Postwar Germany: Stunde Null 1945 to the Berlin Wall

  • Thursday, October 07, 2021
  • Thursday, February 03, 2022
  • 16 sessions
  • Thursday, October 07, 2021, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CDT)
  • Thursday, October 14, 2021, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CDT)
  • Thursday, October 21, 2021, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CDT)
  • Thursday, October 28, 2021, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CDT)
  • Thursday, November 04, 2021, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CDT)
  • Thursday, November 11, 2021, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CST)
  • Thursday, November 18, 2021, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CST)
  • Thursday, December 02, 2021, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CST)
  • Thursday, December 09, 2021, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CST)
  • Thursday, December 16, 2021, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CST)
  • Thursday, December 30, 2021, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CST)
  • Thursday, January 06, 2022, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CST)
  • Thursday, January 13, 2022, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CST)
  • Thursday, January 20, 2022, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CST)
  • Thursday, January 27, 2022, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CST)
  • Thursday, February 03, 2022, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM (CST)
  • 2nd Floor, Brauhaus Room & Online

Registration


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At Stunde Null (Zero Hour), May 8, 1945, the German people found themselves wallowing in the burning embers of Götterdämmerung. Adolf Hitler had promised that if the German people could not achieve total victory, he would pull them down with him into the abyss of defeat. Indeed, he did, but what remained of Der Fuehrer lay in the ash heap that was Berlin, leaving the German people to bear the tribulation of Allied retribution alone.

In this course we will focus on life in postwar Germany, the trying, despairing, crisis laden years of the Allied occupation between 1945 and 1948, including the starvation winters, the black market economy, the refugee dilemma, the denazification processes and the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal.

Moving on we will discuss life in the Soviet satellite known as the German Democratic Republic and how its secret police apparatus, the Stasi, turned its citizens into a nation of informants. How occupied Germany evolved into the epicenter of the emerging Cold War as relations between East and West Germany--and the superpowers supporting them-- became increasingly strained.

We will learn how the West German state came into being via the Berlin Airlift, currency reform and the Marshall Plan which would set it on course to realize theWirtschaftwunder (economic miracle) that made West Germany a preeminent economic power again and the “Made in Germany” brand globally respected the world over. All events which would compel more than 2.5 million East Germans to flee to the West between 1949 and 1961,causing the infamous Berliner Mauer (Wall) to be constructed.

We will conclude in1963 with president John F. Kennedy speaking in West Berlin--in the very sight of the “Wall”—not only pledging to defend West Berliners but emphasizing his support for West Germany as well as the rest of free world beyond the “Wall” against Communist aggression.

Join us for a journey that promises to expand and enhance your knowledge of this intriguing period of German history.

Course Moderator Mike Haas


DANK Haus
German American Cultural Center
 
4740 North Western Avenue 
Chicago, IL 60625

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