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Germany(jûr`mənē), Ger. Deutschland, officially Federal Republic of Germany, republic (2015 est. pop. 81,708,000), 137,699 sq mi (356,733 sq km). Located in the center of Europe, it borders the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France on the west; Switzerland and Austria on the south; the Czech Republic and Poland on the east; Denmark on the north; and the Baltic Sea on the northeast. The official capital and largest city is BerlinBerlin
, city (1994 pop. 3,475,400), capital of Germany, coextensive with Berlin state (341 sq mi/883 sq km), NE Germany, on the Spree and Havel rivers. Formerly divided into East Berlin (156 sq mi/404 sq km) and West Berlin (185 sq mi/479 sq km), the city was reunified along
..... Click the link for more information. , but many administrative functions are still carried on in BonnBonn
, city (1994 pop. 296,860), former capital of West Germany, North Rhine–Westphalia, W Germany, on the Rhine River. It functioned as the provisional seat of government of reunited Germany until 1999, when most of the government moved to Berlin; some government
..... Click the link for more information. , the former capital of West Germany.
Land and People
Germany as a whole can be divided into three major geographic regions: the low-lying N German plain, the central German uplands, and, in the south, the ranges of the Central Alps and other uplands. The climate is temperate although there is considerable variation. Almost two thirds of the country's extensive forests are coniferous; among the broadleafs, beech predominates.
N Germany, drained by the Ems, Weser, Elbe, and Oder rivers, is heavily farmed, despite poor soil; crops include wheat, rye, barley, oats, potatoes, and sugar beets. Dairy cattle are widely raised, especially in Schleswig-Holstein; pork, beef, and chicken are other livestock products. The region also includes the major industrial and transportation centers of KielKiel
, city (1994 pop. 248,930), capital of Schleswig-Holstein, N central Germany, on Kiel Bay, an arm of the Baltic Sea. Situated at the head of the Kiel Canal, the city was Germany's chief naval base from 1871 to 1945, when the naval installations were dismantled.
..... Click the link for more information. , RostockRostock
, city (1994 pop. 237,307), Mecklenburg–West Pomerania, NE Germany, on the Baltic Sea. It is an industrial center and a major seaport, with petroleum tank installations and shipyards, as well as fish-processing and shipbuilding
..... Click the link for more information. Hamburg, Bremen, HanoverHanover,
Ger. Hannover, city (1994 pop. 524,820), capital of Lower Saxony, N Germany, on the Leine River and the Midland Canal. It is a major industrial, commercial, and transshipment center, also serving as a vital rail and road junction in northern Germany.
..... Click the link for more information. , and MagdeburgMagdeburg
, city (1994 pop. 270,546), capital of Saxony-Anhalt, central Germany, on the Elbe River. It is a large inland port, an industrial center, and a rail and road junction. Manufactures include metal products, textiles, and chemicals.
..... Click the link for more information. , as well as Berlin.
The central uplands include the Rhenish Slate and Harz mts., and the Thuringian Forest. The RhineRhine
, Du. Rijn, Fr. Rhin, Ger. Rhein, Lat. Rhenus, principal river of Europe, c.820 mi (1,320 km) long. It rises in the Swiss Alps and flows generally north, passing through or bordering on Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France, and
..... Click the link for more information. River runs through W Germany and, between Bingen and Bonn, flows through a steep gorge, famous for its scenery, vineyards, and castles. Along the northern rim of the Rhenish Slate Mts. lies Germany's chief mining and industrial region, which includes the RuhrRuhr
, region, c.1,300 sq mi (3,370 sq km), North Rhine–Westphalia, W Germany; a principal manufacturing center of Germany. The Ruhr lies along, and north of, the Ruhr River (145 mi/233 km long), which rises in the hills of central Germany and flows generally west to the
..... Click the link for more information. and Saar basins and takes in the cities of DüsseldorfDüsseldorf
, city (1994 pop. 574,600), capital of North Rhine–Westphalia, W Germany, at the confluence of the Rhine and Düssel rivers. It is a major industrial, financial, and commercial center; a busy inland port; and an important rail junction.
..... Click the link for more information. , DuisburgDuisburg
, city (1994 pop. 536,800), North Rhine–Westphalia, W Germany, at the confluence of the Rhine and Ruhr rivers. Located in the Ruhr district, it is the largest inland port in the world and a center for iron and steel production.
..... Click the link for more information. , KrefeldKrefeld
, city (1994 pop. 249,560), North Rhine–Westphalia, W Germany, a port on the Rhine River. It is the center of the German silk and velvet industry, and is a major rail hub and textile center.
..... Click the link for more information. , EssenEssen
, city (1994 pop. 622,380), North Rhine–Westphalia, W Germany, on the Ruhr River. The major industrial center of the Ruhr district, it was the seat of the famous Krupp steelworks. Essen is a retail trade center, a rail junction, and a steel and electricity producer.
..... Click the link for more information. , WuppertalWuppertal
, city (1994 pop. 386,625), North Rhine–Westphalia, W Germany, on the Wupper River. It is an industrial center, formed in 1929 by the merger of Barmen, Elberfeld, Vohwinkel, and several smaller towns.
..... Click the link for more information. , BochumBochum
, city (1994 pop. 401,060), North Rhine–Westphalia, W Germany. Mentioned in the 9th cent. and chartered in 1321, it remained a small farming community until the development of nearby coal mines in the mid-19th cent. By the late 19th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. , GelsenkirchenGelsenkirchen
, city (1994 pop. 295,040), North Rhine–Westphalia, W Germany, a port on the Rhine-Herne Canal. It is a major industrial and coal-mining center of the Ruhr district. Dominated by heavy industry, it manufactures iron and steel, chemicals, glass, and clothing.
..... Click the link for more information. , and DortmundDortmund
, city (1994 pop. 602,000), North Rhine–Westphalia, W Germany, a port on the Dortmund-Ems Canal. It is an industrial center in the Ruhr district. Its manufactures include steel, machinery, and beer, and it is a growing high-technology and research center.
..... Click the link for more information. . In the east, industrial centers are located along and near the Elbe River and its tributaries. The major cities include LeipzigLeipzig
, city (1994 pop. 490,850), Saxony, E central Germany, at the confluence of the Pleisse, White Elster, and Parthe rivers. Economy
One of Germany's major industrial, commercial, and transportation centers, it has many rail lines and two airports.
..... Click the link for more information. , DresdenDresden
, city (1994 pop. 479,300), capital of Saxony, E central Germany, on the Elbe River. It is an industrial and cultural center, a rail junction, and a large inland port.
..... Click the link for more information. , ChemnitzChemnitz
, formerly Karl-Marx-Stadt
, city (1994 pop. 279,520), Saxony, E central Germany, on the Chemnitz River. It is a major industrial center and an important road and rail junction; it has become one of the most heavily polluted cities in Europe.
..... Click the link for more information. , HalleHalle,
city (1994 pop. 195,370), Saxony-Anhalt, central Germany, on the Saale River. It is an industrial center and a major transportation hub. Manufactures include chemicals, refined sugar and other food products, machinery, rubber, cement, and electrical and chemical products.
..... Click the link for more information. , and ErfurtErfurt
, city (1994 pop. 200,800), capital of Thuringia, central Germany, on the Gera River. It is an industrial and horticultural center and a rail junction. Industries include metalworking and the manufacture of electrical apparatus, shoes, and clothing.
..... Click the link for more information. . The southern section of the Rhineland, which contains the Eifel and Hunsrück mts., is largely agricultural and has famous vineyards, especially in the MoselleMoselle,
Ger. Mosel, river, 320 mi (515 km) long, rising in the Vosges Mts., NE France, and winding generally N past Épinal and Metz. Leaving France, it forms part of the border between Luxembourg and Germany, then enters Germany, passes Trier, and cuts between the
..... Click the link for more information. valley.
The southern part of Germany is drained by the Danube, Iller, Lech, Isar, Inn, Neckar, and Main rivers. Rising to the Zugspitze (9,721 ft/2,963 m) in the Bavarian Alps, the highest point in Germany, it consists of plateaus and forested mountains, e.g., the Black Forest, the highlands of Swabia, and the Bohemian Forest. Lake Constance, in the Alps, is a popular tourist area. Notable agricultural products of the region are fruit, wheat, barley, and dairy goods. Important industrial centers include MunichMunich
, Ger. München , city (1994 pop. 1,255,623), capital of Bavaria, S Germany, on the Isar River near the Bavarian Alps. It is a financial, commercial, industrial, transportation, communications, and cultural center.
..... Click the link for more information. , FrankfurtFrankfurt
or Frankfurt am Main
, city (1994 pop. 659,800), Hesse, central Germany, a port on the Main River. It is also known in English as Frankfort. The city is an industrial, media, and commercial center and a transportation hub.
..... Click the link for more information. , AugsburgAugsburg
, city (1994 pop. 264,764), capital of Swabia, Bavaria, S central Germany, a major industrial center on the Lech River. The major industries include the manufacture of textiles, clothing, machinery, computers, electronic equipment, motor vehicles, and airplanes.
..... Click the link for more information. , NurembergNuremberg
, Ger. Nürnberg , city (1994 pop. 498,945), Bavaria, S Germany, on the Pegnitz River and the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal. One of the great historic cities of Germany, Nuremberg is now an important commercial, industrial, and transportation center.
..... Click the link for more information. , StuttgartStuttgart
, city (1994 pop. 594,406), capital of Baden-Württemberg, SW Germany, on the Neckar River. It is a major transportation point, with a large river port and an international airport, and a sizable industrial center.
..... Click the link for more information. , and KarlsruheKarlsruhe
, city (1994 pop. 278,000), Baden-Württemberg, SW Germany, on the northern fringes of the Black Forest, connected by canal with a port on the nearby Rhine River.
..... Click the link for more information. .
About one third of the population is Protestant, mostly in the north, and one third is Roman Catholic, primarily in the south and west. There is a small Jewish minority. About half the population in the area that was formerly East Germany has no religious affiliation. Catholic and Protestant churches and Jewish synagogues receive government support through a church surtax levied on members of these denominations. Virtually all citizens of the country speak German. Danes, Frisians, Romani (Gypsies), and Sorbs or Wends comprise the indigenous non-German-speaking minorities. Since the early 1970s, millions of "guest workers" from other countries (mostly former Yugoslavia, plus Turkey and Italy) have come to Germany for employment; those from Turkey, including both Turks and Kurds, are mainly Muslim. In the mid-2010s the country experienced a large influx of mostly Middle Eastern refugees, and by 2017 more than one fifth of the country's inhabitants either were not German citizens at birth or had at least one parent who was not a German citizen.
The former West Germany has for many years benefited from a highly skilled population that enjoys a high standard of living and an extensive social welfare program. Since unification, however, Germany has faced the economic challenge of transforming the former East Germany from a deteriorating command economy dependent on low-quality heavy industrial products to a technologically advanced market economy. Unemployment in the east has remained consistently higher than that in the west, and although several larger urban centers there have begun to revive economically, most E German industrial cities remain depressed. Since the postwar years, the German economy has emphasized management-labor consensus, which, while generally avoiding labor strife, has also created a relatively inflexible labor environment where employers are reluctant to hire more than the minimum required number of skilled workers, since it is difficult to fire them once they are hired.
Manufacturing and service industries are the dominant economic activities; agriculture accounts for about 1% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and occupies about 3% of the workforce. Industries include food and beverage processing, shipbuilding, and the manufacture of iron and steel, chemicals, machinery and machine tools, motor vehicles, electronics, and textiles. Hard coal and lignite are mined. Overall, the principal German agricultural products are potatoes, wheat, barley, rye, sugar beets, cabbage, fruit, and dairy products. Large numbers of cattle, hogs, and poultry are raised. Germany is one of the world's largest exporters; products include machinery, vehicles, chemicals, foodstuffs, and various manufactures. Germany also imports machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and foodstuffs. Its main trading partners are France, the United States, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Italy.
Germany is a parliamentary democracy governed under the constitution of 1949, which became the constitution of a united Germany in 1990. The federal president is the head of state but has little influence on government. The president is elected for a five-year term by a federal convention, which meets only for this purpose and consists of the Bundestag and an equal number of members elected by the state parliaments. The chancellor, elected by an absolute majority of the Bundestag for a four-year term, is the head of government. There is a bicameral Parliament. The Bundesrat, or Federal Council (the upper house), has 69 seats, with each state having three to six representatives depending on the state's population. The Bundestag, or Federal Assembly (the lower house), has 598 deputies who are elected for four years using a mixed system of proportional representation and direct voting; when a party wins more seats through direct voting than it would have by proportional representation alone, however, additional seats are added for other parties.
Germany is divided into 16 states (Länder). Each state has its own constitution, legislature, and government, which can pass laws on all matters except those, such as defense, foreign affairs, and finance, that are the exclusive right of the federal government. The states are Schleswig-HolsteinSchleswig-Holstein
, state (1994 pop. 2,595,000), c.6,050 sq mi (15,670 sq km), NW Germany. Kiel (the capital and chief port), Lübeck, Flensburg, and Neumünster are the major cities.
..... Click the link for more information. , Lower SaxonyLower Saxony,
Ger. Niedersachsen , state (1994 pop. 7,480,000), 18,295 sq mi (47,384 sq km), NW Germany. Hanover is the capital. The state was formed in 1946 by the merger of the former Prussian province of Hanover with the former states of Brunswick, Oldenburg, and
..... Click the link for more information. , BremenBremen
, city (1994 pop. 551,600), capital of the state of Bremen, NW Germany, on the Weser River. Known as the Free Hanse City of Bremen (Ger. Freie Hansestadt Bremen
..... Click the link for more information. , HamburgHamburg
, officially Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg (Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg), city (1994 pop. 1,702,900), coextensive with, and capital of, Hamburg state (288 sq mi/746 sq km), N Germany, on the Elbe River near its mouth in the North Sea, and on the Alster River.
..... Click the link for more information. , Mecklenburg–West PomeraniaMecklenburg–West Pomerania
, state (1994 pop. 1,890,000), 9,201 sq mi (23,838 sq km), NE Germany, bordering on the Baltic Sea. Schwerin is the capital. The region embraced by the state of Mecklenburg–West Pomerania is a low-lying, fertile agricultural area, with many
..... Click the link for more information. , North Rhine–WestphaliaNorth Rhine–Westphalia
, Ger. Nordrhein-Westfalen , state (1994 pop. 17,759,000), 13,111 sq mi (33,957 sq km), W central Germany. Düsseldorf is the capital.
..... Click the link for more information. , Saxony–AnhaltSaxony-Anhalt
, Ger. Sachsen-Anhalt, state (1994 pop. 2,965,000), 7,892 sq mi (20,445 sq km), E Germany. Magdeburg is the capital. It is bordered on the east by Brandenburg, on the west by Lower Saxony, and in the south by Thuringia and Saxony.
..... Click the link for more information. , BrandenburgBrandenburg
, state (1994 est. pop. 2,540,000), c.10,400 sq mi (26,940 sq km), E Germany. Potsdam is the capital; other leading cities include Cottbus, Frankfurt-an-der-Oder, and Brandenburg.
..... Click the link for more information. , Berlin HesseHesse
, Ger. Hessen, state (1994 pop. 5,800,000), 8,150 sq mi (24,604 sq km), central Germany. Wiesbaden is the capital. It is bounded by Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria in the south, Rhineland-Palatinate in the west, North Rhine–Westphalia and Lower Saxony in
..... Click the link for more information. , ThuringiaThuringia
, Ger. Thüringen, state (1994 pop. 2,533,000), 6,273 sq mi (16,251 sq km), central Germany. It is bordered on the south by Bavaria, on the east by Saxony, on the north by Saxony-Anhalt and Lower Saxony, and on the west by Hesse.
..... Click the link for more information. , SaxonySaxony
, Ger. Sachsen, Fr. Saxe, state (1994 pop. 4,901,000), 7,078 sq mi (18,337 sq km), E central Germany. Dresden is the capital. In its current form, Saxony is a federal state of Germany, with its pre–World War II borders reinstated as of Oct., 1990.
..... Click the link for more information. Rhineland-PalatinateRhineland-Palatinate
, Ger. Rheinland-Pfalz, state (1994 pop. 3,926,000), 7,658 sq mi (19,834 sq km), W Germany. Mainz is the capital. The state was formed in 1946 by the merger of the Rhenish Palatinate, Rhenish Hesse, the southern portion of the former Rhine Province of
..... Click the link for more information. , SaarlandSaarland
, state (1994 pop. 1,080,000), 991 sq mi (2,567 sq km), SW Germany; formerly called the Saar or the Saar Territory. Saarbrücken is the capital; other cities include Völklingen, Saarlouis, and Sankt Ingbert.
..... Click the link for more information. , Baden-WürttembergBaden-Württemberg
, state (1994 pop. 10,000,000), 13,803 sq mi (35,750 sq km), SW Germany. Stuttgart is the capital. It was formed in 1952 by the merger of Württemberg-Baden, Württemberg-Hohenzollern, and postwar Baden, all of which came into being after 1945.
..... Click the link for more information. , and BavariaBavaria
, Ger. Bayern, state (1994 pop. 11,600,000), 27,239 sq mi (70,549 sq km), S Germany. Munich is the capital. The largest state of Germany, Bavaria is bordered by the Czech Republic on the east, by Austria on the southeast and south, by Baden-Württemberg on the
..... Click the link for more information. .
Various aspects of the early, medieval, and early modern history of Germany are covered in the articles GermansGermans,
great ethnic complex of ancient Europe, a basic stock in the composition of the modern peoples of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, N Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, N and central France, Lowland Scotland, and England.
..... Click the link for more information. ; Germanic lawsGermanic laws,
customary law codes of the Germans before their contact with the Romans. They are unknown to us except through casual references of ancient authors and inferences from the codes compiled after the tribes had invaded the Roman Empire.
..... Click the link for more information. ; Germanic religionGermanic religion,
pre-Christian religious practices among the tribes of Western Europe, Germany, and Scandinavia. The main sources for our knowledge are the Germania of Tacitus and the Elder Edda and the Younger Edda.
..... Click the link for more information. ; Holy Roman EmpireHoly Roman Empire,
designation for the political entity that originated at the coronation as emperor (962) of the German king Otto I and endured until the renunciation (1806) of the imperial title by Francis II.
..... Click the link for more information. ; AustriaAustria
, Ger. Österreich [eastern march], officially Republic of Austria, federal republic (2015 est. pop. 8,679,000), 32,374 sq mi (83,849 sq km), central Europe.
..... Click the link for more information. ; and in the articles on the major historic German states (PrussiaPrussia
, Ger. Preussen, former state, the largest and most important of the German states. Berlin was the capital. The chief member of the German Empire (1871–1918) and a state of the Weimar Republic (1919–33), Prussia occupied more than half of all Germany
..... Click the link for more information. , BavariaBavaria
, Ger. Bayern, state (1994 pop. 11,600,000), 27,239 sq mi (70,549 sq km), S Germany. Munich is the capital. The largest state of Germany, Bavaria is bordered by the Czech Republic on the east, by Austria on the southeast and south, by Baden-Württemberg on the
..... Click the link for more information. , SaxonySaxony
, Ger. Sachsen, Fr. Saxe, state (1994 pop. 4,901,000), 7,078 sq mi (18,337 sq km), E central Germany. Dresden is the capital. In its current form, Saxony is a federal state of Germany, with its pre–World War II borders reinstated as of Oct., 1990.
