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By Gordon Smith, William E. Paterson, Peter H. Merki

This e-book provides up to date exams of key tendencies and concerns within the Federal Republic with adequate history research to make the remedy of a number of the issues obtainable to these with out specific earlier wisdom of German politics.

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The nationalist hubris of fifty years of German history, the blinkers which tragic delusion put over the eyes of most Germans in the first half of this century have fallen off and the survivors have made a new life for themselves in two political systems constrained by the international environment. For the West Germans it has been no mean achievement to have created this Federal Republic, with its conspicuous stability and adaptability which easily outshines all its predecessor Germanies on nearly every count relating to the well-being and dignified life of its citizens.

Far from a German nationalist revival, the Federal Republic in the 1990s will more likely be dominated by a resurgence of the spirit of Helsinki and of the accelerated integration of the European Community. e and challenge established stereotypes than to confirm them, and whose findings often produce division and conflicts rather than a unifying vision of a nation's history. In the final analysis, it would appear, the proposed 'creation of meaning' for German history is more likely to lead to an invented past rather than to Vergangenheitsbewiiltigung, the mastering of the past.

Today's Germans are not looking for a Sonderweg. The Political Relevance of Identity 'Germany? But where is it? I do not know how to find the country', wrote the eighteenth century poet, Friedrich von Schiller, one of the first of a long series of Germans agonising over the question of German identity. In an age of national movements and new nationstates, the German quest for identity may not at first glance have seemed to be a wild goose chase, or a quixotic pursuit of the impossible. The geographical perplexities and the catastrophic results of the German campaign for European hegemony and racial empire alone, however, have brought the Germans back to far more limited and pragmatic visions of a divided rump Germany or, more precisely, two rather incompatible German states within as greatly reduced national territory, each tied to opposing superpower blocs.

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