Unit 1: The FRG Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Unit 1: The FRG Deck (94):

When did Germany surrender at World War II?

7th May 1945


What was the extent of war-time destruction in Germany?

4 million Germans were dead. A further 7 million were missing or POWs.
10 million eastern European labourers were expelled as refugees.
Bombings destroyed 1.8 million homes and left 5 million in emergency shelters. Disease and hunger were rife. People ate less than 1,000 kcal per day.


Why was Trizonia set up?

It was thought that post-war recovery and growth might be facilitated by cooperating efforts between the zones as economic recovery was otherwise slow.


What was the nature of the plans that the Allies had created to deal with Germany?

Short term


When was the Yalta Conference and what did it outline?

4th-11th February 1945.

It was outlined that Germany was to divided into 4 occupied military zones, with the Allies being responsible for administration within their respective zones. The Allied Control Council would be set up to coordinate work.


When was the Potsdam Conference and what did it outline?

17th July-2nd August 1945

Germany was to be de-militarised and de-Nazified through war trials.

Factories would be dismantled to weaken Germany and to offer reparations to the USSR.

A democratic state was to be set up.

Berlin was to be divided (meaning the western Allies would have to depend upon USSR good will to let them through...)

Reparations were set and were to be sourced by Allies from their respective zones. 10% of industrial machinery in the British zone would be given to the USSR in exchange for 15% of their food and raw materials.


How and why did the Western Allies increase their cooperation?

In summer 1946, USA and Britain merge economically through Bizonia, before France joins in April 1949.

This was a response to seemingly insurmountable economic crisis and extreme poverty.


How did increased Western Allied cooperation paradoxically divide Germany?

It asserted the notion that 2 distinctive Germanys were emerging: the west capitalist and the east communist.


Why were there tensions in the Allied Control Council?

In May 1946, the USA is forced to stop reparations to the USSR as they refuse to deliver foodstuffs.

February 1948 sees a communist takeover in Czechoslovakia.

March 1948 - Treaty of Brussels - sets up the Western European Union military alliance. In this same month, the Russian rep at the walks out of an ACC meeting as talks of a new currency in Trizonia commence.


What was the Cold War?

The state of hostility that existed between the Soviet bloc countries and the Western powers from 1945 to 1990. The USA was significant because it dominated the western zones. The conflict was characterised by threats, propaganda, or participation in wars on differing sides.


What was the Truman Doctrine (1947) and why was it significant?

It outlined that Harry Truman, in light of his domino theory ideology, was willing to offer help to countries that were at threat of communist takeover.

He therefore sent US troops to Greece in 1947 to fight communist rebels as Britain could no longer afford to post troops there.


What was the Marshall Plan and how was Germany helped by it?

It was a programme which saw the USA sharing $13 billion amongst European countries to aid recovery, largely through the modernisation of industry. It was hoped that this would limit the spread of communism. It was brought about under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1948.

West Germany received 11% of the aid, the equivalent of $1448 million.


How did the Marshall Plan worsen Cold War tensions?

It highlighted that the western zones were opposed to eastern communism.

Whilst help was offered to the USSR and its satellite states, the USSR refused it on their behalf.


What was the Berlin Blockade?

Stalin saw that the official division of West/East Germany was inevitable after the Deutschmark flourished whilst the Ostmark failed. He launched the blockade as a fait accompli to gain complete control over Berlin.

He cut off electricity/coal links on 24th June 1948.


How did the Western Allies respond to the Berlin Blockade?

They transported 2.3 million tonnes of supplies via 275,000 planes. One plane landed every 3 minutes at Templehof Airport, Berlin, as a result.

Stalin thus abandoned it on 12th May 1949, after 318 days.


When did Länder elections start in each of the zones?

USA - 1946
UK - 1947
France - 1947


What was the ideology of the CDU/CSU?

Konrad Adenauer's CDU/CSU was a centre-right party that was conservative but in favour of some social reform. It appealed to Catholics, nationalists and democrats.


What was the nature of the reformed SPD?

After WWII, the SPD was led by Kurt Schumacher, until 1952. He had been a victim of Nazi persecution, spending some 10 years in camps.