..... Click the link for more information. , WürttembergWürttemberg
, former state, SW Germany. Württemberg was formerly also spelled Würtemberg and Wirtemberg. The former state bordered on Baden in the northwest, west, and southwest, on Hohenzollern and Switzerland (from which it was separated by Lake Constance) in
..... Click the link for more information. , BadenBaden
, former state, SW Germany. Karlsruhe was the capital. Stretching from the Main River in the northeast across the lower Neckar valley and along the right bank of the Rhine to Lake Constance (Bodensee), the former state of Baden bordered on France and the Rhenish Palatinate
..... Click the link for more information. , ThuringiaThuringia
, Ger. Thüringen, state (1994 pop. 2,533,000), 6,273 sq mi (16,251 sq km), central Germany. It is bordered on the south by Bavaria, on the east by Saxony, on the north by Saxony-Anhalt and Lower Saxony, and on the west by Hesse.
..... Click the link for more information. , HesseHesse
, Ger. Hessen, state (1994 pop. 5,800,000), 8,150 sq mi (24,604 sq km), central Germany. Wiesbaden is the capital. It is bounded by Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria in the south, Rhineland-Palatinate in the west, North Rhine–Westphalia and Lower Saxony in
..... Click the link for more information. , Mecklenburg (see under Mecklenburg–West PomeraniaMecklenburg–West Pomerania
, state (1994 pop. 1,890,000), 9,201 sq mi (23,838 sq km), NE Germany, bordering on the Baltic Sea. Schwerin is the capital. The region embraced by the state of Mecklenburg–West Pomerania is a low-lying, fertile agricultural area, with many
..... Click the link for more information. , OldenburgOldenburg
, former state, NW Germany. It is now included in the state of Lower Saxony. The city of Oldenburg was the capital. The former state consisted of three widely separated divisions.
..... Click the link for more information. , BrunswickBrunswick
, Ger. Braunschweig , former state, central Germany, surrounded by the former Prussian provinces of Saxony, Hanover, and Westphalia. The region of Braunschweig is situated on the North German plain and in the northern foothills of the Harz Mts.
..... Click the link for more information. , AnhaltAnhalt
, former state, c.900 sq mi (2,330 sq km), central Germany, surrounded by the former Prussian provinces of Saxony and Brandenburg. Dessau, the capital, and Köthen were the chief cities. Nonmountainous except for the outliers of the lower Harz Mts.
..... Click the link for more information. , LippeLippe
, former state, N central Germany, between the Teutoburg Forest and the Weser River. It was incorporated in 1947 into the state of North Rhine–Westphalia. Detmold, the former capital, was the chief city.
..... Click the link for more information. , Schaumburg-LippeSchaumburg-Lippe
, former state, N Germany, E of the Weser River. In 1946 it was placed in Lower Saxony. Bückeburg was the capital. It was situated in a fertile agricultural region.
..... Click the link for more information. ) and on the free cities of HamburgHamburg
, officially Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg (Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg), city (1994 pop. 1,702,900), coextensive with, and capital of, Hamburg state (288 sq mi/746 sq km), N Germany, on the Elbe River near its mouth in the North Sea, and on the Alster River.
..... Click the link for more information. , BremenBremen
, city (1994 pop. 551,600), capital of the state of Bremen, NW Germany, on the Weser River. Known as the Free Hanse City of Bremen (Ger. Freie Hansestadt Bremen
..... Click the link for more information. , and LübeckLübeck
, city (1994 pop. 217,270), Schleswig-Holstein, central Germany, on the Trave River near its mouth on the Baltic Sea. It is a major port and a commercial and industrial center; the port is the city's primary employer.
..... Click the link for more information. . The survey that follows is a very general outline of the complex history of Germany.
History to the Early Middle Ages
At the end of the 2d cent. B.C., the German tribes began to expand at the expense of the Celts, but they were confined by Roman conquests (1st cent. B.C.–1st cent. A.D.) to the region E of the Rhine and N of the Danube. The Romans penetrated briefly (12 B.C.–A.D. 9) as far east as the Elbe River (see Teutoburg ForestTeutoburg Forest,
Ger. Teutoburger Wald, hilly range, in NW Germany, stretching roughly between Osnabrück and Paderborn. It is forested, and it rises to 1,465 ft (447 m) S of Detmold.
..... Click the link for more information. ), and from the late 1st cent. A.D. to the 3d cent. they held the Agri Decumates, protected against Germanic inroads by a fortified line from Cologne to Regensburg. In a series of great migrations (4th–5th cent.) the German tribes (who did not all come from present-day Germany) overran most of the Roman Empire, while Slavic tribes occupied Germany E of the Elbe.
By the 6th cent., the Anglo-SaxonsAnglo-Saxons,
name given to the Germanic-speaking peoples who settled in England after the decline of Roman rule there. They were first invited by the Celtic King Vortigern, who needed help fighting the Picts and Scots. The Angles (Lat.
..... Click the link for more information. had established themselves in Britain, and the FranksFranks,
group of Germanic tribes. By the 3d cent. A.D., they were settled along the lower and middle Rhine. The two major divisions were the Salian Franks in the north and the Ripuarian Franks in the south.
..... Click the link for more information. had taken over nearly all of present-day France, W and S Germany, and Thuringia. Clovis IClovis I
, c.466–511, Frankish king (481–511), son of Childeric I and founder of the Merovingian monarchy. Originally little more than a tribal chieftain, he became sole leader of the Salian Franks by force of perseverance and by murdering a number of relatives.
..... Click the link for more information. , who first united the Franks late in the 5th cent., accepted Christianity, and St. BonifaceBoniface, Saint,
d. 1009, German missionary, known also by his lay name, Bruno of Querfurt. He evangelized the Balts and died a martyr. He is known as the Apostle of the Prussians. Feast: June 19.
..... Click the link for more information. in the 8th cent. spread the gospel in the areas acquired by Clovis's successors. In 751, Pepin the Short deposed the dynasty of the MerovingiansMerovingians,
dynasty of Frankish kings, descended, according to tradition, from Merovech, chief of the Salian Franks, whose son was Childeric I and whose grandson was Clovis I, the founder of the Frankish monarchy.
..... Click the link for more information. and established his own, that of the CarolingiansCarolingians
, dynasty of Frankish rulers, founded in the 7th cent. by Pepin of Landen, who, as mayor of the palace, ruled the East Frankish Kingdom of Austrasia for Dagobert I.
..... Click the link for more information. . His son CharlemagneCharlemagne
(Charles the Great or Charles I) [O.Fr.,=Charles the great], 742?–814, emperor of the West (800–814), Carolingian king of the Franks (768–814).
..... Click the link for more information. conquered the SaxonsSaxons,
Germanic people, first mentioned in the 2d cent. by Ptolemy as inhabiting the southern part of the Cimbric Peninsula (S Jutland). Holding the area at the mouth of the Elbe River and some of the nearby islands, they gradually extended their territory southward across the
..... Click the link for more information. and extended the Frankish domain in Germany to the Elbe. He was crowned emperor at Rome in 800.
In the first division (843) of Charlemagne's empire (see Verdun, Treaty ofVerdun, Treaty of,
the partition of Charlemagne's empire among three sons of Louis I, emperor of the West. It was concluded in 843 at Verdun on the Meuse or, possibly, Verdun-sur-le-Doubs, Soâne-et-Loire dept., E France.
..... Click the link for more information. ) the kingdom of the Eastern Franks, under Louis the GermanLouis the German,
c.804–876, king of the East Franks (817–76). When his father, Emperor of the West Louis I, partitioned the empire in 817, Louis received Bavaria and adjacent territories.
..... Click the link for more information. , emerged as the nucleus of the German state. The Treaty of MersenMersen, Treaty of,
870, redivision of the Carolingian empire by the sons of Louis I, Charles the Bald (later Charles II) of the West Franks (France) and Louis the German of the East Franks (Germany), signed at Mersen (Dutch Meersen), now in the Netherlands.
..... Click the link for more information. (870) enlarged it by the addition of part of LotharingiaLotharingia
, name given to the northern portion of the lands assigned (843) to Emperor of the West Lothair I in the first division of the Carolingian empire (see Verdun, Treaty of).
..... Click the link for more information. (Lorraine), but after the death (876) of Louis it was divided among his sons CarlomanCarloman
, d. 880, king of Bavaria, Carinthia, Pannonia, and Moravia (876–80) and of Italy (877–80), son of Louis the German and father of Arnulf, emperor of the West.
..... Click the link for more information. , Louis the YoungerLouis the Younger,
c.830–882, German king, ruler (876–82) over Saxony, Franconia, and Thuringia, son of Louis the German. He shared the succession to his father's lands with his brothers Carloman (d. 880) and Charles the Fat (later Emperor of the West Charles III).
..... Click the link for more information. , and Charles IIICharles III
or Charles the Fat,
839–88, emperor of the West (881–87), king of the East Franks (882–87), and king of the West Franks (884–87); son of Louis the German, at whose death he inherited Swabia (876).
..... Click the link for more information. (Charles the Fat). Emperor ArnulfArnulf
, c.850–899, Carolingian emperor (896–99), king of the East Franks (887–99), illegitimate son of Carloman of Bavaria. In 887 he led the rebellion of the kingdom of the East Franks (Germany) against his uncle, Carolingian Emperor Charles III, and was
..... Click the link for more information. reunited the kingdom, but during his reign (887–99) and that of his son Louis the ChildLouis the Child,
893–911, German king (900–911), son and successor of King Arnulf. He was the last of the German line of the Carolingians. The archbishop of Mainz was regent for him.
..... Click the link for more information. (900–911), last of the Carolingian kings of Germany, the Norsemen, Slavs, and Magyars began to make devastating inroads. These contributed to economic breakdown and localization, manifest in the manorial systemmanorial system
or seignorial system
, economic and social system of medieval Europe under which peasants' land tenure and production were regulated, and local justice and taxation were administered.
..... Click the link for more information. .
Political localization was evident in the emergence of powerful duchies and in the growth of feudalismfeudalism
, form of political and social organization typical of Western Europe from the dissolution of Charlemagne's empire to the rise of the absolute monarchies. The term feudalism is derived from the Latin feodum,
..... Click the link for more information. . The dukes of Franconia, Swabia, Bavaria, Saxony, and Upper and Lower Lorraine emerged as the most powerful magnates of Germany. On the death (911) of Louis the Child, they elected the Franconian duke Conrad IConrad I,
d. 918, German king (911–18). As duke of Franconia he distinguished himself by military exploits and in 911 was elected successor to Louis the Child by the Franconian, Saxon, Bavarian, and Swabian lords.
..... Click the link for more information. as king. Conrad's reign was spent in struggles against the Magyars and against the rebellious dukes, one of whom (Henry the Fowler of Saxony) succeeded him in 918 as Henry IHenry I
or Henry the Fowler,
876?–936, German king (919–36), first of the Saxon line and father of Otto I, the first of the Holy Roman emperors. Henry succeeded his father as duke of Saxony in 912.
..... Click the link for more information. , beginning a century of Saxon rule. Henry restored some of the royal authority, took territory from the Slavs, and secured the election in 936 of his son, Otto IOtto I
or Otto the Great,
912–73, Holy Roman emperor (962–73) and German king (936–73), son and successor of Henry I of Germany. He is often regarded as the founder of the Holy Roman Empire.
..... Click the link for more information. , as his successor.
The Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire came into existence with the imperial coronation (962) of Otto I. (A list of Otto's successors until 1806 accompanies the article on the Holy Roman EmpireHoly Roman Empire,
designation for the political entity that originated at the coronation as emperor (962) of the German king Otto I and endured until the renunciation (1806) of the imperial title by Francis II.
..... Click the link for more information. .) As a result of their difficult dual role as emperors and German kings, and especially because of their interests in Italy, Otto's successors could not prevent the German dukes and their vassals from increasing their power at the expense of the central authority. Imperial power was further undermined by the conflict between emperors and popes, manifest in the struggle over investitureinvestiture,
in feudalism, ceremony by which an overlord transferred a fief to a vassal or by which, in ecclesiastical law, an elected cleric received the pastoral ring and staff (the symbols of spiritual office) signifying the transfer of the office.
..... Click the link for more information. .
Emperor Frederick IFrederick I
or Frederick Barbarossa
[Ital.,=red beard], c.1125–90, Holy Roman emperor (1155–90) and German king (1152–90), son of Frederick of Hohenstaufen, duke of Swabia, nephew and successor of Holy Roman Emperor Conrad III.
..... Click the link for more information. (reigned 1152–90; also known as Frederick Barbarossa) of the HohenstaufenHohenstaufen
, German princely family, whose name is derived from the castle of Staufen built in 1077 by a Swabian count, Frederick. In 1079, Frederick married Agnes, daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV, and was created duke of Swabia.
..... Click the link for more information. line was one of the most energetic medieval German rulers. He unsuccessfully challenged the power of the pope (see Guelphs and GhibellinesGuelphs and Ghibellines
, opposing political factions in Germany and in Italy during the later Middle Ages. The names were used to designate the papal (Guelph) party and the imperial (Ghibelline) party during the long struggle between popes and emperors, and they were also used
..... Click the link for more information. ), being defeated by the Lombard LeagueLombard League,
an alliance formed in 1167 among the communes of Lombardy to resist Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I when he attempted to assert his imperial authority in Lombardy. Previously the communes had been divided, some favoring the emperor and others favoring the pope.
..... Click the link for more information. in 1176. However, Frederick did succeed in partitioning (1180) the domains of Henry the LionHenry the Lion,
1129–95, duke of Saxony (1142–80) and of Bavaria (1156–80); son of Henry the Proud. His father died (1139) while engaged in a war to regain his duchies, and it was not until 1142 that Henry the Lion became duke of Saxony.
..... Click the link for more information. of Saxony and Bavaria, thus destroying the last great independent German duchy. Until the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, Germany remained a patchwork of numerous small temporal and ecclesiastical principalities and free cities.
The campaigns of the 12th and 13th cent. against the Slavs (see WendsWends
Slavic people (numbering about 60,000) of Brandenburg and Saxony, E Germany, in Lusatia. They speak Lusatian (also known as Sorbic or Wendish), a West Slavic language with two main dialects: Upper Lusatian, nearer to Czech, and Lower Lusatian, nearer to
..... Click the link for more information. ) resulted in tremendous eastward expansion and the establishment of the margraviate of Brandenburg and the domain of the Teutonic KnightsTeutonic Knights
or Teutonic Order
, German military religious order founded (1190–91) during the siege of Acre in the Third Crusade. It was originally known as the Order of the Knights of the Hospital of St. Mary of the Teutons in Jerusalem.
..... Click the link for more information. . The turbulent reign (1212–50) of Emperor Frederick IIFrederick II,
1194–1250, Holy Roman emperor (1220–50) and German king (1212–20), king of Sicily (1197–1250), and king of Jerusalem (1229–50), son of Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI and of Constance, heiress of Sicily.
..... Click the link for more information. , who was active in Sicily, and who engaged in a major conflict with the papacy, left Germany in a state of anarchy. Several rival kings appeared, but none held wide authority, and lawlessness prevailed. The dark period of the Great Interregnum (1254–73) ended with the election of Rudolf IRudolf I
or Rudolf of Hapsburg
, 1218–91, German king (1273–91), first king of the Hapsburg dynasty. Rudolf's election as king ended the interregnum (1250–73), during which time there was no accepted German king or Holy Roman emperor.
..... Click the link for more information. , count of Hapsburg (see HapsburgHapsburg
, ruling house of Austria (1282–1918). Rise to Power
The family, which can be traced to the 10th cent., originally held lands in Alsace and in NW Switzerland. Otto (d.
..... Click the link for more information. ), as German king, but neither he nor his successors could create a centralized monarchy. Germany thus diverged from the great kingdoms of Western Europe—France, England, and Spain—where the trend was toward increasing centralization.
To offset the tendency toward independence of the nobles, the emperors relied chiefly on the prosperous cities, many of which formed into leagues for their common defense and interests—e.g., the Hanseatic LeagueHanseatic League
, mercantile league of medieval German towns. It was amorphous in character; its origin cannot be dated exactly. Originally a Hansa was a company of merchants trading with foreign lands.
..... Click the link for more information. and the Swabian LeagueSwabian League,
association of Swabian cities and other powers in SW Germany for the protection of trade and for regional peace. The Swabian League of 1488–1534 is the best known of the long series dating from the 14th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. . German commerce and banking prospered in the late 15th and early 16th cent., the heyday of such merchant princes as those of the FuggerFugger
, German family of merchant princes. The foundation of their wealth was laid by Hans Fugger, allegedly a weaver, who moved to Augsburg in 1367. His descendants built up the family fortune by trade and banking.
..... Click the link for more information. and WelserWelser
, German family of wealthy merchants and bankers at Augsburg. It reached the height of its prosperity under Bartholomäus Welser, 1488–1561, who had advanced large sums to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
..... Click the link for more information. families of Augsburg. With the help of these capitalists, Emperor Charles VCharles V,
1500–1558, Holy Roman emperor (1519–58) and, as Charles I, king of Spain (1516–56); son of Philip I and Joanna of Castile, grandson of Ferdinand II of Aragón, Isabella of Castile, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, and Mary of Burgundy.
..... Click the link for more information. (reigned 1519–58) financed his many campaigns.
The weakness of the imperial position was evident when, in the Protestant ReformationReformation,
religious revolution that took place in Western Europe in the 16th cent. It arose from objections to doctrines and practices in the medieval church (see Roman Catholic Church) and ultimately led to the freedom of dissent (see Protestantism).
..... Click the link for more information. (16th cent.), the Catholic emperor was unable to enforce his religious policies or to prevent the conversion to Protestantism of many powerful princes. Links between religious and economic unrest were reflected in the Peasants' WarPeasants' War,
1524–26, rising of the German peasants and the poorer classes of the towns, particularly in Franconia, Swabia, and Thuringia. It was the climax of a series of local revolts that dated from the 15th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. (1524–26) and in the unsuccessful attempt of the Imperial Knights under Franz von SickingenSickingen, Franz von
, 1481–1523, German knight. Placed under the ban of the Holy Roman Empire because of his profitable forays along the Rhine, he served King Francis I of France and then made peace with Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, whose service he entered.
..... Click the link for more information. to secularize ecclesiastical domains.
Continued unrest and Protestant gains helped stimulate the Counter Reformation, which hardened the religious and political divisions in Germany. A religious settlement was reached only after the devastating Thirty Years WarThirty Years War,
1618–48, general European war fought mainly in Germany. General Character of the War
There were many territorial, dynastic, and religious issues that figured in the outbreak and conduct of the war.
..... Click the link for more information. (1618–48), which was a crushing setback to the cause of German unity. The chief theater of the war, Germany was reduced to misery and starvation, lost a large part of its population, and became, as a result of the Peace of Westphalia (1648; see Westphalia, Peace ofWestphalia, Peace of,
1648, general settlement ending the Thirty Years War. It marked the end of the Holy Roman Empire as an effective institution and inaugurated the modern European state system.
..... Click the link for more information. ), a loose confederation of petty principalities under the nominal suzerainty of the emperor. Depopulation brought increased competition for peasant labor and helped to perpetuate the institution of serfdom, which was declining in other parts of Western Europe.
The German Confederation and the Rise of Prussia
The most powerful German state to emerge from the wars of the 17th and 18th cent. was PrussiaPrussia
, Ger. Preussen, former state, the largest and most important of the German states. Berlin was the capital. The chief member of the German Empire (1871–1918) and a state of the Weimar Republic (1919–33), Prussia occupied more than half of all Germany
..... Click the link for more information. , which under Frederick II (reigned 1740–86) successfully challenged the military might of AustriaAustria
, Ger. Österreich [eastern march], officially Republic of Austria, federal republic (2015 est. pop. 8,679,000), 32,374 sq mi (83,849 sq km), central Europe.
