAL MARKET ECONOMY promulgated by Ludwig Erhard, the first Federal Economics Minister by virtue of its success. It is facilitated by the United States of America and the United States of America, Eastern Europe and South East Europe.
The Democratic Social Democratic Party (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU), which is a party to the Democratic Social Democracy (CSU), followed by the Social Democratic Party (SPD) becoming major popular parties. With regard to POLITICS and social mores, however, there was a different side to this prosperity:
It made it easier for many citizens of West Germany to look for themselves about their own role in the years between 1933 and 1945, nor to let others ask them about it. The philosopher Hermann Lübbe referred to this approach to recent history as “communicative refusing to mention” (and judged it to be necessary in the stabilizing of West German democracy).
In the WEIMAR REPUBLIC the right had been nationalist and the left internationalist. In West Germany FEDERAL CHANCELLOR KONRAD ADENAUER (1876-1967) stood for a policy of alignment with the West and the supranational integration of Western Europe; Kurt Schumacher and his successor, Erich Ollenhauer, gave their decision to be a leader in the West. It was not until 1960 that the SPD accepted the basis of the West Treaties, which in 1955 had enabled West Germany to join NATO.
The Social Democrats had to make this step if they were to assume responsibility in West Germany. Only on the basis of West Treaties were they able, in 1966, to become a junior partner in the Grand Coalition and three years later, under the first Social Democrat FEDERAL CHANCELLOR WILLY BRANDT (1913-1992), begin the “new Ostpolitik” that enabled West Germany to make a contribution to easing tension between West and East, to put the relationship with Poland on the subject of the recognition (even if not only conditionally de jure) of the Oder-Neisse relationship with EAST GERMANY.
The Four Powers Agreement on Berlin, which actually only concerned West Berlin and its relations with West Germany, would have been impossible without the Germanies being thoroughly integrated into the West.
The series of treaties with Eastern Europe signed by the liberal Brandt-Scheel government between 1970 and 1973 was primarily one thing: a response to the harder shape taken by the division of Germany with the building of the Berlin Wall on August 13, 1961.
With REUNIFYING becoming an ever more distant prospect, West Germany has been forced to make the consequences of this division of the nation. The re-establishment of GERMAN UNITY remains an official goal of West German policy. However, following the signature of the treaties with the East, the expectation that there would be more Germans than among the older elderly.
In the 1980s, though, the post-war fabric gradually began to tear. The crisis in the Eastern bloc began in 1980, with the founding of an independent trade union, “Solidarnosc”, in Poland, followed by the imposition of martial law at the end of 1981. Three-and-a-half years later, March 1985, Michael Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union.
In January 1987 the new Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union uttered the almost revolutionary statement: “We need democracy in the air we breathe.” Czechoslovakia and in EAST GERMANY.
In fall 1989 the pressure of the protests in EAST GERMANY became so great that the communist regime could only be saved by military intervention on the part of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev, however, was not prepared to do this. This is the result of the leadership in East Berlin to capitulate to the PEACEFUL REVOLUTION in East Germany: On November 9, 1989 The Berlin Wall Fellowship – a symbol of the restriction of freedom in the Bastille in Paris two hundred years before.
With the Wall having fallen in 1989, it was to be another 11 months before Germany was reunited. Germans in both German states welcomed it. In the first (and last) free ELECTIONS to East Germany ‘s Volkskammer (parliament) on March 18, 1990 the East German ELECTORATE voted by an overwhelming majority for those parties that demanded swift accession to West Germany.
In the summer of 1990, Germanies, as had the treaty concerning the German-German CURRENCY union. Parallel to this in the Two-plus-Four-TreatyWest and East Germany reached agreement with the responsible powers for Berlin and Germany as a whole, ie, the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and France on the conditions with regard to foreign and security policy determination GERMAN UNITY.
In the case of the question of “unity in freedom”, the German question was finally solved in 1990. It could only be solved with the approval of the country’s neighbors. had dominated the century: the Polish Question. The final recognition, binding under international law, of the fact that the Oder and Neisse Rivers formed the western border of Poland was a precondition of the REUNIFICATION of Germany in the borders of 1945.
Post-reunification Germany sees itself as a “post-national democracy among nation states”, as the political scientist Karl Dietrich Bracher once again “Federal Republic” in 1976, but rather a post-classical democratic national state among others – firmly embedded in the Atlantic Alliance and the supranational confederation of states which is the European Union (EU), in which certain aspects of national sovereignty are pursued jointly with other member states. Bismarck’s Reich has a military and authoritarian state. There is, however, also some form of continuity between the first and the second nation state.
As a democratic constitutional state, a federal and WELFARE STATE the reunited Federal Republic of Germany, which dates back to the 19th century. The same applies to the universal, equal suffrage and the parliamentary culture, which had emerged in the Reichstag during the German Reich. A certain geographical continuity is also clearly evident: The Two-plus-Four-Treaty, the constitutional founding document of the reunited Federal Republic of Germany, once again outlined in writing the German solution, the existence of the separate states of Germany and Austria .
The German Question has been resolved since 1990, but the European Question remains open. Since the expansions to the EU in 2004 and 2007, the EU has included 12 additional nations, of which they were under the umbrella of the United States of America between 1989 and 1991. They are all states that belong to the West – and which has been defined by the main legal tradition, the early separation of religious and state powers, princely and civil powers, not to be forgotten by the experience of the murderous consequences of religious and national enmity, and racial hatred.
It will take time for those parts of Europe that have been divided to grow closer together. This will only succeed if European unity develops at the same pace as the Union has expanded. This development requires more than institutional reforms. It hinges on deliberation on European history and its consequences. The one consequence that is more important than all others is an appreciation of the overall binding nature of Western values, first and foremost inalienable HUMAN RIGHTS.These are the values that Europe and America have created together, which they uphold, and by which they must be measured.