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Defeat and occupation, 1945-1949. Week 15, February 3. German destruction of Murmansk, 1943 ( Yevgeny Khaldei ). Germans losing the war. Battle of Kursk, summer 1943, last German offensive in the East  Jews and other victims locked in the continent  killing went on until May 1945

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germans losing the war
Germans losing the war
  • Battle of Kursk, summer 1943, last German offensive in the East  Jews and other victims locked in the continent  killing went on until May 1945
  • D-Day, Allied landing in Normandy on June 6, 1944
  • Warsaw uprising, August 1944
  • Operation Market Garden, Sep 1944: “a bridge too far”
  • SeelowerHöhen/Battle of Seelow Heights, April 45
  • Torgau: Americans meet Soviets at the Elbe
  • May 8: German capitulation
destruction of berlin
Destruction of Berlin

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/288915/Foreign-Affair-A-Movie-Clip-One-Thing-At-A-Time.html

(A Foreign Affair, dir. Billy Wilder, 1948)

population losses
Population losses

4 mio casualties in Germany (borders of 1937)

0,5 mio civilians

70% Berlin houses destroyed

50% of city housing destroyed

9,5 mio German refugees in camps 1945, 20 mio had their accommodation destroyed

1,9 mio assaults (estimated nr) between March and Nov 1945

16 mio dead in the Soviet union, 8,6 mio soldiers  many more civilians killed, far larger casualties

nuremberg trials1
Nuremberg trials
  • Allied trial on major war criminals
  • Criminal organizations: SS, NSDAP, SA, SD, Gestapo, leaders of the NSDAP
  • subsequent trials: among others doctors’ trials: euthanasia and human experiments
  • birth of international criminal law
  • The trials lesson about punishment and democracy as a pedagogic experiment for Germans; new way of confronting war violence. US influence on Europe
  • Challenged the view that retroactive law is impossible and destroyed the ideas of relativism. “Murder is always murder”
  • established the centrality of guilt in Germany and brought forward the idea of desk perpetrator
  • Skepticism of many Germans against “victors’ justice”
new political parties
(New) political parties
  • CDU/CSU – social conservative Christian party
  • FDP -- liberals
  • SED (merged SPD and KPD in the East Germany)
  • SPD in West Germany
  • System of large parties, unlike Weimar
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