..... Click the link for more information. and became a European power. The French Revolution and the wars of Napoleon INapoleon I
, 1769–1821, emperor of the French, b. Ajaccio, Corsica, known as "the Little Corporal." Early Life
The son of Carlo and Letizia Bonaparte (or Buonaparte; see under Bonaparte, family), young Napoleon was sent (1779) to French military schools at
..... Click the link for more information. brought the demise (1806) of the moribund Holy Roman Empire and also forced the German states, notably Prussia, to accept long-needed social, political, and administrative reforms.
Germany's military humiliation by Napoleon stimulated nationalist fervor for a strong and unified state. By the Congress of Vienna (see Vienna, Congress ofVienna, Congress of,
Sept., 1814–June, 1815, one of the most important international conferences in European history, called to remake Europe after the downfall of Napoleon I.
..... Click the link for more information. ) the German map was redrawn in 1814–15, eliminating many petty states and expanding Prussia and Bavaria. The German states were loosely linked in the German ConfederationGerman Confederation,
1815–66, union of German states provided for at the Congress of Vienna to replace the old Holy Roman Empire, which had been destroyed during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. It comprised 39 states in all, 35 monarchies and 4 free cities.
..... Click the link for more information. , set up by the congress. Conservative Austria obtained control of the confederation, and MetternichMetternich, Clemens Wenzel Nepomuk Lothar, Fürst von
, 1773–1859, Austrian statesman and arbiter of post-Napoleonic Europe, b. Koblenz, of a noble Rhenish family.
..... Click the link for more information. , who also dominated the Holy AllianceHoly Alliance,
1815, agreement among the emperors of Russia and Austria and the king of Prussia, signed on Sept. 26. It was quite distinct from the Quadruple Alliance (Quintuple, after the admission of France) of Great Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, arrived at first in
..... Click the link for more information. , frustrated nationalist ambitions. In ensuing decades, nationalist sentiment was furthered by German romanticism, a noteworthy exponent of which was the poet Ernst Moritz ArndtArndt, Ernst Moritz
, 1769–1860, German poet and historian. An ardent nationalist and opponent of Napoleon I, he was forced to flee to Sweden and Russia because of his patriotic and martial verse and his book, Geist der Zeit [spirit of the times] (4 vol.
..... Click the link for more information. , and by persons like Friedrich JahnJahn, Friedrich Ludwig
, 1778–1852, German patriot. A high school teacher in Berlin, he was active in efforts to free Germany from Napoleonic rule. He organized the Turnverein, a gymnastic association, to build strength and fellowship among young people of all classes.
..... Click the link for more information. , the educator and gymnast.
German nationalism, linked with liberalism, emerged in the revolutions of 1848revolutions of 1848,
in European history. The February Revolution in France gave impetus to a series of revolutionary explosions in Western and Central Europe. However the new French Republic did not support these movements.
..... Click the link for more information. , which shook the German states. However, the revolutionists were soon defeated, and the Frankfurt ParliamentFrankfurt Parliament,
1848–49, national assembly convened at Frankfurt on May 18, 1848, as a result of the liberal revolution that swept the German states early in 1848. The parliament was called by a preliminary assembly of German liberals in Mar.
..... Click the link for more information. , having failed to obtain the unification of Germany under Frederick William IV, disbanded. Prussia was humiliated by Austria in the Treaty of OlomoucOlomouc
, Ger. Olmütz, city (1991 pop. 105,537), E central Czech Republic, in Moravia, on the Morava River. Olomouc is an industrial city, with factories producing machinery, appliances, and food products, especially candy and chocolate.
..... Click the link for more information. (1850) but used the ZollvereinZollverein
[Ger.,=customs union], in German history, a customs union established to eliminate tariff barriers. Friedrich List first popularized the idea of a combination to abolish the customs barriers that were inhibiting trade among the numerous states of the German
..... Click the link for more information. , a customs union from which Austria was excluded, to consolidate Prussian hegemony in N Germany.
Otto von BismarckBismarck, Otto von
, 1815–98, German statesman, known as the Iron Chancellor. Early Life and Career
Born of an old Brandenburg Junker family, he studied at Göttingen and Berlin, and after holding minor judicial and administrative offices he was elected
..... Click the link for more information. , who in 1862 took charge of Prussian policy, resolved on the course of creating a "Little Germany" (a Germany without Austria) under Prussian leadership. In the Austro-Prussian WarAustro-Prussian War
or Seven Weeks War,
June 15–Aug. 23, 1866, between Prussia, allied with Italy, and Austria, seconded by Bavaria, Württemberg, Saxony, Hanover, Baden, and several smaller German states.
..... Click the link for more information. of 1866, Prussia triumphed over its rival, and Austria was excluded from the newly created North German ConfederationNorth German Confederation,
1867–71, alliance of 22 German states N of the Main River. Dominated by Prussia, it replaced the German Confederation and included the states that had supported Prussia in the Austro-Prussian War (1866).
..... Click the link for more information. . As a result of the Franco-Prussian WarFranco-Prussian War
or Franco-German War,
1870–71, conflict between France and Prussia that signaled the rise of German military power and imperialism. It was provoked by Otto von Bismarck (the Prussian chancellor) as part of his plan to create a unified German
..... Click the link for more information. of 1870–71 Bismarck attained his goal: William IWilliam I,
1797–1888, emperor of Germany (1871–88) and king of Prussia (1861–88), second son of the future King Frederick William III of Prussia and Louise of Mecklenburg.
..... Click the link for more information. of Prussia was proclaimed German emperor by the assembled German princes in the Palace of Versailles (1871). The peace treaty with France awarded AlsaceAlsace
, Ger. Elsass, former province and former administrative region, E France. It is separated from Germany by a part of the Rhine River. It comprises the departments of Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, and the Territory of Belfort (a department created after the Franco-Prussian
..... Click the link for more information. and LorraineLorraine
, Ger. Lothringen, former province and former administrative region, NE France, bordering in the N on Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany, in the E on Alsace, in the S on Franche-Comté, and in the W on Champagne.
..... Click the link for more information. to Germany and stamped it as the chief power of continental Europe.
The German Empire
The new German empire was consolidated under Bismarck's autocratic rule and a constitution that favored conservative interests. The Reichstag (the lower house of parliament) had some power over money bills but only slight influence in military matters or foreign policy; autocratic Prussia dominated the Bundesrat (the upper house of parliament). Bismarck's rule was complicated by far-reaching internal changes. The Industrial RevolutionIndustrial Revolution,
term usually applied to the social and economic changes that mark the transition from a stable agricultural and commercial society to a modern industrial society relying on complex machinery rather than tools.
..... Click the link for more information. , which came late in Germany, transformed the country into Europe's foremost manufacturing nation and also accelerated the pace of urbanization.
Economic factors in turn affected politics. The National Liberal party and the Progressives, both representing the middle class, became important, as did German socialismsocialism,
general term for the political and economic theory that advocates a system of collective or government ownership and management of the means of production and distribution of goods.
..... Click the link for more information. and the Social Democrats, guided by August BebelBebel, August
, 1840–1913, German Socialist leader. A wood turner by trade, he became a Marxian Socialist under the influence of Wilhelm Liebknecht. At a congress at Eisenach (1869) he was instrumental in founding the German Social Democratic party, which he later
..... Click the link for more information. and Karl KautskyKautsky, Karl Johann
, 1854–1938, German-Austrian socialist, b. Prague. A leading figure in the effort to spread Marxist doctrine in Germany, he was the principal deviser of the Erfurt Program, which set the German Social Democratic party on an orthodox Marxist path and
..... Click the link for more information. . The strong Center party represented Roman Catholic interests.
Bismarck's only certain ally was the Conservative party, a Protestant faction particularly strong in agrarian and semifeudal Prussia. Bismarck ruled chiefly through force of will, prestige, and the steadfast support of the emperor. He attempted to vitiate German Catholicism in the KulturkampfKulturkampf
[Ger.,=conflict of cultures], the conflict between the German government under Bismarck and the Roman Catholic Church. The promulgation (1870) of the dogma of the infallibility of the pope in matters of faith and morals within the church sparked the conflict; it
..... Click the link for more information. (1872–79). Both paternalism and an effort to lessen the appeal of the Socialists and the Liberals motivated his social securitysocial security,
government program designed to provide for the basic economic security and welfare of individuals and their dependents. The programs classified under the term social security differ from one country to another, but all are the result of government legislation
..... Click the link for more information. laws, which became models of welfare legislation throughout the world.
A master of foreign policy, Bismarck secured Germany against France by maintaining alliances in the east. Reconciliation with Austria led to an alliance (1879), joined in 1882 by Italy (see Triple Alliance and Triple EntenteTriple Alliance and Triple Entente
, two international combinations of states that dominated the diplomatic history of Western Europe from 1882 until they came into armed conflict in World War I.
..... Click the link for more information. ). Simultaneously, Bismarck kept alive the Three Emperors' LeagueThree Emperors' League,
informal alliance among Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Russia, announced officially in 1872 on the occasion of the meeting of emperors Francis Joseph, William I, and Alexander II.
..... Click the link for more information. of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia. He weathered the Liberal opposition and retained his chancellorship during the brief reign (1888) of Frederick IIIFrederick III,
1831–88, emperor of Germany and king of Prussia (Mar.–June, 1888), son and successor of William I. In 1858 he married Victoria, the princess royal of England, who exerted considerable influence over him.
..... Click the link for more information. , but he was dismissed in 1890 by William IIWilliam II,
1859–1941, emperor of Germany and king of Prussia (1888–1918), son and successor of Frederick III and grandson of William I of Germany and of Queen Victoria of England.
..... Click the link for more information. . Bismarck was succeeded as chancellor by von CapriviCaprivi, Leo, Graf von
, 1831–99, German chancellor, whose full name was Georg Leo, Graf von Caprivi de Caprara de Montecuculi. A former army officer and head of the admiralty, he succeeded (1890) Bismarck as chancellor.
..... Click the link for more information. , Hohenlohe-SchillingsfürstHohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, Chlodwig Karl Viktor, Fürst zu
, 1819–1901, German chancellor (1894–1900). As premier of Bavaria (1866–70), he favored German unification, and in 1871 he entered the service of the German Empire and became one of Bismarck's
..... Click the link for more information. (1894), and Bernhard von BülowBülow, Bernhard Heinrich Martin, Fürst von
, 1849–1929, German chancellor. He held many diplomatic posts before he became, through the influence of Friedrich von Holstein, foreign secretary in 1897 and succeeded Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst as chancellor in
..... Click the link for more information. (1900).
By the mid-1880s, Germans had acquired some African territories, but it was only under William II that German colonial expansion began to collide seriously with British and French interests. (For a list of former German colonies, see mandatesmandates,
system of trusteeships established by Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations for the administration of former Turkish territories and of former German colonies.
..... Click the link for more information. .) Equally serious threats to peace were Germany's increasing commercial rivalry with England, heightened by the naval expansion under TirpitzTirpitz, Alfred von
, 1849–1930, German admiral. His influence on German naval policy began with his study of the recently invented torpedo and his consequent appointment (1871) as chief of the torpedo division of the navy ministry.
..... Click the link for more information. , German influence in Ottoman affairs (e.g., in the construction of the Baghdad RailwayBaghdad Railway,
railroad of international importance linking Europe with Asia Minor and the Middle East. The line runs from İstanbul, Turkey, to Basra, Iraq; it connected what were distant regions of the Ottoman Empire.
..... Click the link for more information. ), and German support of Austria's Balkan policy, which clashed with Russian interests (see Eastern QuestionEastern Question,
term designating the problem of European territory controlled by the decaying Ottoman Empire in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th cent. The Turkish threat to Europe was checked by the Hapsburgs in the 16th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. ). Two crises (1905–6 and 1911) over MoroccoMorocco
, officially Kingdom of Morocco, kingdom (2015 est. pop. 34,803,000), 171,834 sq mi (445,050 sq km), NW Africa. Morocco is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea (N), the Atlantic Ocean (W), Western Sahara (S), and Algeria (S and E).
..... Click the link for more information. helped to create and strengthen the Triple Entente of France, Russia, and England, which faced Germany and its allies (see Central PowersCentral Powers,
in World War I, the coalition of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire.
..... Click the link for more information. ) in World War IWorld War I,
1914–18, also known as the Great War, conflict, chiefly in Europe, among most of the great Western powers. It was the largest war the world had yet seen.
..... Click the link for more information. (1914–18). In 1909, von Bethmann-HollwegBethmann-Hollweg, Theobald von
, 1856–1921, German chancellor. A career civil servant, he became minister of the interior (1905) and secretary of state (1907), and in 1909 succeeded Bernhard von Bülow as chancellor.
..... Click the link for more information. had replaced von Bülow as chancellor of Germany; Bethmann was overthrown (1917) by Field Marshal Paul von HindenburgHindenburg, Paul von
, 1847–1934, German field marshal and president (1925–34), b. Poznan (then in Prussia). His full name was Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Hindenburg und Beneckendorff.
..... Click the link for more information. and Chief of Staff Erich LudendorffLudendorff, Erich
, 1865–1937, German general. A disciple of Schlieffen, he served in World War I as chief of staff to Field Marshal Hindenburg and was largely responsible for German military decisions.
..... Click the link for more information. , who together controlled Germany until late 1918.
Exhausted to the point of collapse but with no enemy troops on its soil, Germany was obliged to accept the Allied armistice terms (Nov., 1918) and, in 1919, the harsh peace terms of Versailles (see Versailles, Treaty ofVersailles, Treaty of,
any of several treaties signed in the palace of Versailles, France. For the Treaty of Versailles of 1783, which ended the American Revolution, see Paris, Treaty of, 1783.
..... Click the link for more information. ). William abdicated and fled (Nov., 1918) after national and international demands for his abdication (led by Chancellor MaximilianMaximilian, prince of Baden
(Max of Baden), 1867–1929, German statesman, last chancellor of imperial Germany. A liberal, he was made imperial chancellor at the end of World War I as Germany neared defeat.
..... Click the link for more information. , prince of Baden) and after the outbreak of a left-wing revolution, started at Kiel, which swept the rulers of the German states from their thrones.
The Weimar Republic
A democratic and more centralized federal constitution was adopted at Weimar in 1919, and Germany became known as the Weimar Republic. Friedrich EbertEbert, Friedrich
, 1871–1925, first president (1919–25) of the German republic. A Social Democratic deputy in the Reichstag, in 1913 he became party leader, succeeding Bebel; a gradualist, or moderate, he was seen as pragmatic and non-ideological.
..... Click the link for more information. , a Social Democrat, became the first president. His middle-of-the-road government suppressed attempts by the radical left (see Spartacus partySpartacus party
radical group of German Socialists, formed c.Mar., 1916, and led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. The name was derived from the pseudonym Spartacus used by Liebknecht in his pamphlets denouncing World War I, the government, and the
..... Click the link for more information. ) and by the extreme right (see Kapp, WolfgangKapp, Wolfgang
, 1858–1922, German right-wing politician. In 1920 he led the uprising known as the Kapp putsch, an armed revolt in Berlin aimed at restoring the German monarchy. He seized the Berlin government, but a general strike broke his power.
..... Click the link for more information. ) to seize power. However, the economic crisis of the postwar years, marked by mass unemployment and rampant currency inflation, strengthened the extremist parties and wiped out a large portion of the middle class. The assassinations of Matthias ErzbergerErzberger, Matthias
, 1875–1921, German public official. He was a leader of the left wing of the Catholic Center party in the Reichstag from 1903. Early in World War I, he supported an annexationist policy, but in 1917 he led the fight for the Reichstag peace resolution.
..... Click the link for more information. (1921) and of Walther RathenauRathenau, Walther
, 1867–1922, German industrialist, social theorist, and statesman. Son of Emil Rathenau (1838–1915), founder of the German public utilities company Allgemeine Elektrizitätsgesellschaft (A.E.G.
..... Click the link for more information. (1922) were symptomatic of the terrorist tactics adopted by the extreme nationalists, many of whom later joined the National Socialist (Nazi) party of Adolf HitlerHitler, Adolf
, 1889–1945, founder and leader of National Socialism (Nazism), and German dictator, b. Braunau in Upper Austria. Early Life
The son of Alois Hitler (1837–1903), an Austrian customs official, Adolf Hitler dropped out of high school, and
..... Click the link for more information. or the Nationalist (monarchist) party of Alfred HugenbergHugenberg, Alfred
, 1865–1951, German financier and politician. He was president of the directorate of the Krupp firm (1909–18), entered the Reichstag in 1919, and was chairman (1928–33) of the conservative German Nationalist party.
..... Click the link for more information. .
The election (1925) of Hindenburg as president after the death of Ebert seemed a nationalist victory, but Hindenburg cooperated with the cabinets (1923–32) of Wilhelm MarxMarx, Wilhelm
, 1863–1946, German statesman. A Reichstag member, he was a leading figure of the Catholic Center party and was elected its president in 1921. As chancellor (1923–24) he secured the passage of the Dawes Plan.
..... Click the link for more information. , Hans LutherLuther, Hans
, 1879–1962, German statesman. As Gustav Stresemann's minister of finance he aided Hjalmar Schacht in stabilizing the German currency. A non-partisan in centrist coalitions, he succeeded Wilhelm Marx as chancellor, heading two successive center-right coalition
..... Click the link for more information. , Hermann Müller, and Heinrich BrüningBrüning, Heinrich
, 1885–1970, German chancellor. Elected to the Reichstag in 1924, he was a leader of the Catholic Center party and a fiscal expert. In 1930 he was appointed chancellor of the Reich to put German finances in order.
..... Click the link for more information. , in which coalitions drawn mainly from the Social Democrats, the Catholic Center party, and the conservative German People's party fulfilled moderate programs. Under Luther, Hjalmar SchachtSchacht, Hjalmar Horace Greeley
, 1877–1970, German financier. He held executive positions in several major German banks before becoming (1923) commissioner of currency. Inflation had reached its height and the paper mark had become worthless.
..... Click the link for more information. helped stabilize the currency, and a remarkable return to economic prosperity began. Gustav StresemannStresemann, Gustav
, 1878–1929, German statesman. A founder (1902) and director (until 1918) of the Association of Saxon Industrialists, Stresemann entered the Reichstag in 1907 as a deputy of the National Liberal party and represented the interests of big business.
..... Click the link for more information. , as foreign minister from 1923 to 1929, secured an easing of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, particularly with regard to German reparationsreparations,
payments or other compensation offered as an indemnity for loss or damage. Although the term is used to cover payments made to Holocaust survivors and to Japanese Americans interned during World War II in so-called relocation camps (and used as well to describe
..... Click the link for more information. payments, and the admission (1926) of Germany into the League of Nations.
Germany had apparently recovered economically and politically by 1929, but soon afterward the world economic depression brought about mass unemployment and business failure, and political and social tensions mounted. As the Nazi and Communist parties gained strength in the Reichstag, Brüning and his successors, Franz von PapenPapen, Franz von
, 1879–1969, German politician. Appointed (1913) military attaché to the German embassy in Washington, he was implicated in espionage activities that led (1915) the U.S. government to request his recall.
..... Click the link for more information. and Kurt von SchleicherSchleicher, Kurt von,
1882–1934, German general. A leading Reichswehr (army) figure after World War I, Schleicher wielded great power in the years before Adolf Hitler came to power (1933).
..... Click the link for more information. , failed in their efforts to mold parliamentary majorities without Hitler's support. Government came to a standstill. Rather than accept Schleicher's alternative of a military dictatorship, Hindenburg, by then old and exhausted, accepted von Papen's assurance that Hitler could be held in check. In Jan., 1933, Hindenburg made Hitler chancellor. In the elections of Mar., 1933, Hitler played upon the electorate's fear of the Communists (especially after the ReichstagReichstag
[Ger.,=imperial parliament], name for the diet of the Holy Roman Empire, for the lower chamber of the federal parliament of the North German Confederation, and for the lower chamber of the federal parliament of Germany from 1871 to 1945.