It was more nationalistic than Marxist.


What liberal party existed within the FRG?

The Free Democratic Party (FDP) which was formed in 1948 from former DDP and DVP.


When did the FRG gain self-governance?



What was the Basic Law?

The constitution of Germany, drawn up in Bonn, the Rhineland and approved on 8th May 1949.

It was to be provisional until Germany was eventually unified (unification was anticipated).

It had 11 sections and 141 articles.


What were key provisions of the Basic Law?

Article 1 - Human dignity.
Article 3 - equality before the law.
Article 4 - freedom of religion.
Article 5 - freedom of expression, arts and sciences.
Article 9 - freedom of association.
Article 10 - privacy of correspondence, posts and telecommunications.
Article 13 - inviolability of the home.
Article 38 - universal suffrage at age 18


What aspects of the Basic Law meant a dictatorship couldn't be set up?

Article 43 - All Bundesrat and Federal Government and their representatives could attend all Bundestag meetings and voice their opinions.

Article 67 - Vote of no confidence would allow a chancellor to be removed within 48 hours.

No extremist parties: 5% vote needed. Significant as this was why the NDP never came to power as peak was 4.3%.


How was power divided in the FRG?

The FRG was a federal state which divided its power between central and regional governments.


Even with the Basic Law in place, why did the FRG like sovereignty?

The Occupation Statute (September 1949) was in place.

This mean the FRG couldn't control her foreign policy and the ACC could intervene in times of crisis.


What was the role of the President and what were his duties?

He was chosen by the Federal Convention (50% Bundestag, 50% Bundesrat) and he was responsible for choosing the chancellor, with Bundestag support. He could serve up to two 5 year terms.


What was the role of the Chancellor and what were his duties?

He was chosen by the President and head of daily administrative affairs. He could be removed by a vote of no confidence (Article 67).


On what occasions was a vote of no confidence actually used?

1972 - it was attempted, to overcome Willy Brandt, but it didn't follow through as most people were okay with him.

1982 - Brought an end to Helmut Schmidt's government.


What was the lower house of parliament?

The Bundestag
It had 598 members. 50% were appointed through proportional representation and 50% through a first-past-the-post system.

A party needed 5% of votes to be represented.


What was the upper house of parliament?

The Bundesrat
It was composed of 69 Länder reps. They could ask that legislation be reconsidered or veto it.

Up to 60% of FRG legislation in the 1970s was vetoed due to the Bundesrat.


What was the Federal Constitutional Court?

It was a group of 16 judges who, throughout a 12-year term, were responsible for guarding the constitution.

They were selected by the Federal Constitution (50% Bundestag, 50% Bundesrat).


Give a brief biography of Konrad Adenauer

WR: He was a ZP member and Lord Mayor of Cologne. He showed his competences in being pragmatic enough to encourage Ford to launch their German operation in Cologne, bringing much wealth to the city.

NG: He was arrested twice.

FRG: He was a founder of the CDU/CSU and was a co-writer of the Basic Law. He then served as chancellor until 1963. His decline came because he was goaded by CDU/CSU members into retiring, he was seen as too authoritarian and because of the Der Spiegel Affair of 1963.


What were the results of the Federal Elections of August 1949?

There was a 78.5% turnout.

CDU/CSU - 31%
SPD - 29.2%
FDP - 11.9%

The Federal Constitution select Theodor Heuss (FDP) as President and he makes Konrad Adenauer (CDU/CSU) chancellor.


When was the GDR set up and what was its majority party?

7th October 1949

SED (Socialist Unity Party of Germany)


To what extent was the CDU/CSU the most popular party in the Bundestag from 1949-65?

It never received less than 40% of votes in all elections of the 1950s and 1960s.


How many CDU/CSU coalitions did Adenauer lead and how many were successful?

Adenauer led 4 coalitions, the first three of which succeeded. His decline began in 1961 and was concluded in 1963.


Why did Adenauer's first three terms succeed?

Wirtschaftswunder - He adopted an Ordoliberalism-based social market economy and so recovery was quick and effective. It resulted in rising living standards.