..... Click the link for more information. building was largely destroyed by fire in Feb., 1933) to win a bare majority of seats in the Reichstag for the National Socialists and the Nationalists. On Mar. 23, the Enabling Act, opposed only by the Social Democrats and the disbarred Communist party, gave Hitler full dictatorial powers.
The Third Reich
Hitler had promised to build a Third Reich, successor to the Holy Roman and Hohenzollern empires, which would last a thousand years. As chancellor, he began the "coordination" (Gleichschaltung) of every aspect of German life. Young persons were organized in semimilitary groups (the Hitlerjugend) and were indoctrinated with the Nazi creed. The powers of the state governments were abolished, and the adherents of National SocialismNational Socialism
doctrines and policies of the National Socialist German Workers' party, which ruled Germany under Adolf Hitler from 1933 to 1945.
..... Click the link for more information. from 1934 made up the sole legal party. Hitler's opponents within the party (including Ernst RoehmRoehm or Röhm, Ernst
, 1887–1934, German National Socialist leader. An army officer in World War I, he met (1919) Adolf Hitler, whose political career he helped to launch.
..... Click the link for more information. ) were eliminated in the "Blood Purge" of June, 1934.
The Gestapo (see secret policesecret police,
policing organization operating in secrecy for the political purposes of its government, often with terroristic procedures. The Nature of a Secret Police
..... Click the link for more information. ) quashed open discontent among the German people. Many scientists, artists, educators, and scholars followed the Nazi doctrines without much protest, and some Germans welcomed what they considered the rebirth of German strength. After the death of Hindenburg (1934), the offices of president and chancellor were combined in the person of the Führer [leader] of the Nazi party. In 1935, the Nuremberg Laws deprived Jews of citizenship, forbade marriage between Jews and non-Jewish Germans, and barred Jews from the liberal professions. In order to coordinate cultural affairs, the radio, press, cinema, and theater came under the control of propaganda minister GoebbelsGoebbels, Joseph
(Paul Joseph Goebbels) , 1897–1945, German National Socialist propagandist. He was kept out of the service in World War I by a clubfoot. After graduating from the Univ. of Heidelberg (Ph.D.
..... Click the link for more information. , who raised Hitler to the status of a quasi-divinity. Jews and others (especially those holding liberal or leftist political beliefs) made outcasts by the Nazi regime were harassed, and some were placed in concentration campsconcentration camp,
a detention site outside the normal prison system created for military or political purposes to confine, terrorize, and, in some cases, kill civilians.
..... Click the link for more information. .
Hitler attempted to make Germany economically self-sufficient, and industry, commerce, and foreign trade were strictly supervised by the government. Labor unions were dissolved, and workers were organized in a state-controlled labor front. In order to ease unemployment and to prepare for war, Hitler expanded the armaments industry, increased the size of the armed forces, and sponsored large-scale public works (e.g., the construction of a network of superhighways, the Autobahnen). Hermann GoeringGoering or Göring, Hermann Wilhelm
, 1893–1946, German National Socialist leader. In World War I he was a hero of the German air force.
..... Click the link for more information. was a leading protagonist of German rearmament and preparations for war. Albert SpeerSpeer, Albert
, 1905–81, German architect and National Socialist (Nazi) leader. A member of the Nazi party from 1931, he became its official architect after Hitler came to power. His grandiose but coldly eclectic designs include the stadium at Nuremberg (1934).
..... Click the link for more information. was at first Hitler's official architect; during World War II he assumed important posts as minister for armaments and later as chief planner of the war economy.
In Oct., 1933, Hitler withdrew from the Geneva Disarmament Conference and from the League of Nations. In Mar., 1936, Germany remilitarized the Rhineland in violation of the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Pact. Hitler followed this by concluding an alliance with Fascist Italy (see AxisAxis,
coalition of countries headed by Germany, Italy, and Japan, 1936–45 (see World War II). The expression "Rome-Berlin axis" originated in Oct., 1936, with an accord reached by Hitler and Mussolini. The Axis was solidified by an Italo-German alliance in May, 1939.
..... Click the link for more information. ), by interfering in the Spanish Civil War (1936–39) in support of the Insurgents led by Franco, and by annexing Austria (Mar., 1938). Outside Germany, fifth columns were used to undermine the governments of nations that Hitler sought to annex in order to increase the Lebensraum [living space] of the Germans. The Munich PactMunich Pact,
1938. In the summer of 1938, Chancellor Hitler of Germany began openly to support the demands of Germans living in the Sudetenland (see Sudetes) of Czechoslovakia for an improved status. In September, Hitler demanded self-determination for the Sudetenland.
..... Click the link for more information. (Sept., 1938) marked the culmination of British and French attempts to appease Germany in the hope that Hitler had limited aims.
In Mar., 1939, Germany marched into Czechoslovakia, thus violating the Munich agreements, and also annexed Memel, on the Baltic coast. On Aug. 23, 1939, in a surprise move, Germany and the USSR signed a nonaggression pact and other agreements. On Sept. 1, 1939, cutting short negotiations on the status of Danzig (Gdańsk) and the Polish CorridorPolish Corridor,
strip of German territory awarded to newly independent Poland by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. The strip, 20 to 70 mi (32–112 km) wide, gave Poland access to the Baltic Sea.
..... Click the link for more information. , Hitler invaded Poland, thus precipitating World War II.
In the early years of the war Germany had great success; its conquests included Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, the Balkan states, and Greece. Great Britain, particularly London and other industrial areas, was subjected to massive German air attacks (the Battle of BritainBattle of Britain,
in World War II, series of air battles between Great Britain and Germany, fought over Britain from Aug. to Oct., 1940. As a prelude to a planned invasion of England, the German Luftwaffe attacked British coastal defenses, radar stations, and shipping. On Aug.
..... Click the link for more information. ), as a prelude to invasion, but the island successfully withstood the onslaught and was not invaded. In June, 1941, Hitler launched a vast offensive against the USSR, his former ally. In Dec., 1941, shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Germany declared war on the United States.
In 1942, the tide of the war began to turn against Germany; the Allies scored successes in North Africa, the USSR stopped the German army at Stalingrad (now VolgogradVolgograd
, formerly Stalingrad,
city (1989 pop. 999,000), capital of Volgograd region, SE European Russia, a port on the Volga River and the eastern terminus of the Volga-Don Canal. As a transshipment point, the port handles oil, coal, ore, lumber, and fish.
..... Click the link for more information. ), and British and U.S. airplanes began the massive terror bombing of German cities. As its fortunes waned, Germany treated its remaining conquered territories more harshly. Millions of Jews and many other civilians were sent to concentration camps and exterminated, vast slave-labor systems were organized, and many thousands were deported to Germany for forced labor. By early 1945, Germany was being invaded from the west and the east, and most of its cities lay in ruins. On Apr. 30, 1945, with the total collapse of Germany imminent, Hitler committed suicide.
Hitler's successor, Admiral Karl DoenitzDoenitz, Karl
, 1891–1980, German admiral. He secretly planned a German submarine fleet in the years following the Treaty of Versailles, was given command of submarine operations by Adolf Hitler in 1935, and replaced Admiral Raeder in 1943 as chief naval commander.
..... Click the link for more information. , signed (May 7–8, 1945) an unconditional surrender to the Allies, whose military commanders assumed the functions of government in Germany. The agreements of the Yalta ConferenceYalta Conference,
meeting (Feb. 4–11, 1945), at Yalta, Crimea, USSR, of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin.
..... Click the link for more information. (Feb., 1945) were implemented at the Potsdam ConferencePotsdam Conference,
meeting (July 17–Aug. 2, 1945) of the principal Allies in World War II (the United States, the USSR, and Great Britain) to clarify and implement agreements previously reached at the Yalta Conference.
..... Click the link for more information. (July–Aug., 1945). These agreements were to be tentative, pending a peace conference, but as no peace conference was held, they tended to shape the course of German history after 1945.
A line formed mostly by the Oder and Neisse rivers was made the eastern boundary of Germany, as East Prussia and Upper and Lower Silesia were placed under Polish administration (except N East Prussia, which was awarded to the USSR). In the west, the Saarland was occupied by French military forces. What remained of Germany was divided into four zones, occupied separately by the armies of Great Britain, France, the United States, and the USSR. Berlin, similarly divided although situated well within the Soviet zone, was made the seat of the four-power Allied Control Council, authorized to make economic and administrative decisions for Germany as a whole. However, the council failed to agree on how to implement the often imprecise Potsdam decisions, and separate governments were soon established in each of the four zones.
The National Socialist party and affiliated organizations were outlawed, and many leading Nazis were tried, convicted, and executed for war crimeswar crimes,
in international law, violations of the laws of war (see war, laws of). Those accused have been tried by their own military and civilian courts, by those of their enemy, and by expressly established international tribunals.
..... Click the link for more information. ; other leaders, including von Papen and Schacht, were acquitted. Some Germans (including the philosopher Karl Jaspers and the historian Friedrich Meinecke) called for moral regeneration, but as Germany became a battleground of the cold warcold war,
term used to describe the shifting struggle for power and prestige between the Western powers and the Communist bloc from the end of World War II until 1989. Of worldwide proportions, the conflict was tacit in the ideological differences between communism and
..... Click the link for more information. , concern with the guilt for the past receded.
During 1945–47 there was a serious shortage of food, caused by the crippled state of the German economy and by poor harvests; this situation was intensified in W Germany by the arrival of about 10 million ethnic German refugees from the Soviet zone and the former German territories of E central Europe. In the Soviet zone, a military administration under ZhukovZhukov, Georgi Konstantinovich
, 1896–1974, Soviet marshal. He fought in the October Revolution (1917) and in the civil war (1918–20), which brought the Bolsheviks to power, and saw action against the Japanese on the Manchurian border (1938–39) and in the
..... Click the link for more information. was established in June, 1945. In 1946, politics there were brought under the control of the Communist-dominated Socialist Unity party (SED), led by Wilhelm Pieck, Otto Grotewohl, and Walter UlbrichtUlbricht, Walter
, 1893–1973, Communist leader in the German Democratic Republic. A founder of the German Communist party, he fled Germany in 1933 and went to Moscow, where he was a member of the politburo of the exiled German Communist party.
..... Click the link for more information. . At the same time, a major program of nationalization and collectivization was carried out. As reparations, the Soviets took much of E Germany's industrial equipment for use in rebuilding their own industry.
The Western Allies rejected a plan by Henry MorgenthauMorgenthau, Henry, Jr.,
1891–1967, American cabinet officer, b. New York City; son of Henry Morgenthau. He became interested in agriculture and bought a farm in Dutchess co., N.Y., where he became an intimate of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
..... Click the link for more information. , Jr. to center the German economy around agriculture. Industrial machinery was restored to use, restrictions against the German cartels went largely unenforced, and West Germany's remarkable recovery and reindustrialization soon began. The rebuilding process was facilitated by the Marshall PlanMarshall Plan
or European Recovery Program,
project instituted at the Paris Economic Conference (July, 1947) to foster economic recovery in certain European countries after World War II. The Marshall Plan took form when U.S. Secretary of State George C.
..... Click the link for more information. . By 1947, the Western occupation zones were increasingly coordinating their policies (especially in economics), whereas the Soviet zone followed an increasingly divergent policy. The split between the three Western Allies and the USSR became complete in 1948. After the Western powers had planned steps toward establishing a West German constitution and had instituted a currency reform, the Soviet authorities unsuccessfully blockaded (1948–49) West Berlin as part of the cold war (see Berlin airliftBerlin airlift,
1948–49, supply of vital necessities to West Berlin by air transport primarily under U.S. auspices. It was initiated in response to a land and water blockade of the city that had been instituted by the Soviet Union in the hope that the Allies would be
..... Click the link for more information. ). In 1949, Germany was divided into the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). The precise legal status of West Berlin remained unclear; however, West Berlin was intimately tied to West Germany in many ways (see BerlinBerlin
, city (1994 pop. 3,475,400), capital of Germany, coextensive with Berlin state (341 sq mi/883 sq km), NE Germany, on the Spree and Havel rivers. Formerly divided into East Berlin (156 sq mi/404 sq km) and West Berlin (185 sq mi/479 sq km), the city was reunified along
..... Click the link for more information. ).
East Germany, 41,610 sq mi (107,771 sq km), consisted of the area included in the present states of Mecklenburg–West Pomerania, Saxony-Anhalt, Thüringia, Saxony, and Brandenburg. East Berlin was the capital of the country. Originally divided into five states, East Germany was reorganized into 15 districts (Bezirke) in 1952. A congress organized by the Socialist Unity party (SED) in May, 1949, adopted a constitution establishing the German Democratic Republic. The initial constitution, superseded by one adopted in 1968, provided for a president and a bicameral parliament. Wilhelm Pieck became the country's first president and Otto Grotewohl its first prime minister, with Walter Ulbricht as first deputy prime minister.
The government was controlled by the SED and was much more centralized than that of West Germany. In 1950, a treaty was signed with Poland recognizing the Oder-Neisse lineOder-Neisse line,
frontier established in 1945 between Germany and Poland; it followed the Oder and W Neisse rivers from the Baltic Sea to the Czechoslovak border. The boundary, desired by most Poles at the expense of Germany, came about as a result of agreements between the
..... Click the link for more information. as East Germany's permanent eastern boundary. A drive to collectivize the remaining privately held farmland was started in 1952. In the same year, a 3-mi-wide (4.8-km) zone, guarded by police, was established along the border with West Germany (but not with West Berlin) in order to reduce emigration to the West.
Agitated by the forced changes in the country and by food shortages and other economic hardships, workers in East Berlin began on June 17, 1953, a rising that soon spread to much of the country; the revolt was suppressed only after the intervention of Soviet forces. Following the rising, the USSR attempted to improve East German economic conditions, especially the availability of consumer goods, and in 1954 it ceased to collect reparations for German actions in World War II. Also in 1954, the USSR recognized the sovereignty of East Germany, which in 1955 became a charter member of the Warsaw Treaty OrganizationWarsaw Treaty Organization
or Warsaw Pact,
alliance set up under a mutual defense treaty signed in Warsaw, Poland, in 1955 by Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union.
..... Click the link for more information. . East German armed forces were established in 1956; Soviet troops, however, remained stationed in the country.
During the 1950s, Ulbricht, who was first secretary of the SED from 1950, emerged as the leader of East Germany. Under Ulbricht, the country was closely aligned with the USSR, and the liberalizing policies introduced in some of the other East European Communist nations were avoided. After the death of Pieck in 1960, the office of president was replaced by a council of state, with Ulbricht as its chairman. In order to reduce the large flow of persons leaving East Germany (about 4 million during 1945–61), many of whom crossed from East to West Berlin, a wall was erected (Aug., 12–13, 1961) between the two parts of the city; it was later reinforced and enlarged. In the ensuing years dozens of those who tried to scale the wall were shot by East German border guards. The wall drastically cut the number of emigrants, and gradually this had the effect of solidifying East Germany as an independent country.
In 1963, a "New Economic System," calling for more efficient and decentralized economic planning, was adopted. Partly as a result of the new system, East Germany's economy expanded considerably in the 1960s. Also, large-scale building programs were undertaken in the cities. In 1964, a treaty of friendship and cooperation—in effect a peace treaty—was signed with the USSR; similar treaties with Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Bulgaria followed in 1967. Grotewohl died in 1964 and was succeeded as prime minister by Willi StophStoph, Willi
, 1914–99, East German political leader. A member of the German Communist party from 1931, he helped build the East German Socialist Unity (Communist) party after World War II. In 1953 he was named to the party's politburo.
..... Click the link for more information. , who had served as de facto prime minister since the onset (1960) of Grotewohl's terminal illness.
In 1968, East German forces actively participated in the invasion of Czechoslovakia. Under a new constitution promulgated in 1968, the 500-member people's chamber became the sole legislative body. In the late 1960s, diplomatic contacts with West Germany were initiated; these culminated in 1973 with the signing of a treaty between the two states. At the same time, East Germany for the first time was accorded diplomatic recognition by a number of non-Communist countries, including the United States (1974).
In 1971, Ulbricht resigned as first secretary of the SED and was replaced by Erich HoneckerHonecker, Erich
, 1912–94, East German political leader. From a Communist family, Honecker was imprisoned by the Nazis for 10 years for party activities. After the war he joined Walter Ulbricht's Socialist Unity (Communist) party and rose in the East German party
..... Click the link for more information. . Under Honecker, most of the few remaining private enterprises were taken over by the state. Checks on intellectual and cultural activities were relaxed somewhat. After being granted permanent observer status in 1972, East Germany was made a full member of the United Nations in 1973. Later in 1973, Stoph was elected chairman of the council of state and was replaced as prime minister by Horst Sindermann; Stoph returned as prime minister from 1976 to 1989. In the 1970s, trade between the Germanys increased, spurred by large-scale West German credits. Travel restrictions were eased so that West Germans could visit the East, and later, in the 1980s, East Germans were allowed to travel to West Germany. In 1981, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt made an official visit to East Germany, and in 1987 Honecker was officially received in West Germany by Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
In the latter half of the 1980s, tensions developed with Moscow as the hardline SED reacted coolly to the reforms of Soviet leader Mikhail GorbachevGorbachev, Mikhail Sergeyevich
, 1931–, Soviet political leader. Born in the agricultural region of Stavropol, Gorbachev studied law at Moscow State Univ., where in 1953 he married a philosophy student, Raisa Maksimovna Titorenko (1932?–99).
..... Click the link for more information. . For a description of the events leading up to East Germany's reunification with West Germany, see subheading Reunification of Germany.
West Germany, 95,742 sq mi (247,973 sq km), consisted of the ten states that had been included in the U.S., British, and French occupation zones after the war. Bonn was the seat of government. The country adopted a constitution in May, 1949, to establish the Federal Republic of Germany.
The new republic was similar in structure to the Weimar Republic, except that the individual states had somewhat more power, and the president's powers were much reduced. In the first elections (Aug., 1949), the Christian Democratic party (CDU), along with its close ally, the Bavarian-centered Christian Social Union (CSU), gained a small plurality of seats in the Bundestag (Federal Diet). The CDU leader Konrad AdenauerAdenauer, Konrad
, 1876–1967, West German chancellor. A lawyer and a member of the Catholic Center party, he was lord mayor of Cologne and a member of the provincial diet of Rhine prov. from 1917 until 1933, when he was dismissed by the National Socialist (Nazi) regime.
..... Click the link for more information. formed a coalition government and became the first chancellor of West Germany; he remained in office until 1963. The Social Democratic party (SPD), led successively by Kurt Schumacher, Erich Ollenauer, and Willy BrandtBrandt, Willy
, 1913–92, German political leader. His name originally was Karl Herbert Frahm. Active in his youth in the Social Democratic party, after Adolf Hitler came to power (1933) he fled to Norway and began a journalistic career, soon becoming a Norwegian citizen.
..... Click the link for more information. , was the main opposition party until 1969, when it came to power. The middle-class-oriented Free Democratic party (FDP) was influential, although small, and it participated in coalition governments with both the CDU (1949–53; 1961–66, 1982–98) and the SPD (1969–82). The first president of West Germany was Theodor Heuss; he was succeeded by Heinrich Lübke (1959), Gustav HeinemannHeinemann, Gustav
, 1899–1976, West German political leader. A corporation lawyer and wartime leader of the Confessing Church, he helped found the Christian Democratic party, although he quit its first cabinet to establish a splinter party advocating a unified, disarmed,
..... Click the link for more information. (1969), Walter ScheelScheel, Walter
, 1919–2016, German political leader, president of West Germany (1974–79). After serving in World War II, Scheel became interested in politics and joined the Free Democrats, a liberal party.