Control over extremism - He banned the SRP in 1952 then the KPD in 1956.

Popularity of the CDU/CSU - It was Germany's only centre-right party and sought good American relations, European integration, an Ordoliberal free social market economy and moderate social reform.

Personal popularity - He was an outwardly strong leader who had always hated the Nazis.


Why did Adenauer want to widen his constituency between 1949-61?

To establish a widespread political framework for his party that would hold support from various social groups.


How did Adenauer widen his constituency between 1949-61?

He and Hans Globke (federal chancellor) did it.

Appealed to conservatives through simple slogans like 'Affluence for All' and 'No Experiments'.

He integrated eastern European immigrants and former Nazis into society, instead of just point blank rejecting them. He employed them for the sake of achieving Wirtschaftswunder.

He presented a desirably strong anti-Communist stance, banning the KPD in 1956.

He offered a middle ground of politics and stability, over experimentation, and this appealed to rural and urban voters alike.


What was Adenauer's attitude towards former Nazis?

He did condemn what they had done and hence launched the war trials that had been arranged at the Potsdam Conference of June 1945. Luxembourg Agreement of 10th September 1952 meant DM 100 billion compensation was paid to Israel.

He also employed former Nazis, and this was a controversial affair. By 1949, 39 former Nazis worked in the foreign ministry.

Other key individuals were:
Hans Globke (ex Nazi civil servant who wrote up much anti-Semitic legislation and the Enabling Act). He was now federal chancellor and important in widening the CDU/CSU party constituency.

Theodor Oberländer (former SS member); now minister of refugees.


What were the four fundamental domestic policies of Adenauer?

Reconstruction; wealth redistribution; welfare reform; improved labour relations.


How did Adenauer bring about reconstruction?

Passed the Construction Law in April 1950.

It gave grants to Länder to rebuild homes. It saw 4 million homes being constructed in the next 7 years, and Eastern refugees being properly integrated.

Significant as 5 million had been made homeless by WWII.


How did Adenauer bring about wealth redistribution?

Passed Equalisation of Burdens Act in September 1952.

It compensated people who had lost their homes after Allied bombings or after being expelled from the East.

It was funded by a 5% tax on all with a net worth of DM 5,000 and paid across 30 instalments. By 1983, the scheme had raised DM 126 billion.


How did Adenauer bring about welfare reform?

Pensions Act of 1957

Pension payments increased by up to 75%. Pensions to be received by the individual, determined according to the wage they'd earned when working.

Later financial pressure but good in the short term.


How did Adenauer bring about improved labour relations?

Collective Bargaining Law on Industrial Relations of 1949

State recognises the existence of trade unions and workers are empowered to join them and to assist in workplace decisions through co-determination.

Works Consultation Law of 1952

All companies with more than 20 employees were encouraged to set up worker consultative committees. It resulted in fewer strikes.


When did the Allied Control Council give the FRG sovereignty over foreign policy?



Who was Adenauer's foreign minister?

He appointed himself.


What were Adenauer's main foreign policy aims?

To improve relations with the West: Europe and the USA. But also limit economic dependence on the USA.

To ensure the FRG be recognised as an independent country and the only voice of Germany.

To secure better worldwide acceptance for the FRG.


How was the FRG's international influence increased in 1949?

Adenauer joined the Council of Europe and gains representation in the OEEC (Organisation for European Economic Cooperation).

OEEC distributed Marshall Aid, ended quantitative trade restrictions and ensured regular meetings between members concerning continental economic concerns.

Council of Europe - Set up with Treaty of London (1949) to have 47 member states meet up a few times a year in Strasbourg to discuss concerns surrounding culture, democracy, human rights and rule of law. Held little power but held symbolic importance.


Why did some Germans criticise Adenauer on the grounds of his foreign policy aims in 1949?

SPD members and others disliked how he treated reunification as less of a focus than improved western relations. Yet these relations resulted in prosperity and so people began to forget about reunification a bit.


When did the FRG join NATO and why was this significant?

9th May 1955

It meant the FRG could rearm as long as she limit the size of her army, keep the army under civilian control and denounce the use of nuclear weaponry.