..... Click the link for more information. (1974), Karl Carstens (1979), and Richard von WeizsäckerWeizsäcker, Richard Karl Freiherr von,
1920–2015, German political leader. After serving in World War II, Weizsäcker earned a law degree from the Univ. of Göttingen (1953), then worked in the private sector (1950–66).
..... Click the link for more information. (1984).
The occupying powers allowed West Germany considerable autonomy from the start, except in foreign affairs. The three resident High Commissioners could review actions taken by the Bonn government, but in practice they rarely intervened. In 1951, West Germany was given the right to conduct its own foreign relations. In 1952, West Germany, the United States, France, and Great Britain signed the Bonn Convention, in effect a peace treaty, which granted West Germany most of the attributes of national sovereignty. The Paris agreements of 1954, which came into force in 1955, gave West Germany full independence, except that the former occupying powers reserved the right to negotiate with the USSR on matters relating to Berlin and to Germany as a whole. Also, the powers continued to maintain troops in the country. In 1955, West Germany was recognized as an independent country by numerous nations, including the USSR, and it became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO), established under the North Atlantic Treaty (Apr. 4, 1949) by Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United States.
..... Click the link for more information. , thus solidifying its ties with the West. In the same year, legislation was passed providing for the creation of West German armed forces.
In postwar West Germany, there were occasional, mostly minor, recurrences of anti-Semitism and extreme nationalism (e.g., the temporary growth of the nationalistic National Democratic Party in the mid-1960s); more important, however, the country tried to make up in part for the Nazi atrocities by granting considerable aid to Israel and by paying reparations to individuals who suffered loss or injury at the hands of the Nazi regime. During the 1950s, the West German economy grew dramatically; in 1958, the country became a charter member of the European Economic Community, or Common Market (now the European UnionEuropean Union
(EU), name given since the ratification (Nov., 1993) of the Treaty of European Union, or Maastricht Treaty, to the European Community (EC), an economic and political confederation of European nations, and other organizations (with the same member nations)
..... Click the link for more information. ). It also gave much economic and technical assistance to the developing nations of Asia and Africa. In 1957, the Saarland was assigned to West Germany by France, after a plebiscite.
National politics in the 1950s and early 1960s were stable and were dominated by Adenauer. The CDU-CSU held firmly to the position that Germany should be reunited on the basis of democratic elections; it followed the "Hallstein doctrine" (named for Walter Hallstein, an official in the ministry of foreign affairs), under which West Germany refused to have diplomatic relations with any nation (except the USSR) that recognized East Germany. Until the 1970s, East and West Germany had virtually no contact on an official level, but there was considerable trade between them.
Later in 1963, Adenauer retired and was replaced as chancellor by Ludwig ErhardErhard, Ludwig
, 1897–1977, German political leader and economist. In Nuremberg he rose to be director of the institute for economic research. Dismissed (1942) by the Nazi regime, he then headed the institute for industrial research.
..... Click the link for more information. , also a Christian Democrat and an expert on economics. Erhard's government was shaken by a downturn in the economic boom and by controversy over foreign policy. In 1966, Erhard resigned and was replaced by Kurt Georg Kiesinger, a Christian Democrat, who headed a "grand coalition" of the CDU-CSU and the SPD; SPD leader Willy Brandt assumed the posts of vice chancellor and foreign minister. Under Kiesinger, economic conditions improved, ties with France were strengthened, and talks with the nations of Eastern Europe (with whom West Germany did not have diplomatic relations) were initiated.
The general election of 1969 resulted in a small plurality for the CDU-CSU, but Brandt was able to become chancellor at the head of an SPD-FDP coalition government. In the 1972 general election the coalition was returned to power with a substantial majority. Brandt launched a major program, called the Ostpolitik [eastern policy], to improve relations with Eastern Europe. Important milestones in the Ostpolitik were the signing (1970) of treaties of nonaggression and cooperation with the Soviet Union and Poland (ratified in 1972); the signing (1972) of an agreement among the four former occupying powers improving access to West Berlin and permitting West Berliners to visit East Berlin and East Germany more often; and a treaty (1973) between East and West Germany that called for increased cooperation between the two states and prepared the groundwork for the establishment of full diplomatic relations. West Germany was admitted to the United Nations in 1973, after having held permanent observer status since 1953.
Brandt resigned in May, 1974, after it was revealed that an East German spy had been on his personal staff. He was succeeded by Helmut SchmidtSchmidt, Helmut
, 1918–2015, German political leader, chancellor of West Germany (1974–82). After serving in World War II, he entered politics and joined the Social Democratic party. He was elected to the Bundestag in 1953.
..... Click the link for more information. , the finance minister. A deteriorating economic situation caused a decline in the popularity of the government and increasing tension between the coalition partners. The emergence in 1980 of the new ecology party, the Greens, significantly changed West Germany's politics. Schmidt's support of NATO policies of European rearmament brought him into conflict with the left wing of his own party. In local elections in 1981 and 1982, the SPD-FDP coalition suffered severe setbacks. Disputes over nuclear power, defense policy, and economic measures continued to divide the parties, and in 1982, the FDP withdrew from the coalition.
On Oct. 1, 1982, Schmidt was replaced as chancellor by the CDU leader Helmut KohlKohl, Helmut
(Helmut Josef Michael Kohl) , 1930–2017, German statesman, chancellor of West Germany (1982–1990) and reunified Germany (1990–98). A member of Christian Democratic Union (CDU), he was elected to the Rhineland-Palatinate parliament in 1959, became
..... Click the link for more information. , and the FDP agreed to form a coalition with the CDU-CSU. The Kohl government brought about a rightward swing in support of the policies of the NATO alliance and toward more conservative economic principles. Kohl supported the continued presence of NATO forces and nuclear weapons on German soil. He also, however, consistently tried to broaden political relations between the West and the Soviet bloc. In 1983 and 1984 the government experienced a series of domestic crises, including labor strikes and massive demonstrations by the country's antinuclear movement. The governing coalition retained power by a slim majority in the 1987 general elections.
Reunification of Germany
Although German reunification was seen as a principal goal in West Germany's relations with East Germany, it seemed a remote likelihood until the dramatic political upheavals that took place in East Germany in late 1989 and 1990. In the latter half of 1989, thousands of East German citizens emigrated illegally to West Germany via Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Hungary. Popular dissent in East Germany gave rise to an independent citizen's action group, New Forum. Following the suppression of demonstrations in East Berlin by the police, civil unrest spread across the country; the demonstrators attracted an increasing number of people, and intervention by the police eventually ceased. In Oct., 1989, Erich Honecker resigned his posts and was replaced by Egon Krenz, who legalized and initiated dialogue with the New Forum. Media constraints were partially lifted, and an amnesty was announced for all persons who had attempted to leave the country illegally, as well as for arrested demonstrators.
Large-scale demonstrations continued, including a November rally in East Berlin of 500,000 people. On Nov. 7 the entire membership of the council of ministers resigned, and Hans Modrow was elected chairman of the council (prime minister). The SED politburo also resigned and was reorganized. The new government promised to introduce political and economic reforms, to hold free elections in 1990, and to abolish restrictions on foreign travel. All border crossings to West Germany were opened, and the East German government began to dismantle sections of the Berlin Wall.
In Dec., 1989, the East German legislature voted to delete from the constitution the provisions guaranteeing the SED's leading role in society. A special commission was established to investigate cases of corruption by members of the former leadership. Honecker and Willi Stoph, former chairman of the council of ministers, along with other senior leaders, were expelled from the SED and placed under house arrest. Honecker, who was ill, escaped to Moscow. The hated state security police (Stasi) was also disbanded. Mass demonstrations continued as instances of governmental corruption became public. As the atmosphere in the country grew increasingly volatile, the politburo and the central committee of the SED, including Krenz, resigned.
Gregor Gysi, a prominent lawyer, was elected chairman of the SED (renamed the Party of Democratic Socialism, PDS). The first free elections in East Germany were held on Mar. 19, 1990, with the participation of more than 90% of the electorate. The East German CDU unexpectedly received about 40% of the votes, while the East German SPD received 21.8%, and the PDS only 16.4%. A "grand coalition" government, chaired by Lothar de Maiziére, the leader of the CDU, was formed in early April.
With the abolition of travel restrictions between the two Germanies, the possibility of reunification was openly discussed. In Nov., 1989, Kohl presented a ten-point unification plan to the Bundestag, where it was overwhelmingly approved. In December he made his first official visit to East Germany, where he agreed to establish joint economic, cultural, and environmental commissions. Four rounds of "two-plus-four" talks were held in mid-1990 involving the two Germanies and the four powers that occupied Germany after World War II. In May the legislative bodies of East and West Germany ratified a treaty establishing a monetary, economic, and social union, which took effect July 1.
In July, 1990, Kohl and Gorbachev agreed that the USSR would withdraw its forces from East German soil within four years (between then and Aug., 1994, when the withdrawal was completed, more than a half million troops were pulled out); it was also agreed that the united Germany would reduce its armed force strength to 370,000 within the same period. Also in July, East Germany reestablished five states in place of its 15 districts. In August, East and West Berlin were joined to form the state of Berlin. On Oct. 3, 1990, the two German states were formally unified, and it was officially declared that the united Germany would be a full member of NATO. In November, Germany signed a treaty with Poland recognizing Poland's western boundary and renouncing German claims to territory lost because of World War II.
The first all-German elections since 1933 were held on Dec. 2, 1990. The CDU coalition, led by Kohl, won strong support, and he was elected chancellor of all Germany. The Kohl government faced serious problems, including escalating unemployment in E Germany, rising public debt, and a resurgence, especially in E Germany, of extreme right-wing and neo-Nazi groups that made brutal attacks on foreign workers and immigrants. In 1991 the Bundestag voted in favor of Berlin as the seat of government; by 1999 most of the government had moved there, although some administrative functions remained in Bonn.
In new elections held in 1994, the governing coaliton suffered losses but held onto a small majority. Roman Herzog became president the same year. The country was required to adopt cost-cutting measures to reduce its budget deficit in order to qualify for the European Union's single currency, which was inaugurated in 1999. Many of Germany's generous social benefits were cut, as unemployment rose to its highest postwar levels and workers reacted with strikes and protests. In 1998, Gerhard SchröderSchröder, Gerhard
, 1944–, chancellor of Germany (1998–2005), b. Mosenburg, Germany. A telegenic lawyer and Social Democrat, he entered politics as a Marxist student in the 1960s and was elected to the Bundestag in 1980.
..... Click the link for more information. led the SPD to victory and was elected chancellor as head of a center-left coalition government that included the Greens. Johannes Rau was elected president in 1999, and that same year Germany adopted a new immigration law making it easier for its many foreign residents to become citizens. In late 1999 and early 2000 the CDU was rocked by disclosures that former chancellor and party leader Kohl and the party had accepted millions of dollars in illegal donations in the 1980s and 90s.
The new century opened with Germany continuing to retain its dominant economic position in the European Union, where it used its financial policies to fight inflation and high interest rates. In 2001, Schröder's support for the United States in Afghanistan strained relations with the Greens. The governing coalition narrowly retained power after the 2002 Bundestag elections, which left the Social Democrats more dependent on Green support. Although Schröder was hurt by the poor economic situation in Germany, his insistence that his government would not participate in an American operation against Iraq struck a responsive chord with many Germans.
The weakness in the German economy resulted in 2002 in government deficits that exceeded EU standards, leading to censure from the EU. In 2003, Germany's economic problems and deficits continued, and late in the year the chancellor secured the passage of a package of tax cuts and labor and social law changes intended to help the economy revive. Voter unhappiness with the economy and Schröder's policies led to several SPD setbacks in state elections in 2003 and 2004. Horst Köhler, the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund and the CDU candidate, was elected to succeed Rau as president in 2004; he was reelected in 2009. Sluggish economic growth during 2004 led to increases in German unemployment.
Following SPD losses (2005) in North Rhine–Westphalia, a party stronghold, Schröder called for early national elections, and engineered a no-confidence vote. In the Sept., 2005, elections, the CDU-CSU won, as had been expected, but it secured only a slight plurality of the seats when Schröder led the SPD to a strong finish. Negotiations led to an agreement to form a CDU-CSU-SPD coalition with Christian Democrat Angela MerkelMerkel, Angela
, 1954–, German politician, b. Hamburg as Angela Dorothea Kasner. The daughter of a Lutheran pastor, she grew up in what was then East Germany. She trained as a physicist (Ph.D., Univ.
..... Click the link for more information. as chancellor. Merkel became the first woman—as well as the first East German after reunification—to hold the post. The awkwardness of her broad coalition, however, was highlighted by a 2006 compromise agreement on health care reform that proved difficult to negotiate and was regarded by many as inadequate.
Late in 2008 the global financial and economic crisis began having significant effects in Germany, forcing the government to rescue one of Germany's largest banks from collapse, and sending the economy into recession. In Feb., 2009, the German parliament passed a sizable economic stimulus package. The parliamentary elections of Sept., 2009, resulted in a significant victory for Merkel and the CDU-CSU, who increased their plurality in the Bundestag. The CDU-CSU formed a center-right coalition with the Free Democrats, who finished third; Merkel remained chancellor.
In 2010, Merkel's government strongly opposed a European-only rescue of Greece if the budgetary crisis there required one, insisting on International Monetary Fund involvement as well. The disagreement between Germany and France on the issue was the first significant monetary-policy conflict between the two since the establishment of the euro, and resulted at times in an unclear European response that also magnified the crisis. Subsequently, Germany adopted a more assertive position with respect to a eurozone rescue fund, seeking changes on fiscal, social, business, and labor policies in eurozone member nations as the price for its support, but new German support for eurozone financial stability measures was necessary in 2011 and that continued to create divisions in the coalition and cost it public support.
President Köhler resigned in May, 2010, after he made controversial remarks that suggested that the deployment of German forces in Afghanistan was necessary to protect German economic interests. Christian Wulff, a deputy leader of the CDU, was elected president in June, 2010, but the fact that it took three ballots for him to win was seen as a sign of displeasure within the governing coalition over government policies. In 2011, parties in the governing coalition in general suffered losses in a series of state elections. Wulff resigned in Feb., 2012, because of accusations that he may have improperly accepted favors from a businessman. In March, Joachim GauckGauck, Joachim,
1940–, German political and human-rights activist, president of Germany (2012–17), b. Rostock. An anticommunist from his youth, Gauck was ordained a Lutheran minister and was pastor of a church in Mecklenberg, East Germany.
..... Click the link for more information. , a former Lutheran minister and human-rights activist from E Germany, was elected to succeed Wulff. The Sept., 2013, parliamentary elections resulted in a significant plurality for the CDU-CSU, but its coalition partners, the Free Democrats, failed to win any seats. Subsequently, the Social Democrats agreed to join the government in return for a number of concessions, including the establishment of a minimum wage, and a new government, again with Merkel as chancellor, was formed in December.
In the eurozone negotiations with Greece in 2015, Germany insisted on imposing new conditions for aid, and forced significant concessions on Greece. Germany's relatively liberal asylum policies made it the preferred destination for most of the more than a million refugees and migrants who flooded into the European Union from Syria and other nations in 2015. The huge influx of foreigners created tensions in the government (Merkel had been initially welcoming toward refugees), strained the country's resources, and led to societal tensions. Merkel's CDU suffered losses in several state elections in 2016, and the populist, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) made significant gains. Some 280,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Germany in 2016, and the influx eased further in the following years.
In Feb., 2017, Frank-Walter SteinmeierSteinmeier, Frank-Walter,
1956–, German politician. A member of the center-left Social Democratic party, he worked for the Lower Saxony chancellery when Gerhard Schröder was premier and served as Schröder's chief of staff (1999–2005) when he became German
..... Click the link for more information. , a Social Democrat and former foreign minister, was elected president. In 2017, Germany under Merkel, who regarded the United States under the Trump presidency as less reliable, called for Europeans to be more self-reliant and less dependent on the United States. In the Sept., 2017, elections both the CDU-CSU and Social Democrats suffered significant losses and the AfD entered the Bundestag for the first time, finishing third. The Social Democrats went into opposition, forcing Merkel to seek a coalition with the Free Democrats and Greens. Those talks failed, and she ultimately formed (Mar., 2018) a government with the Social Democrats. The new coalition, however, was marked by tensions, especially with the CDU-CSU alliance, and subsequent losses by conservatives and Social Democrats in state elections led Merkel to announce (October) she would not run again for the CDU leadership. In 2020, Germany initially weathered the COVID-19 pandemic somewhat better than other large Western European nations, but it still had a sizable number of cases and later had more difficulty controlling COVID-19's spread.
The chief source collection for medieval German history is the Monumenta Germaniae historicaMonumenta Germaniae historica
, comprehensive critical editions of the sources of medieval German history. The first society created to publish them was founded by Karl vom und zum Stein in 1819, and the first volume appeared in 1826. G. H.
..... Click the link for more information. . Of the writings of the great German historians of the 19th cent., the monumental works of RankeRanke, Leopold von
, 1795–1886, German historian, generally recognized as the father of the modern objective historical school. He applied and elaborated Barthold Niebuhr's scientific method of historical investigation.
..... Click the link for more information. , SybelSybel, Heinrich von
, 1817–95, German historian. He studied under Ranke at the Univ. of Berlin, but later abandoned the Rankean striving for objective history; he began to take an active part in politics and promoted the nationalist and Protestant causes in his speeches
..... Click the link for more information. , and TreitschkeTreitschke, Heinrich von
, 1834–96, German historian. A fervid partisan of Prussia, he left Baden at the outbreak of the Austro-Prussian War (1866) and became professor of history at Kiel (1866), Heidelberg (1867), and Berlin (1874).
..... Click the link for more information. remain important. Among more recent works, see those of G. Barraclough, V. Valentin, E. Eyck, A. J. P. Taylor, G. P. Gooch, H. Kohn, F. Fischer, K. Epstein, E. Kehr, and G. D. Feldman.
See also H. Holborn, History of Modern Germany, 1840–1945 (3 vol., 1959–69); P. Gay, Weimar Culture (1968); K. D. Bracher, The German Dictatorship (tr. 1970); G. Ritter, The Sword and the Scepter (tr., 4 vol., 1969–73); F. R. Stern, The Failure of Illiberalism (1972); A. J. Ryder, Twentieth-Century Germany (1973); V. R. Berghahn, Modern Germany (2d ed. 1987) and Imperial Germany, 1871–1914 (1994); M. Dennis, German Democratic Republic (1987); D. L. Bark and D. R. Gress, A History of West Germany, 1945–1988 (1989); B. Gwertzman and M. T. Kaufman, ed., The Collapse of Communism (1990); D. Marsh, The New Germany (1990); S. Friedländer, Nazi Germany and the Jews (2 vol., 1997–2007); H. D. Genscher, Rebuilding a House Divided (tr. 1998); M. Burleigh, The Third Reich (2000); M. Stürmer, The German Empire: 1870–1918 (2001); N. Frei, Adenauer's Germany and the Nazi Past (2003); R. J. Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich (2004), The Third Reich in Power (2005), and The Third Reich at War (2009); M. Mazower, Hitler's Empire (2008); M. E. Sarotte, 1989: The Struggle to Create Post–Cold War Europe (2009); P. Watson, The German Genius (2010); I. Kershaw, The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1944–45 (2011); B. Carter Hett, The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic (2018). The Allied occupation is discussed in the study by F. Taylor (2011), the U.S. occupation in that by E. Davidson (1959), the British in that by R. Ebsworth (1961), the French in that by F. R. Willis (1962), and the Russian in that by N. M. Naimark (1995).
a state in Europe (capital, Berlin), which existed up to the end of World War II (1939-45).
Primitive communal system. Archaeological data show that mankind appeared on the territory of Germany between 500,000 and 300,000 B.C. in the Lower Paleolithic epoch. Relics of the Neanderthal Man have been uncovered in southern Germany. The northern regions of Germany, previously covered by a glacier, were occupied by tribes of primitive fishermen and hunters during the transition period between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic. In the third to second millennium B.C. the tribes inhabiting the territory of Germany were engaged not only in fishing and hunting but in livestock raising and farming as well. The appearance of iron implements on the territory of Germany dates back to the beginning of the first millennium B.C.; they were used along with bronze implements. The Lausitz and Hallstatt archaeological cultures, which were replaced by the La Téne culture, were prevalent in a part of Germany during this period. At the end of the first millennium B.C. the German tribes, which had settled the greater part of Germany, came into conflict with the Roman state. Rome’s repeated efforts to conquer Germany east of the Rhine were futile. (Only a small portion of German territory along the left bank of the Rhine was included in the Roman state at the end of the first century B.C.) By the fourth century as a result of movements and merging of tribes, new German tribal formations emerged. During the fourth through sixth centuries—the period of the so-called Great Migration of Peoples—some of these formations occupied the territory of the western Roman Empire. Germany became permanently settled by the Alemanni, Bavarians, eastern Franks, Saxons, Thuringians, and Frisians.
Early feudal period (sixth through 11th centuries). The formation of feudal relations in Germany proceeded primarily on the basis of the decay of the primitive communal system. It was accelerated by the Frankish conquest. During the sixth through eighth centuries the Franks subjugated the entire territory of Germany, which thus became part of the Frankish state. The conquest was accompanied by the spread of Christianity. In addition to the large pieces of land held by noblemen and leaders of communities, royal and church land property appeared. The subjugation of free peasants began. Under the Carolingian reign (from the middle of the eighth century) the political center of the Frankish state began shifting more and more toward Germany. With the disintegration of the Carolingian empire, the territory of Germany became part of the east Frankish kingdom; thus the division of the German regions into states was begun. The conclusion of this process took place after the election of Margrave Arnulf of Carinthia (ruled 887-899) as king of the so-called eastern Franks, with the end of the Carolingian dynasty in Germany (911), and, finally, with the election of Duke Henry I (ruled 919-936), the founder of the Saxon dynasty, as king of Germany in 919. The reign of Henry I was an important stage in the formation of the early feudal German state. Initially the territory of this state stretched between the Rhine, the Elbe, and the Alps, including the four tribal duchies Saxony, Franconia, Allemannia (Suabia), and Bavaria. In 870-80, Lotharingia was annexed (final annexation, 925), as was Frisia (Friesland).
Large feudal landownership grew in the German early feudal state; masses of peasants were drawn into personal and land dependence on feudal proprietors. However, the process was comparatively slow and uneven in Germany. In Saxony and the region of the Alps landownership by free peasants survived up to the end of the 11th century. Whereas a number of Western European states had already entered the stage of feudal disintegration, Germany was still a relatively unified governmental entity and the power of the king was quite strong. The early feudal judicial and administrative system (which divided Germany into counties and “hundreds”) was retained in varying forms; there was a statewide military organization with compulsory military service for all freemen, and vassals had a military obligation with respect to the king. The primary danger to the unity of the state was posed by tribal dukes. Otto I (ruled 936-973) struggled successfully against the separatism of the dukes, attempting to turn them into officials of the state. The episcopate became the main support of the king. An external factor also played a significant role in the unification policy of the first kings of the Saxon dynasty—the repelling of the attacks of both the Hungarian nomads and the Normans. The victory on the Lech River (955) put an end to the Hungarian danger. The Norman raids ceased only in the early 11th century. The German feudal state itself shifted to a policy of conquest. The main object of expansion in the east was the land of the Polabian Slavs. Under Otto I, the Bodrichi, Lutichi, and SerboLusatian tribal unions were subjugated and German marks established in their areas of settlement. However, the Lutichi and Bodrichi freed themselves from the aggressors’ rule through successful uprisings in 983 and 1002. Otto I subjugated northern Italy in 951. In 962 he occupied Rome, was crowned by the Roman pope, and received the title of emperor. These events marked the beginning of the so-called Holy Roman Empire and the systematic predatory campaigns against Italy by the German kings. In 1032-34 the kingdom of Burgundy (Arelate) was annexed to the empire; Bohemia became a vassal of the empire.
Developed feudalism (late 11th through late 15th centuries).By the end of the 11th century the entire population of Germany had been drawn into feudal relations. Feudal cities began to grow rapidly; some of these on the Rhine and Danube (Cologne, Mainz, Worms, Strasbourg, and Augsburg) arose on the sites of old Roman fortifications, but the majority developed from newer medieval artisan and commerical settlements. The initial status of the cities was one of complete patrimonial dependence on their seigniors—the bishops, secular feudal lords, or the king. In the course of the revolutionary communal movement (which began in Germany as uprisings in the Rhine cities, such as Worms in 1071 and Cologne in 1074, and which continued right up to the 13th and 14th centuries) many cities freed themselves of the seigniors and achieved self-government (of varying scope and nature) and personal freedom for the city dwellers. (“City air makes one free,” stated the German proverb.) The free imperial cities, of which there were more than 80 by the end of the 15th century, achieved the greatest independence (certain episcopal cities also achieved this status). The secular (princely) cities remained more dependent on the seigniors.
Political decentralization began to increase in Germany in the middle of the 11th century. As they achieved absolute judicial and administrative power, the feudal lords established isolated holdings. The emperors of the Franconian dynasty (1024-1125) attempted to combat these tendencies, relying on the support of the knights, ministeriales, and in some cases the cities. At the same time, however, they made further concessions to the land magnates in order to retain their support for the empire’s Italian policy and the struggle against the papacy. Conrad II (ruled 1024-39) and Henry III (ruled 1039-56) held the German episcopate under their control and dominated the papal curia, but in the second half of the 11th century the papacy, exploiting feudal discord in Germany, freed itself from this dependence. The effort of Henry IV (reigned 1056-1106) to gather and strengthen the royal demesne in Saxony and Thuringia provoked the Saxon uprising of 1073-75, in which the interests of the local nobility and those of the free independent Saxon peasants were contradictorily intertwined. Claiming political supremacy in the feudal world, Pope Gregory VII conducted a fierce struggle with Henry IV for the right to appoint bishops and abbots in the empire—a right the emperor had exercised. In the so-called investiture dispute between the empire and the papacy (beginning in 1076), some of the German princes, seeking to weaken the central power in Germany, supported the papacy. A long and bitter struggle was concluded only in 1122 with the Concordat of Worms, a compromise that resulted in increased independence for the ecclesiastical and secular princes of Germany.
The emperors of the Hohenstaufen dynasty (1138-1254) saw that it was impossible to strengthen their power over the German princes by means of domestic German forces and therefore attempted to establish a power base in Italy. Frederick I Barbarossa (ruled 1152-90) set himself the goal of subjugating the cities of northern Italy in order to make them a source of permanent fiscal exploitation. But the Lombard League of Italian cities inflicted a defeat on Frederick at Legnano in 1176 and forced him to renounce this effort. While the emperors were waging war in Italy, certain German princes—particularly the Saxon princes—conquered lands of the Slavs and other peoples beyond the Elbe and in the Baltic region under the guise of crusades against the heathens. Henry the Lion seized the lands of the Bodrichi, and it was there that the vassal duchy of Mecklenburg was founded (1167); Albert the Bear took the Lutichi lands that made up the nucleus of the margravedom of Brandenburg. In the 13th century the order of the Knights of the Sword seized lands of the Letts (Livonians) and Estonians, and the Knights of the Teutonic Order captured Prussia. Germany’s territory in the east doubled, and strong, independent principalities emerged there. Expansion to the east (Drang nach Osten) enhanced still further the correlation of forces favoring the princes in the German feudal state and promoted even greater fragmentation in the state. The conquered lands were settled by German colonists and the local population was forcibly Germanized.
The struggle for the throne that unfolded in the late 12th and early 13th century (Philip of Swabia of the Hohenstaufen dynasty and Otto IV of the Guelph family) was exploited by Pope Innocent III in the interests of new papal intervention into German affairs and the effective subordination of Germany. Frederick II of Hohenstaufen (ruled 1212-50), who regained his rights to the throne through the aid of the pope, was simultaneously king of Sicily and emperor. Above all, he strove to strengthen his power over southern Italy and Sicily. In order to obtain a “free hand” in his imperial policy in Germany, he made concessions to the princes that aided them in strengthening their territorial possessions. In 1220 the princes of the church were granted privileges guaranteeing the inviolability of their possessions and securing for them the entire jurisdiction of the episcopal cities. The secular princes acquired privileges in 1231-32. In the struggle against the cities of northern Italy and the popes and their allies, the Hohenstaufens were defeated and their clan annihilated. Feudal anarchy reigned in the country during the interregnum (1254-73). The cities, joined in leagues (the League of Rhenish Towns, founded in 1254, and others), attempted to guarantee the security of trade themselves; they achieved the establishment of the so-called Secular Peace and the termination of the interregnum.
At this same time a significant economic upsurge was taking place in 13th-century Germany (as in other European countries of the period). Commodity-money relations were spreading in all spheres of the economy, and guild artisan production was increasing, including weaving and metal-working in the cities along the Rhine and in the southwest and mining of iron and silver in Saxony and Thuringia. Virtually all of the intermediary trade among the German coastal cities, Scandinavia, Rus’, England, and the Netherlands was concentrated in the hands of the north German cities, which were united in the Hanseatic League. The Rhenish cities and cities of the southwest were involved in the Mediterranean trade. However, the economic upsurge occurred under conditions of progressively worsening feudal disintegration of the individual regions of the country and did not lead to political unification.
The growth of commodity-money relations produced substantial changes in the agrarian system. The feudal lords, attempting to increase their income, shifted peasants over to metayage and quitrent. In place of the former corvée system new forms of economic organization and exploitation of the peasants were introduced, which were intended to alleviate and abolish personal dependence. On the whole, the situation of the peasants improved somewhat during the 13th and first half of the 14th century. The German colonists in the Slavic regions that had been seized lived under the most favorable conditions—they received allotments for what were at first comparatively small cash and quitrent obligations to the local prince and landowner. The peasants of southwestern Germany had the worst situation—they had small allotments for high quitrents and corvée. The first signs of seignorial reaction were manifested there as early as the end of the 14th century.
The political development of Germany from the 13th century was marked by further territorial splintering. Princes became, in effect, independent rulers. The greatest power was enjoyed by the electors, who assumed the right to choose the king (emperor). The throne retained only limited formal rights of supreme suzerainty over the territorial princes, who were bound to it only loosely by vassalage. The emperors themselves strove to become the greatest territorial princes. Rudolf I Hapsburg (ruled 1273-91) utilized his power to establish large hereditary holdings, securing Austria and Styria for his house. Henry VII of Luxembourg (ruled 1308-13) established his dynasty on the Bohemian throne. King Louis IV of Bavaria (ruled 1314—47), a member of the Wittelsbach family who renewed the old imperial policy of expansion into Italy, let slip the opportunity to strengthen the authority of the king by not taking advantage of the strong opposition (among the city dwellers, in particular) that unfolded in Germany in the early 14th century to the policies of the papal curia. The Bohemian king Charles IV of Luxembourg (Emperor Charles IV, ruled 1347-78), who was selected for the German throne by the electors, legitimated political fragmentation. The electors were recognized as the supreme power in the empire; they had the right to choose the king (the future emperor) and resolve major statewide affairs. The emperor had no actual imperial executive organs or finances at his disposal. (He could rely only on the support of his own familial holdings.) The Reichstag was the all-German legislative body; it consisted of the curia of the princes and the curia of the imperial cities, which was formed later. However, the Reichstag was not truly an organ of estate representation—it was wholly dependent on the princes. While the empire was disintegrating, local centralization was increasing in the principalities. These principalities formed their own local estate-representative institutions, the Landtags, which consisted of representatives of the landed estates—the nobility, clergy, and city dwellers.
Decay of feudalism and inception of capitalist relations (late 15th-late 18th centuries).LATE 15TH AND FIRST HALF OF THE 16TH CENTURIES: THE REFORMATION AND THE PEASANTS’ WAR OF 1524-26. Important advances in Germany’s economic development began to be evident in the second half of the 15th century. Early forms of capitalist production originated in mining, textiles, book printing, and certain other branches of industry. Entrepreneurs unrelated to a guild organization began to acquire ever greater importance among the burghers, and the preproletarian stratum became increasingly significant among the urban plebeians. The ever-increasing penetration of commodity-money relations into agriculture brought about the intensification of the struggle between the feudally dependent peasantry and the feudal lords, who were attempting to exploit the development of commodity-money relations in their own interests. The fact that the inception of capitalist relations in Germany proceeded in the context of increasing feudal pressure on the peasantry (the seignorial reaction) and intensifying political fragmentation complicated and retarded the further development of capitalist relations to the extreme—hence the particularly acute nature of the social and political contradictions that were growing in Germany. These contradictions were reflected in radical political pamphlets (“The Reformation of Emperor Sigismund” and others), which demanded that Germany be turned into a centralized state and that a number of fundamental social reforms be carried out; and they were manifested with particular clarity in the anti-feudal actions of the peasants and city dwellers in southwestern Germany (the movement of the Hansa of Boheim of 1476, the so-called conspiracies of the boot in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, the uprising of Armer Konrad in 1514, and so forth).
The growing movement of opposition within the country and the increasing complexity of Germany’s international situation in the context of the ongoing process of the formation of national centralized states in Europe forced the German princes to seek means to reform the state structure of the empire. In the late 1480’s a political and military organization of the major princes, the Swabian League, arose in southwestern Germany. The so-called princely party, which it led, presented its project for imperial reform at the Reichstags of 1495 and 1500 (the prohibition of internal wars in the empire, the creation of an imperial administration and court to settle conflicts among princes, etc.).
The opposition movement of the early 16th century embraced various social strata (the peasants and plebeian masses, the burghers, and the imperial knights, who were in a state of decline and who attributed this to the pitiful condition of the empire). The movement against the Catholic Church—the Reformation, which was initiated by M. Luther’s action against indulgences (1517)—united for a time the diverse strata of the opposition; the Catholic Church, which, unobstructed, had burdened the splintered country with numerous requisitions, became an object of universal hatred. German humanism—particularly the activity of the radical humanists (Ulrich von Hutten and others)—also played a significant role in the ideological preparation of the nationwide movements. As early as 1521, in the context of evermore aggravated class contradictions, the positions of the various social groupings that had joined the Reformation were becoming more distinct. The teachings of Luther, who was connected with conservative circles of burghers and who was attempting to restrain the movement within the limits of antipapal opposition, put forward demands, which, if satisfied, would have resulted in the strengthening of the princes; increasingly, Luther moved away from the popular elements of the movement. Various currents of Zwinglianism began to spread among the more radical circles of the burghers, particularly in the cities of southwestern Germany. Among the people the sociopolitical interpretation of the Reformation came, above all, from the revolutionary teaching of T. Münzer, which became the ideological banner for the antifeudal struggle of the popular masses. The Knights’ War (1522-23) which was not supported by other strata of the opposition, was easily suppressed. The apogee of the revolutionary movement of the era of the Reformation was the Peasants’ War of 1524-26, which covered all of southwestern and central Germany. The ideas of the struggle against social oppression and the feudal state were expressed with greatest consistency in the programmatic documents of the supporters of M#x00FC;nzer (the so-called Articles Letter) and M. Hais-meier. But other programs advanced in the course of the struggle (such as the “Twelve Articles” and the draft of the so-called Heilbronn program) also contained ideas that were progressive for the times and the realization of which would have undermined the feudal system and directed Germany onto the path of national and governmental unity. However, the weak side of this first act of the bourgeois revolution in Europe, as F. Engels characterized the entire social movement of the era of the Reformation in Germany (see K. Marx andF. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 21, pp. 417-18), consisted in the lack of coordination of the revolutionary forces and the vacillations and conservative tendencies of the bulk of the burghers, whose radical strata were insufficiently mature and incapable of leading all the progressive forces. The Peasants’ War was suppressed with terrible cruelty by the troops of the Swabian League and the princes of central Germany. The unsuccessful Peasants’ War signified the defeat of the entire social movement of the era (its last act was the M#x00FC;nster commune of 1534-35). The princes were able to exploit the Reformation in their own interests, carrying out the secularization of the lands of the church and bringing the church completely under their power. The religious and political struggle between the Protestant and Catholic princes that unfolded in Germany after the Peasants’ War was closely interrelated with the great-power policy of the Hapsburgs (who had effectively managed to secure for their family the title of king of Germany and emperor of the Holy Roman Empire from 1438). In the late 15th and early 16th century, starting with Maximilian I (ruled 1493-1519), the Hapsburgs, with the active support of the feudal Catholic reactionary forces of Europe, began to make broad, “universalist” claims. The grandson of Maximilian, Charles V, who became king of Spain in 1516 and was elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1519, united the enormous holdings of the Spanish throne with the lands that made up the empire. Charles V saw the strengthening of the German princes as a threat to Hapsburg plans for the creation of a world Christian power. In the war of 1546-48 he was victorious over the Protestant princes of Germany, who had joined together in the Schmalkaldic League. However, the war resumed in 1552 and concluded with the defeat of Charles V; in 1556 he abdicated. The religious Peace of Augsburg of 1555 strengthened the sovereignty of the princes and the system of small powers that had taken shape in Germany.
SECOND HALF OF THE 16TH AND FIRST HALF OF THE 17TH CENTURY.In the second half of the 16th and early 17th century political reaction intensified still further in the context of the economic decline that was becoming evident—a decline that was itself, to a considerable degree, the result of the defeat of the revolutionary forces. The increasing dependence of the cities on the princes fettered trade and industry. Feudal reaction in the countryside retarded the further development of the capitalist manufactory system (although it continued to develop in certain regions and branches of industry). Economic decline was also promoted by the shift of world trade routes from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean and the competition of the countries in which capitalism was developing—Holland and England. In the area of Germany east of the Elbe there emerged a system of large manorial farms based on the corvée of bonded peasants and oriented to the foreign market.
The feudal reaction was accompanied by a Catholic reaction. The struggle within Germany was complicated by ripening international conflicts. Hapsburg policies, which infringed upon the interests of foreign states—above all, France—helped aggravate these conflicts. The war that erupted in the empire in 1618 turned into a protracted European war. Germany became the main arena of this devastating war for years to come, and this had the gravest consequences for the socioeconomic and political development of the country. The country’s productive forces were greatly undermined by military actions. The population declined sharply, and many cities and villages were destroyed. The inhabitants (particularly the peasantry), who suffered cruelly from the burdens of the war, took up arms against the marauding soldiers; in various areas there were peasant uprisings.
SECOND HALF OF THE 17TH TO THE END OF THE 18TH CENTURY. The treaty of Westphalia of 1648 that concluded the Thirty Years War legally enforced the disintegration of Germany into separate territorial principalities (for 4 million people there were approximately 300 secular and clerical principalities averaging 20-25 sq km in area), which formally entered the Holy Roman Empire. The feudal lords intensified their onslaught against the peasants. A second enserfment of the peasants was carried out east of the Elbe; land-lord farms producing grain for export expanded, resulting in an expulsion of peasants from the land and increased corvée (up to six days a week in certain areas). In the political sphere the princely absolutism of small powers triumphed in Germany; in most of the principalities the organs of estate representation, the Landtags, were reduced to nothing, and permanent armies were established. One of the greatest German states was the electorate of Brandenburg-Prussia (from 1701, the kingdom of Prussia). The entire life of the Prussian feudal-military monarchy was permeated by the spirit of militarism and patrimonial despotism. These features were given their most vivid and complete expression under Frederick II Hohenzollern (king from 1740 to 1786). In terms of size, the Prussian Army was first in Europe (taking into account the size of the population). In essence, Frederick II’s reforms carried out in the spirit of enlightened absolutism (making the functioning of judicial and financial organs somewhat more orderly, expanding elementary education, and so forth) did not infringe upon the elements of the Prussian feudal system, which constituted serious obstacles to the growth of productive forces and the development of the manufactory system.