Demonstrated FRG independence and stance as the voice of Germany: GDR not asked to join.

NATO was an intergovernmental military alliance which established a collective defence system to prevent future war and communist outbreaks. USSR retaliated with the 1955 Warsaw Pact.


When did the FRG join the EEC and why was this significant?

FRG was one of the EEC's founding members on 1st January 1958. Achieved economic unity in Europe.

Adenauer as able to reduce economic dependence upon the USA by working with Charles de Gaulle in 1963 to prevent British entry to the EEC because she had extensive political and economic links with the USA.


What were West German relations with the GDR like under Adenauer?

Poor relations as Ostpolitik wasn't a focus, much to the annoyance of the SPD.

Hallstein Doctrine of 1955 - FRG was to cut off trade links with all countries (except USSR) that recognised the existence of the GDR. It was subsequently applied to Yugoslavia in 1957 and Cuba in 1963.

Harsh anti-GDR policies in 1956 saw the FDP withdraw support for the CDU/CSU and offer it instead to the SPD.§


How did Adenauer deal with refugees from the GDR?

He accepted anyone that could legally come across the border through the western zones of Berlin and appreciated their contribution towards Wirtschaftswunder.

1949-1961: 2 million move. 10.8% of the GDR population.

GDR couldn't afford the exodus so tensions grew.


What was Operation Rose and what did it involve?

The secret GDR plan to construct the Berlin Wall.

12th-13th August 1961: barbed wire barrir set up. Westerners in the East had to go back West, and Easterners in the West had a choice.

14th August 1961 - travel across the border no longer possible.

45,000 concrete bricks used to build a wall 97 miles long and 4m tall. It had 30 watch towers, dog traps, trip wires and floodlights to stop people from escaping.


How did the FRG respond to Operation Rose?

Adenauer was too distracted with the need to prepare for the 1961 federal election, only visiting Berlin 9 days later.

Public protest in West Berlin of 300,000 Germans. Brandt (SPD, mayor of Berlin) gives a popular speech.

1,500 US troops (a bit pointless as the wall was already there)


What were the surprising positive effects of Operation Rose?

Cold War tensions lessened because the exodus of GDR emigrants ended and so divisions began to be accepted.

People became less concerned with unification and more with Wirtschaftswunder. Shown through changing attitudes towards The Day of German Unity. 17th June had originally been a day to commemorate the FRG's response to brutal Soviet murders of protesting workers in the GDR in June 1953, and so the day promoted unification. Soon, people forgot its meaning and just enjoyed it as a day off work.


What two things caused Adenauer's ultimate downfall after 1961?

The increasing power of the SPD

Adenauer's own political mistakes


What was wrong with Adenauer's response to Operation Rose and what was the effect of this?

He was seen as a weak and uncaring leader after failing to visit Berlin until 9 days after the crisis.

1961 federal election: his party receives 46% of votes (4% less than September 1957)


What key mistake did Adenauer make in 1959 that limited his popularity?

He tried to run for president. This went against the constitution and made him seem too arrogant and dictatorial.


What was the Der Spiegel Affair of 1962?

1962 - editors of Der Spiegel write some articles which present the German army as unable to protect the army effectively.

Defence minister Josef Strauss has them arrested, yet this goes against Article 5 of the Basic Law (free press) so there are fears of authoritarianism.

Led to domestic and international protest, and the resignation of 5 FDP. Adenauer and Strauss forced to resign.


To what extent did the SPD pose a threat to Adenauer and why?

Support grows from 29.2% to 31.8% between 1945-57.

Popular policies in favour of economic integration, neutral foreign policy and reunification - upheld by Kurt Schumacher and then Erich Ollenhauer - were popular.

Changed agenda at the Bad Godesberg Conference (1959). More conservative: party programme no longer included desire to overthrow capitalism. Favoured social market economy, German defence and European economic integration.


How old was Adenauer when he finally resigned in 1963?



When was Ludwig Erhard chancellor and what was his party?

October 1963 - November 1966



What were Ludwig Erhard's successes?

He pioneered the social market economy, which brought about much economic growth. By 1964, production levels had grown by 8% and wages by 8.5%.

This was an economic system based on a free market operated in conjunction with state provision for those unable to work.


What were Ludwig Erhard's weaknesses?

1965 recession after excessive state spending and inflation in 1966.

Led to conflict within the CDU/CSU over how matters could be improved.

Also allowed conflict with FDP as FDP leaders wanted to limit public spending whilst Erhard wanted to keep up with welfare payments through tax increases. FDP withdraw in November 1966 so he resigns.


What was the nature of the Grand Coalition (1966-69) and who led it?

95% of Bundestag votes shared between CDU/CSU and SPD.

Led by Kurt Kiesinger (CDU/CSU).


Why did Kiesinger lack public support?

He was a former Nazi. He had joined the NSDAP in 1933 then worked as assistant chief of the radio propaganda department in the foreign ministry during WWII.

Yet his SPD links neutralised the threats and made him a . more popular leader.


What economic threats did Kiesinger face?

Economic dislocation seen in Germany after Operation Rose (1961) because of an end to the exodus of GDR workers.


How did the Emergency Law (1968) reduce Kiesinger's popularity?

Increased fears of authoritarianism; especially as he was a former Nazi!

There was also an ongoing rise of neo-Nazism in Germany at the time. The NDP was formed from 70 neo-Nazi groups in 1964 and by 1967, it had 48 seats across 7 Länder.


Aside from neo-Nazism, what other political threat did Kiesinger face?

SPD support continued to grow after 1959 whilst the CDU/CSU weakened. Gustav Heinemann (SPD) was made president in 1969.


When was Willy Brandt chancellor and what were his aims?

September 1969 - May 1974

He wanted to modernise German and to pursue a reformist agenda which would see increased public participation in political affairs whilst allowing for social reforms and assured democracy in the face of the increasing authoritarianism of the CDU/CSU. Also sought Ostpolitik.


Give a brief biography of Willy Brandt.

He had been an anti-Nazi. He lived under a different name during the Nazi era in Norway and Sweden, and was a member of the Norwegian anti-Nazi resistance.

SPD deputy from 1949.
Mayor of Berlin in 1963.
Vice chancellor in 1966-69.
Chancellor in 1969-74.


What did Brandt achieve in terms of Ostpolitik?

He rejected the Hallstein Doctrine of 1955.

1969 - Inaugural address on 28th October 1969 sees Brandt refer to "two states, one nation": rejecting Hallstein Doctrine of 1955. Draft treaty for mutual recognition and GDR entry into the UN begins.

1970 - Brandt visits Erfurt, GDR and is welcomed with applaud. No agreements but symbolic value. Willi Stoph (minister-president of GDR) returns the visit, in visiting Cassel. He demands that the FRG acknowledge the existence of the GDR and offer DM100 billion compensation for the employee exodus.

1973 - Mutual formal recognition of the existence of the states with the Basic Treaty of June 1973. FRG citizens can travel freely in the west but not vice-versa. Illegal GDR emigrants promised FRG citizenship. Commercial, tourist, cultural and communication links planned.

1974 - Exchange of diplomats in May.


Why was a vote of no confidence proposed in 1972?

CDU/CSU saw Ostpolitik as evidence that Germany was giving in to communism and preventing unification.

Secret ballot seeks to replace SPD government with CDU/CSU one led by Rainer Barzel but he fails to gain enough votes.

Evidence of democratic support: work to prevent a party from unseating a popularly elected government.


What challenges did Willy Brandt face in the 1970s?

Inflation due to excessive government spending.
1973 oil crisis.
Growth in political extremism through the RAF.


Why was Brandt reappointed in November 1972?

Popular Ostpolitik tactics.


When and why did Willy Brandt resign?

6th May 1974

It was found that one of his secretaries, Günter Guillaume, was secretly a GDR spy who was passing on government documents to the GDR.

He blamed himself. Him presenting himself as the scapegoat allowed an almost seamless transition into the new SPD government of Helmut Schmidt, who continued Brandt's policies.


When was Helmut Schmidt chancellor? When did he form the SPD-FDP coalition?