The invasion of Silesia by Prussian troops in 1740 brought in its wake a conflict with Austria and initiated the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48). In the course of the war Frederick II secured virtually all of Silesia for Prussia. As a result of the Seven Years’ War (1756-63), Silesia remained in the possession of Prussia, which also annexed a portion of Poland in 1772 (by the first partition). Prussia entered the ranks of the great European powers. In this connection the struggle between Prussia and Austria for hegemony in Germany intensified.
In the 18th century antifeudal ideological currents emerged in Germany. They found vivid expression in the works of the writers and philosophers of the era of the Enlightenment (G. Lessing, J. von Herder, the early J. W. von Goethe, F. von Schiller, etc.). In the 1770’s the Sturm und Drang literary and social movement emerged among the representatives of the German Enlightenment. Its exponents called for fundamental changes in the social life of the country and for its unification. Among the representatives of the radical orientation of the Enlightenment, the most decisive position was that held by G. Furster, an advocate of revolutionary methods of struggle against the feudal absolutist system and a partisan of the republican form of government.
Development of capitalism in the late 18th and 19th centuries (to the completion of unification of the country).FROM THE LATE 18TH CENTURY TO 1815. The development of industrial production gathered force in Germany at the end of the 18th century. The mechanical spinning jenny was first employed in 1782 in Saxony, and in 1785 the first German steam engine was constructed. The trade turnover of the northern ports increased significantly, and the system of navigable canals expanded. At the end of the 18th century Hamburg, which had developed as an intermediary center for the sea trade between the German states and Great Britain, Holland, Sweden, and other countries, became a most important European seaport. The requirements for the further development of trade and industry persistently raised the problems of the liquidation of the feudal-serf system and the establishment of a single all-German market and systems of legislation, currency, and tariffs that would be uniform for the whole country. Saxony, a center for the mining, textile, and porcelain industries, displayed the greatest interests in this regard.
The Great French Revolution helped to stimulate the anti-feudal movement in Germany. Peasant uprisings began on the Rhine and in Elsass (Alsace). The peasant struggle reached its height in Saxony. In March and April 1793 there was an uprising of Silesian weavers, which was suppressed by troops. Many figures of German culture (Herder, Klopstock, Schiller, Kant, and Fichte) welcomed the French Revolution; it evoked fear and hatred among the German princes and feudal lords. A Prussian-Austrian declaration against revolutionary France was signed in August 1791. In April 1792 a war began between Austria, which was joined by Prussia, and revolutionary France. In the course of the war the Austrian-Prussian troops were defeated by the army of revolutionary France at Valmy (Sept. 20, 1792). On Mar. 18, 1793, the first democratic republic on German soil was proclaimed in Mainz—the Mainz commune (its leaders were Andreas Hofmann and Georg Furster). In 1795 Prussia signed a separate peace treaty with France, and the lands on the left bank of the Rhine passed over to French rule. In the 1790’s, Prussia seized additional Polish territory by the second and third partitions of Poland, whereas Austria got new Polish territory under the third partition. In 1803-04, Napoleon I carried out “mediation” (the liquidation of small states) in Germany, creating consolidated German principalities as a force capable of serving as a counterbalance to Austria and Prussia. In 1806, Napoleon formed the Confederation of the Rhine under his protection; it included (initially) 16 German states, and it became part of a French military bloc. In August 1806 the Austrian emperor Francis was forced to renounce the title of emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, which at this point came to an end. On the German territory occupied by France the feudal regime was abolished, the so-called Napoleonic Code was introduced, and the peasants acquired their personal freedom. In the autumn of 1806, Prussia once again entered into a war against France. It concluded in Prussia’s defeat (the rout of the Prussian army at Jena and Auerst#x00E4;dt on Oct. 14, 1806), which exposed the decay of the Prussian government and feudal system. Prussia lost about half of its territory by the treaty of Tilsit of 1807.
After the crushing defeat that befell Prussia in 1806, its ruling circles were forced to embark on the path of partial reforms. These reforms were implemented during 1807-11 by the ministers H. F. K. vom und zum Stein and K. A. von Hardenberg. The October Edict (1807) proclaimed the personal freedom of the peasants and provided for the possibility of the alienation of land if the owner desired (this allowed burghers and peasants who had become rich to acquire land); urban self-government was introduced (1808); and peasants were permitted to redeem feudal obligations upon payment of a sum equal to 25 times their yearly payment or by ceding portions of their allotment to their landlords (the so-called regulation edict of 1811). The agrarian reforms did not weaken the economic position of the large landlords; the conditions of redemption for the peasants were extremely onerous. Nonetheless, the reforms did promote a slow development of the serf economy into a bourgeois Junker economy. For the peasants, this development of capitalism in agriculture (the “Prussian path”) was agonizing in the extreme.
The radical members of the secret patriotic society Tugendbund (founded in 1808) demanded the universal armament of the people for the struggle against Napoleon, the emancipation of the peasants, and the allotment of their lands to them without redemption. However, these demands were rejected. The governments of the German states did not assist the armed patriots who were fighting against the occupying forces (the partisan bands of Major Schill in Prussia, of Colonel Dörnburg in Hesse-Cassel, and of the duke of Brunswick in Saxony).
The heralds of the struggle against the French occupying forces were J. G. Fichte, G. von Scharnhorst, A. von Gneisenau, and K. von Clausewitz. Ignoring the country’s national interests, Prussia, other German states, and also Austria, which had been routed again in 1809, took part in Napoleon’s predatory war against Russia. The victory of the Russian people and the Russian Army in the Patriotic War of 1812 was the signal for the beginning of the liberation war against Napoleonic rule in Germany. On Feb. 28, 1813, under pressure from the masses of the people, the Prussian government concluded an alliance with Russia against Napoleonic France in Kalisz. The German people rose up for the struggle. After the battle of Leipzig (Oct. 16-19, 1813), all of Germany was liberated from the occupying forces.
1815-48. After the Congress of Vienna of 1814-15, one of the tasks of which was the resolution of the fate of Germany, the country remained politically splintered. The German Confederation established by the decision of the Congress consisted of 39 states; Austria played the leading role. The fragmentation of the country served as a brake on its capitalist development. To a considerable degree, handicraft production continued to dominate industry. The process of replacement of the corvée by wage labor dragged on for decades. At the same time, an industrial revolution began in the 1830’s. The main seats of capitalist factory production were the Rhine region and Saxony. The German Customs Union (Prussia, Bavaria, W#x00FC;rttemberg, and an additional 15 German states), which arose in 1834, was dominated by Prussia (Austria remained outside the Union). Its creation was an important step en route to the formation of a unified national market, and it stimulated the development of industry and trade. Germany made great strides in railroad construction; by 1850 it held second place in Europe (after Great Britain) in terms of length of railroads. (The first railroad, Nuremberg-Furth, was built in 1835.) However, Germany continued to lag far behind Great Britain in terms of the basic economic indicators. (For example, in 1850, Great Britain smelted 5.5 times more pig iron than Germany.)
The policies of the German states were determined, to a considerable degree, by the Holy Alliance (Prussia and Austria were its members). Absolutism still continued in most of these states (semblances of constitutional regimes were introduced only in Bavaria, Baden, W#x00FC;rttemberg, and HesseDarmstadt). Students and progressive members of the intelligentsia opposed the reaction. Under the influence of the July Revolution of 1830 in France, there were revolutionary uprisings in a number of German states (Saxony, Brunswick, Hanover, Hesse-Cassel, and others). In Hesse-Darmstadt the peasants rose up in a revolt, which was suppressed by troops. In 1832, on the initiative of the German republicans, a festival was held in Hambach Castle (Bavaria) under the slogan of the creation of a unified German republic. The first German workers’ organizations were established abroad in the 1830’s (Union of the Outcasts, Union of the Just); Utopian plans for the construction of a communist society were disseminated; W. Weitling was a propagandist in the 1830’s and 1840’s. In 1844 an uprising of Silesian weavers erupted. The bourgeois revolution was ripening in Germany. In the 1840’s the scientific world view of the proletariat was born on German soil—Marxism, whose founders, the great sons of the German people K. Marx and F. Engels, led the first international proletarian organization, the Union of Communists, for which they wrote the Communist Manifesto as a program.
BOURGEOIS DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION OF 1848-49. The onset of the revolution of 1848-49 was accelerated by the crop failure of 1845-46 and the economic crisis of 1847. The immediate impetus was the February Revolution of 1848 in France. The task facing the revolution, the moving forces of which were the workers, artisans, and peasantry, was the unification of Germany and the liquidation of the feudal-absolutist system. Progressive representatives of the popular masses—members of the Union of Communists—strove to create a unified democratic German republic. The bourgeoisie, on the other hand, which was dependent on the ruling circles and frightened by the first proletarian actions, preferred to resolve all vital questions by means of a deal with the throne. In this regard, a large portion of the German bourgeoisie supported the plan for the creation of a “Lesser Germany”—the unification of the country without Austria under the domination of the Prussian Hohenzollern dynasty; a small portion of the bourgeoisie favored a “Greater Germany” (which was to include Austria). The revolution began in March 1848 with popular actions in Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt, Wurttemberg, and Bavaria. The uprising in Berlin on March 18 brought the liberal Camphausen-Hansemann government to power in Prussia. There was a republican uprising in Baden in April 1848, but it was suppressed. The Neue Rheinische Zeitung, founded by Marx and Engels in June 1848, played an important role in rallying democratic forces. The total failure of the June Uprising of 1848 in Paris accelerated the shift of the German bourgeoisie to the camp of counterrevolution. In November 1848 a government headed by General Brandenburg and made up of the feudal nobility and the upper bureaucracy was established in Prussia. The all-German Frankfurt National Assembly, which assembled as early as May 1848, did not lead a struggle against feudal reaction and the absolutism of the small powers. Only in March 1849, after long debates, did the assembly adopt the imperial constitution. Uprisings in its defense began in May 1849 in Saxony, the Rhine region, Baden, and the Bavarian Palatinate (Engels participated in the uprising in Elberfeld and in the revolutionary fighting in Baden). However, the revolutionary forces were smashed. The basic reason for the defeat of the revolution lay in the traitorous policies of the German bourgeoisie.
AFTER THE REVOLUTION OF 1848-49 (UP TO THE COMPLETION OF THE UNIFICATION OF THE COUNTRY). The beginning of the 1850’s was marked by a new onslaught of reaction (the introduction of the three-class estate constitution in Prussia in 1850, the Cologne trial of the communists of 1852, etc.). At the same time, the industrial revolution, which continued right up to the 1880’s, developed with full force. In the process, large-scale machine production became dominant in all branches of industry. By 1860, Germany’s metallurgical industry had outstripped that of Belgium, and by 1870 it had surpassed France’s. The introduction of machinery to agriculture continued to increase, and area under cultivation expanded.
As a result of the cowardice of the bourgeoisie, the primary question for the country’s development—the means of unification—was resolved in an antidemocratic sense. In 1862 the king of Prussia, William I, placed the Pomeranian Junker O. von Bismarck at the head of the government. Bismarck carried out the unification of Germany around Prussia by “blood and iron.” The first steps in the unification of Germany were the war with Denmark in 1864 and the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, which ended in the rout of the Austrian Army at Sadowa (July 3, 1866). Under the Peace of Prague of 1866, Austria was obligated to withdraw completely from participation in German affairs. The small states that had entered into alliances with it—Nassau, Hanover, the electorate of Hesse, and Frankfurt—were annexed to Prussia. A number of southern German states were forced to conclude secret five-year military conventions with Prussia. The Peace of Prague provided for the liquidation of the German Confederation and, to replace it, the establishment of the North German Confederation (formed in 1867), which was made up of states located north of the Main River. The confederation was dominated by Prussia; this was ensured particularly by the fact that Prussia was assigned to command the forces of the confederation. In the interests of the bourgeoisie, complete freedom of movement was introduced in the confederation (1867), a unified system of weights and measures was adopted (1868), and the vestiges of guild privileges were abolished (1869). The successes in unifying Germany “from above” reconciled the bourgeois liberals to the reactionary policies of the Prussian rulers. In February 1867 the National Liberal Party emerged and began to support Bismarck actively.
The 1860’s were marked by the successes of the German workers’ movements. The establishment in 1863 of the General German Workers’ Union, which was headed by F. Las-salle, was a step toward the organizational independence of the proletariat. Lassalle’s activity helped to weaken the influence of the bourgeoisie on the workers. However, he failed to understand the nature of the Junker bourgeois states; he believed that it was possible to gradually transform the Prussian state into a so-called free popular state by means of the introduction of universal suffrage and the establishment of producers’ associations. Toward this end, Lassalle entered into secret negotiations with Bismarck, promising him support in the question of unifying Germany from above. A number of workers’ unions opposed Lassalle (the Saxon Union was the most active). At a congress in Eisenach in 1869, A. Bebel and W. Liebknecht founded the Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Germany (the Eisenachers), which adopted the Marxist program as a whole and which maintained the standpoint of the First International. This was an important landmark on the path to the victory of Marxism in the German workers’ movement.
The last stage in Prussia’s dynastic wars for the unification of Germany under its rule was the war against France. The purpose of the first stage of the war was to crush France’s resistance to German unification. In the course of the war Prussia, which was much better prepared, smashed the French Army. Using a combination of pressure and large monetary subsidies, Bismarck forced even those German states that had remained outside the North German Confederation to submit to Prussia (by the end of 1870). And shortly thereafter, on Jan. 18, 1871, the formation of the German Empire headed by the Prussian king, William I, was proclaimed in the Parisian suburb of Versailles during the seige of Paris. The Prussian class of Junkers, in which the military clique played an enormous role, became the dominant force in the Germany that had been united from above. “Germany,” wrote K. Marx, “initially found its unity in the Prussian barracks” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 17, p. 272). By the Treaty of Frankfurt of 1871 with France, Elsass and eastern Lotharingia (Lorraine) went to Prussia, which also received an indemnity of 5 billion francs.
From March to May 1871, Bismarck’s government intervened against the Paris Commune.
Transition from premonopolistic capitalism to imperialism (1871-1900). The German Empire included 22 German monarchies and free cities—Lübeck, Bremen, and Hamburg (and later Elsass-Lotharingia as a supplementary unit). Berlin, the capital of Prussia, became the capital of united Germany. The constitution adopted in April 1871 provided for a federated structure, but the most important questions—those affecting the economy, army and navy, and law—came within the sphere of the imperial authorities. The constitution consolidated the hegemony of Prussia, establishing that only the Prussian king could be emperor of Germany. An important role was assigned to the chancellor (the head of government), who was, as a rule, the minister-president of Prussia (Bismarck was chancellor from 1871 to 1890). The chancellor was appointed by the emperor and was not responsible to the parliament (the Reichstag). The constitution of 1871 provided for universal elections to the Reichstag, but women, soldiers, and young people under 25 were excluded from participation. Moreover, the Reichstag’s rights were substantially limited by the existence of a second chamber, the Bundesrat (Confederation Council), which was composed of representatives of the member states of the empire; the Bundesrat, in which Prussia played a decisive role, could veto any law adopted by the Reichstag. The imperial constitution, Engels pointed out, was a further step on the path to Bismarck’s personal rule, “which was exercised through a process of balancing between parties in the Reichstag and between the particular states in the Confederation Council—a further step on the path of Bonapartism” (ibid., vol. 21, p. 474).
Under German conditions the military clique was virtually the primary support of Bonapartism, but militarist aspirations and the common struggle against the workers’ movement forged a class alliance between the big bourgeoisie and the Junkers. This alliance made it possible for the Junkers to retain their prominent role in political life without hindering at the same time the rapid capitalist development of Germany. In the 1870’s a number of measures creating favorable conditions for industrial and commercial activity were implemented, including the introduction of unified currency and postal systems and the founding of the imperial bank. Germany’s industrial development accelerated sharply. The process was also promoted by the enormous indemnity that Germany received from France and by Germany’s acquisition of eastern Lotharingia, which was rich in iron ore. By the end of the 19th century there had been much development in the chemical and electrical engineering industries, new branches of industry founded on the basis of the most recent technology. Production was becoming concentrated, which as a result accelerated economic crises. The creation of industrial and banking monopolies began earlier and proceeded faster in Germany than in some of the countries that had embarked on the capitalist path before it. In banking the bulk of credit operations were concentrated at the end of the 19th century in six giant banks, which were closely linked to the industrial monopolies that had been taking shape. The formation of financial capital—particularly in the 1890’s— was based on the interlocking of banking and industrial capital. The major magnates of capital (Stumm, Kirdorf, Krupp, and others) emerged in the process of the formation of monopolies. Enormous economic power was concentrated in the hands of the great industrial and banking magnates.
The political policies of Bismarck’s government were aimed at strengthening the Junker-bourgeois militarist state and establishing German hegemony in Europe. Between 1872 and 1875 the imperial governments struck a powerful blow against the separatist tendencies, which found expression in the Catholic Center Party (which emerged in 1870-71). The struggle against the Center Party was waged under the guise of purifying culture from the dominance of Catholicism (the so-called Kulturkampf). In 1874, with the support of the National Liberals, the first law providing for army appropriations seven years into the future (the so-called Septennate) was implemented. This law promoted the further growth of militarism (between 1874 and 1893 the peacetime German Army grew by 40 percent, whereas the population grew by 25 percent). In 1879 the Junkers and industrial magnates, supported by Bismarck, got the Reichstag to adopt a protectionist tariff on iron, cotton, yarn, and grain. Subsequently, high duties were imposed on many other commodities as well, and the economic situation of the masses of the people deteriorated.
The working class of Germany made important strides in the 1870’s. In 1875 the Socialist Workers’ Party of Germany (from 1890, the Social Democratic Party of Germany) was established as a result of the merger of the Eisenachers and the General German Workers Association. The formation of the Social Democratic Party corresponded to the vital needs of the workers’ movement. However, the program adopted by the unifying congress in Gotha repeated certain erroneous Lassallean ideas. In his work Critique of the Gotha Program, Marx presented a profound analysis of this program. With the aid of Marx and Engels and the support of progressive workers, Bebel and Liebknecht were able to direct the party onto the path of consistent struggle against militarism and exploitation. In the Reichstag elections of 1877 the Social Democratic Party received nearly one-half million votes. The response to this was the Emergency Antisocialist Law, which was put through the Reichstag in 1878 and which made all activity by the Social Democratic Party extremely difficult. However, the party overcame vacillations to the right and “the left” and demonstrated its vitality; it increased its ties with the masses and was able to become the true vanguard of the German proletariat. The practical counsels of Marx and Engels played a great role in this process. As V. I. Lenin put it, the period in which the Emergency Antisocialist Law was in effect was the heroic period of German social democracy —its influence grew, and Marxism triumphed in it. Bismarck’s attempts to distract workers from the class struggle by means of social insurance laws (1883, 1884, 1889) were not successful. An upsurge in the workers’ movement began in Germany in the late 1880’s (the strike of the Ruhr coal miners in 1889 with the demand for an eight-hour day, which was accompanied by clashes between the workers and the police; the strikes of the miners of Saxony, Silesia, and the Saar). In this context the Emergency Law was rescinded. (In 1890 the Reichstag could not resolve to prolong it further.)