May 1974 - October 1982

3rd October 1976.


What were Schmidt's successes?

He continued Ostpoliik and dealt with political extremism effectively.


What were Schmidt's weaknesses?

Divides within the SPD over inflation reduction policies.

Controversy surrounding nuclear proliferation.

Tensions with the FDP.

Threats posed by the emergence of the Green Party in the early 1980s.


Why was the prospect of nuclear proliferation an issue for Schmidt?

Schmidt allowed it because the FRG was a good buffer zone between the USA and USSR (Cold War), but as at risk if they came to blows. It seemed possible, considering that the USSR developed a generation of intermediate range nuclear missiles in the 1970s.

It led to the emergence of the Green Party and many riots. E.g. 1979 saw 150,000 protesting to close the nuclear facilities in Bonn. 1986 - 100,000 oppose potential Wackersdorf plant in Bavaria.

2.7 million sign the Krefeld Appeal against the nuclear proliferation in November 1980.

October 1983 - Willy Brandt gives a speech to 300,000 to encourage them to oppose nuclear proliferation.


Explain the early growth of the Green Party.

Die Grünen was founded in 1979. It focused upon ecological, economic and social sustainability, and was linked to a number of radical movements, like feminism or civil rights. It first gained parliamentary representation in 1983.


Why did Schmidt's SPD-FDP coalition collapse in October 1982?

Vote of no confidence on 1st October 1982 saw his government being replaced with a CDU/CSU-FDP government led by Helmut Kohl. This was because he'd been unable to decide upon an effective cost-cutting budget so the FDP turned to the CDU/CSU for help.


When was Helmut Kohl chancellor and what were his key policies?

October 1982 - October 1998

He continued Ostpolitik (meaning he had to change the stance of the CDU/CSU) and returned to Erhard's social market economy, supplementing it with further popular economic policies.


What new economic policies did Helmut Kohl bring about?

He offered high welfare spending and subsidies to a number of industries.

He made sure that policies weren't too radical so as to not threaten the lifestyles of the more affluent capitalist classes.

He was able to manage an economy that could facilitate economic growth as oil prices fell after 1985.


What economic challenges did Kohl face and how did he respond?

1980s saw rising levels of unemployment and social deprivation.

He therefore initially had to cut government spending and taxes throughout a 7 year period. The maximum annual budget increase figure was set at 3%.


What was the Flick Affair?

It was found in 1984 that Count Lambsdorff (FDP Finance minister) was accepting generous donations of as much as DM500,000 from the Flick Corporation as he allowed for their illegal tax exemption on their DM1.8 billion sale of shares in Daimler-Benz.

Government responded harshly through fines and prison sentences. Widespread media investigation found that many parties used similar tactics.


What was the Barschel-Engholm Affair?

Conflict between Uwe Barschel (CDU) and Bjoern Engholm (SPD) in the lead up to the Schleswig-Holstein state elections of September 1989.

Barschel, who was president, was to have Engholm charged with tax evasion. Engholm supposedly responded by hiring a private detective to spy on Barschel, and by placing bugs in Barschel's office. Barschel resigned on 1st October 1989 and was found dead on 3rd October 1989 in a hotel room at Hotel Beau-Rivage, Geneva. He was found drowning in a bathtub intoxicated with Lorazepam. The Stern magazine journalists that found him blamed suicide, but his family thought he'd been killed.

Engholm resigned over the scandal.


Who was the first chancellor of unified Germany?

Helmut Kohl


Who did Kohl work with in an attempt to bring an end to the Cold War towards the late 1980s?

President Ronald Reagan (USA)

General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev (USSR)


Give an example of terrorism faced by Kohl's government?

Car bombing outside Rhein Main US airbase bombed in 1985. killed 2 and wounded 20.

Frankfurt Airport bombed in 1985: killed 3 and wounded 42.


When were travel restrictions in Germany completely lifted?

9th November 1989


When did Austria remove its via requirements for Hungary and the GDR and why was this significant?

August 1989 - meant people could move to the FRG via Hungary and Austria. Had already been guaranteed FRG citizenship by Willy Brandt in 1973.