The German government carried out a policy of Germanization with respect to the western Polish lands that had become part of Germany. This policy gained force particularly after the creation of the Colonization Commission for western Prussia and Posen in 1886.
In the area of foreign policy Bismarck, seeking to isolate France, skillfully exploited the contradictions between the European states. The so-called League of the Three Emperors (Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Germany) was established in 1873, and in 1881 it was changed from a consultative pact to a treaty of mutual neutrality. The Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy), directed against France and Russia, was concluded between 1879 and 1882. So-called war scares, prompted by Germany’s threats to begin preventive war against France, developed twice between Germany and France (in 1874-75 and in 1887); but the plans of the ruling circles of Germany were hindered by Russia’s position (and in part, that of Great Britain as well). Bismarck feared war with Russia, regarding it as extremely dangerous to Germany, but the aspirations of the Junkers and bourgeoisie to establish Germany’s hegemony in Europe, as well as Germany’s intensifying economic contradictions with Russia, exacerbated Russo-German relations. In the second half of the 1880’s the League of the Three Emperors disintegrated. Russia’s rapprochement with France—which Bismarck strove to avert in every way possible—was nonetheless completed with the conclusion of a Franco-Russian Alliance (which took shape in 1891-93). As Germany embarked on the path of colonial seizures, Anglo-German contradictions also became aggravated. In 1884-85, Germany established a protectorate over a substantial area in southwestern Africa, over Togo, the Cameroons, the northeastern part of the island of New Guinea, and lands in east africa.
The failure of the efforts to suppress the workers’ movement and failures in the area of foreign policy were the determining factors in Bismarck’s retirement (1890). In this regard, a considerable role was also played by the differences of opinion between Bismarck and the new German emperor William II (ascended to the throne in 1888). Bismarck’s successor as chancellor, L. von Caprivi, began to depart from the policy of agrarian protectionism in the interests of the industrial magnates. Commercial agreements that facilitated a sale of German industrial goods through a mutual lowering of customs were signed with a number of states. This brought about the penetration of the German market by foreign grain and evoked great discontent among the Junkers. In 1894, C. Hohenlohe assumed the post of chancellor. As did Bismarck, he attempted to halt the continuing consolidation of the forces of the German proletariat through repression.
An indicator of the maturity of German social democracy was its adoption of the Erfurt program—a step forward in comparison to the Gotha program. This program contained propositions on the seizure of political power by the working class and the abolition of classes and class domination as the ultimate goal of the party. But the Erfurt program, too, did not even mention the dictatorship of the proletariat or the demand for a democratic republic as the immediate goal. Social democracy put 44 deputies in the Reichstag in 1893 and 56 deputies in 1898. The workers’ movement became a serious factor in the political life of the country. At the time, German social democracy was playing a leading role in the international workers’ movements. But by the late 19th century the opportunists, headed by E. Bernstein and with a revision of Marx, had already made their existence known. The support for opportunism came from the worker aristocracy, with whom the bourgeoisie shared a portion of its profits, and those who had come from petit bourgeois strata.
In the 1890’s leading figures in heavy industry, finance capital, and the Junker class put forth a program of broad expansion—the so-called world politics. The general staff began to play an even greater role in the country than it had before (in the 1870’s and 1880’s it was headed by H. von Moltke, the Elder, and between 1891 and 1905, it was headed by A. von Waldersee and A. von Schlieffen). Admiral A. von Tirpitz, the state secretary for foreign affairs B. von B#x00FC;low, and others demanded a “place in the sun” for Germany. The immediate task in effecting expansion was considered to be the creation of a strong navy capable of ending Great Britain’s domination of the seas. Owing to the support of the Center Party, the Reichstag approved the first bill on the construction of a navy in the spring of 1898. In late 1897 and early 1898 Germany seized Chiaochou from China, and in 1900-01 it took an active part in the suppression of the Ihot’uan (Boxer) Rebellion. In 1899, Germany acquired the Caroline Islands, Mariana Islands (except for Guam), and Palau from Spain. The attempts made by Great Britain to reach an agreement with Germany in the 1890’s were unsuccessful because of the growing imperialist contradictions between the two. These contradictions increased still further in conjunction with the granting of a concession for the construction of the Baghdad Railroad to a German bank in 1899. (The final agreement on the concession was signed in 1903.) In 1900 the Reichstag adopted Tirpitz’ new project, which was to considerably increase Germany’s navy. The onset of the era of imperialism was accompanied by the dissemination of theories that served the purpose of preparing the country’s public opinion for a war for the redivision of the world, as well as by the establishment of chauvinist organizations, including the Pan-German Union. The particular aggressiveness of German capital was a consequence of its appearance in the world arena at a time when the world had essentially been divided up. (By 1914, Germany had 2,900,000 sq km of colonial territories, France had 3.5 times as much, and Great Britain had 11.5 times as much.)
Junker-bourgeois imperialism at the beginning of the 20th century.FROM 1900 TO 1914. Germany entered the 20th century as an imperialist power with a highly developed economy. By the early 20th century Germany had moved into first place in Europe in terms of its level of industrial production, outstripping Great Britain, not long before known as the “workshop of the world.” Germany’s economic development proceeded at a rapid rate, despite the periodic crises that slowed the pace somewhat. Thus, between 1900 and 1913 iron production more than doubled, coal production nearly doubled, and steel smelting nearly tripled. The rapid upsurge in heavy industry was determined, to a considerable degree, by the growing needs of German militarism. The reorganization of Germany’s entire economic and political social structure proceeded under the banner of militarism. Late in its development, the German imperialist bourgeoisie employed extensively the practice of dumping in its struggle for markets; it attempted to make up for its “losses” by raising prices on the domestic market. The dominant form of monopolistic association in Germany was the cartel, the numbers of which grew rapidly (210 in 1890 and 550-600 in 1911). A characteristic feature of German imperialism was the envelopment of the entire economy of a country by the monopolies. The major banks acquired enormous importance. This was explained by the paramount role that they played in the process of formation of monopolies. For this reason the interlocking of industrial and banking capital also proceeded more intensively in Germany than in other countries. Along with this, state-monopoly tendencies appeared early in Germany, where the state’s direct influence on economic life had been considerable even in the preceding decades.
German imperialism was characterized by a class alliance between the Junkers and the big bourgeoisie. Lenin wrote about Germany in 1918: “Here we have ‘the last word’ in modern large-scale capitalist engineering and planned organization, subordinated to Junker-bourgeois imperialism” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 36, p. 300).
Exporting of capital increased in Germany in the early 20th century. In 1902, German investments abroad amounted to 12.5 billion francs; by 1914 the figure was 44 billion francs. The monopolies persistently pushed the government toward a war for the redivision of the world.
Imperialist Germany unceasingly built up its armaments. Between 1879 and 1914 military expenditures increased five times, exceeding 1.6 billion marks—more than half of the state budget. The size of the peacetime army increased with every passing year; by 1914 it had reached 800,000 men. The German Army was supplied with the most modern weapons of the times. Programs for battleship construction were repeatedly revised upward. By the start of World War I, Germany had at its disposal 41 battleships, including 15 super-destructive ships, the so-called dreadnoughts. The ruling circles conducted an intensified chauvinist ideological preparation of the population.
The German government (headed by B. von Biilow from 1900 to 1909) carried out its preparations for world war primarily at the expense of the proletariat (according to official statistical data cited by Lenin in 1912, workers’ wages had increased by a total of 29 percent over the preceding 30 years, whereas the cost of living had increased by 40 percent). The beginning of the 20th century was marked by a new upsurge in the workers’ movement. The Revolution of 1905-07 in Russia exerted a great influence on the German proletariat. In 1905-06 more than 800,000 people (according to very understated data) participated in strikes in Germany—that is, virtually the same number that had participated over the preceding 15 years. On Jan. 17, 1906, the first mass political strike in the history of the German workers’ movement took place in Hamburg. Left-wing Social Democratic leaders, including R. Luxemburg, K. Liebknecht, K. Zetkin, and F. Mehring came out with propaganda distilled from the Russian revolutionary experience. Right-wing Social Democrats (E. Bernstein, K. Legien, G. von Vollmar, P. Scheidemann, and F. Ebert) propagandized for “class peace.” After the defeat of the Russian Revolution of 1905-07, the reactionary direction gained force in German politics. In 1907 the Reichstag voted credits to suppress the uprising of the tribes in southwest Africa and supplementary funds for naval construction. Under these conditions, the Social Democratic Party bore an enormous responsibility as a force that could prevent the onslaught of the reaction and obstruct the plans for unleashing world war. If at the beginning of the 20th century German social democracy as a whole still stood for class struggle and “[ranked] first with respect to organization, integrality, and coherence” (ibid., vol. 11, p. 323), subsequently right-wing opportunists acquired ever greater influence in its leadership. The centrist grouping led by K. Kautsky also inflicted tremendous harm. Figures in the left wing of social democracy, with whom A. Bebel was in agreement on a number of issues, defended the principles of Marxism, waged an aggressive struggle against militarism, and exposed the opportunism of right-wing leaders. But even the left-wing Social Democrats did not fully understand the tasks that had grown out of new conditions in the class struggle; they could not bring themselves to make an organizational break with the opportunists.
The workers’ movement began to grow once more in the years preceding World War I (during 1910-13 an average of 300,000-400,000 workers struck each year). On Mar. 6, 1910, a mass workers’ demonstration held in Berlin under the slogan of universal suffrage in Prussia was dispersed by mounted police (“Germany’s Bloody Sunday”). In September-October 1910 barricade fighting between strikers and the police unfolded in Moabit, a proletarian section of Berlin. A strike of 250,000 Ruhr miners began in March 1912, and in the summer of 1913 there were large strikes in Hamburg, Kiel, Stettin, and Bremen. The indignation of the oppressed population of Elsass grew. A political crisis ripened in Germany. However, the large Social Democratic Party (about 1 million members in 1912) and the trade unions (over 2.5 million members in 1912-13) were not able to lead the working class into an assault on imperialism or expand the active struggle against the threat of war.
Preparing for war, the German government strove to undermine the Franco-Russian alliance and isolate France (in 1905, William II and Nicholas II concluded the Björkö Treaty) and also to abolish the Anglo-French agreement of 1904. But Germany did not succeed in tearing France away from either Russia or Great Britain. In 1907 these three countries established the Entente, which stood in opposition to the Triple Alliance. In 1905-06 and 1911, Germany attempted to establish itself in Morocco. Support for Austria-Hungary’s annexationist course during the Bosnian Crisis of 1908-09 and the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, as well as the growth of the military and political influence of German imperialism in the Ottoman Empire and Germany’s increasing colonial claims, constantly aggravated Russo-German contradictions and especially Anglo-German antagonism, which was fundamental in the system of imperialist contradictions that were bringing about world conflict.
Overestimating its own military might and believing that Great Britain would not support Russia, imperialist Germany unleashed World War I. It utilized the murder of the heir to the Austrian throne, Francis Ferdinand, by Serbian nationalists on June 28, 1914 (in the so-called Sarajevo murder), as a pretext for war.
FROM THE BEGINNING OF WORLD WAR I TO THE AUTUMN OF 1917. Germany declared war against Russia on Aug. 1, 1914, and against France on August 3; on Aug. 4, 1914, Great Britain declared war against Germany. World War I (1914-18) was imperialist in nature for both of the belligerent coalitions. German imperialism strove to establish its hegemony in Europe, to establish a large colonial empire in central Africa, and to establish the German big bourgeoisie’s domination of the world markets. The war brought grave misfortunes to the working people of Germany. A bread quota was introduced in February 1915 (225 g of flour per day per person, lowered to 170 g in 1917); in the course of 1916 cards were introduced for other produce as well. In December 1916 a law on labor conscription for men between the ages of 17 and 60 was adopted. A military regime and 12-hour workday were established in production, and strikes were prohibited. The capitalist monopolies, on the other hand, received enormous profits—the result, in particular, of governmental measures “regulating” the economy; state-monopoly capitalism developed. In comparison with the USA, as Lenin noted, Germany “was inferior in many other respects, in technical development and production and in the political sphere, but with respect to the organization of finance capitalism, with respect to the transformation of monopoly capitalism into state monopoly capitalism, Germany was superior to America” (ibid., vol. 38, p. 157).
With the start of the war, the leaders of the Social Democratic Party adhered to chauvinist social positions (voting for war credits and calling for the “defense of the fatherland” and for “class peace”). A group of left-wing Social Democrats—K. Liebknecht, R. Luxemburg, F. Mehring, K. Zetkin, L. Jogihes, W. Pieck, and others—remained faithful to proletarian internationalism. On Dec. 2, 1914, Liebknecht was the only deputy in the Reichstag to vote against war credits. In the spring of 1915 the leftists established the International group, which in 1916 adopted the name of Spartacus and was later turned into the Spartacist League.
The German government planned on finishing the war within eight weeks. But by the time Germany’s troops had been defeated in the battle on the Marne River in France (September 1914), it was clear that the plan for a short-lived war had failed. After Germany’s ally, Austria-Hungary, was defeated in Galicia (September 1914) and the third member of the Triple Alliance, Italy, had shifted over to the side of the Entente in May 1915, Germany was forced to intensify its military efforts. (In all, over 13 million men were drafted into the army in the course of the war.) The attempt of the German command to wipe out the main forces of the Franco-English army in the Verdun operation (which was begun in February 1916 and which lasted for ten months) ended in failure. In June 1916, Russian troops broke through the Austro-German front, thus complicating Germany’s position still further.
On the front and in the rear, the antiwar mood grew. The demonstration organized by Liebknecht on May 1, 1916, in Potsdam Square in Berlin under the slogans “Down with the war!” and “Down with the government!” played a great role in enlivening the antiwar movement. Liebknecht was sentenced to four years at hard labor for the demonstration. As a sign of protest, the workers of Berlin and a number of other German cities proclaimed a political strike (there was a total of more than 240 strikes, with 124,000 participants in 1916 [in 1915 there were 137 strikes with 12,000 participants]).
Military failures, the exhaustion of Germany’s economic resources, and the strengthening of the workers’ movement stimulated the government to undertake efforts to conclude a separate peace with Russia in the autumn of 1916. (Because of Germany’s excessive demands, these efforts were not crowned with success.) At this time, Germany staked itself primarily on unlimited submarine warfare against Great Britain, which it saw as the chief enemy (meanwhile, it moved to strategic defense on land). But this plan also failed.
In 1917 there were over 560 strikes involving about 651,000 strikers in Germany. The revolutionary movement unfolded in the navy. (It extended to 12 warships but was harshly suppressed.) The February Revolution of 1917 in Russia contributed to the upsurge in the workers’ movement in Germany. Soviets of workers’ deputies were established during a strike in Berlin in April 1917. A crisis for the “upper crust” began simultaneously; the grouping that supported “peace by agreement” gained strength. In July 1917, T. von Bethmann-Hollweg (chancellor from 1909), who was accused of “liberalism,” was forced to retire. His successor, G. Michaelis, played no political role; in actuality, power over the country was concentrated in the hands of the supreme command of the army headed by P. von Hindenburg and E. von Ludendorff. The social-chauvinists did everything possible to ward off revolution. As the working masses moved away from the right-wing Social Democrats, the centrists were prompted to make a formal break with the rightwingers in April 1917 and establish the so-called Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany.
General crisis of capitalism.NOVEMBER BOURGEOIS DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION OF 1918. Under the powerful influence of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia, the revolutionary movement in Germany became still broader in scope. Imperial Germany was in a state of profound economic and political crisis. The Soviet government’s proposal to all belligerents to conclude a peace treaty without annexations or indemnities contributed to the growth of the antiwar mood in Germany. The German proletariat responded to the predatory peace terms proposed by the government in its negotiations with Soviet Russia at Brest-Litovsk with the January General Strike of 1918, in which more than 1 million workers participated. The Spartacist League played an important role in the permeating of the masses with revolutionary ideas.
The major offensive on the Western Front undertaken by the German command in the spring of 1918 ended in failure. The situation of German imperialism was also complicated by the anti-Soviet military intervention, which it undertook and which was decisively repulsed by the Red Army. In September, Anglo-French troops moved to a general offensive. The German Army was smashed. In order to deceive the masses and bargain for accessible armistice conditions from the Entente, the ruling classes promised to carry out parliamentary reform and replace the government, summoning to power Prince Max of Baden, a reputed liberal (October 4). For the first time, right-wing Social Democrats participated in the government. German imperialism suffered a complete military defeat. On Oct. 5, 1918, Germany made a request for a truce. On Nov. 3, 1918, Germany’s ally, Austria-Hungary, which had fallen apart, surrendered.
By early October 1918 an immediate revolutionary situation had emerged in Germany. The ideological leader of the progressive German workers was the Spartacist League. At a conference convened on Oct. 7, 1918, the Spartacists adopted a program that provided for the immediate conclusion of the war and the revolutionary conquest of democratic rights, to be achieved by the overthrow of the rule of German imperialism and militarism—all of which was a precondition for the transition to socialist revolution. The objective conditions for such a transition existed in Germany. The uprising of German sailors in Kiel in November 1918 served as the beginning of the revolution. Soviets arose in Kiel and then in many other cities as well. On November 9 there was a victorious uprising in Berlin; the rotten monarchical system was swept away. The motive force of the November Revolution of 1918 was the workers and soldiers; however, a significant portion of the proletariat was still under the influence of the social-chauvinists and the right-wing “Independents,” who restrained the workers from struggling for power. All the commanding heights of the economy remained in the hands of the monopolies. On November 10 the Berlin Soviet effectively transferred power over the country to the government—the “Council of People’s Commissars,” which consisted of right-wing Social Democrats and “Independents.” That same day one of the two chairmen, F. Ebert (the other was the “Independent” H. Haase), established a tie with the supreme command of the army, with which he concluded a secret agreement concerned with smothering the revolution. On Nov. 11, 1918, Germany signed a truce with the Entente at Compiegne, thus eliminating one of the primary causes of the masses’ indignation—the protraction of the bloody war.
The Communist Party of Germany (KPD) was founded at a constituent congress in Berlin from Dec. 30, 1918, to Jan. 1, 1919. The program of the KPD indicated to the German people a way to struggle against the antinational policies of German imperialism. But the forces of counterrevolution were extremely active. The so-called Council of People’s Commissars managed to carry out elections to the Constituent Assembly—which was to put an end to the existence of the Soviets—at the earliest possible date. At the beginning of January 1919 the government provoked the workers of Berlin into a premature action, which ended in their defeat. On Jan. 15, 1919, the counterrevolutionaries dealt brutally with Liebknecht and Luxemburg. The betrayal of the Social Democratic leaders and the lack of a consistently Marxist party at the beginning of the revolution were the causes for the revolution’s not exceeding bourgeois democratic limits, although it was carried out, to a certain extent, by proletarian means and methods. Nonetheless, the revolution was one of the greatest events in the history of Germany. It did away with the semiabsolutist monarchy, and the toiling people achieved a number of democratic rights, including the eight-hour workday.
WEIMAR REPUBLIC (1919-33). In the Constituent Assembly, which opened in Weimar in February 1919, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) was first in terms of the number of assembled votes; however, the bourgeois-Junker parties—the successors of the political organizations of imperial Germany, which had simply adapted their titles and programs to the new conditions—received the majority of mandates. On July 31 the assembly adopted the constitution of the German Republic. Germany became a bourgeois parliamentary republic consisting of 15 Lander (republics) and three “free cities.” The federated structure was retained, but the organs of the central power were strengthened considerably. While proclaiming democratic liberties, the constitution nonetheless allowed not only for their limitation but even for their complete abolition—Article 48 provided for the deprivation of the people’s democratic rights in the event of a “threat to public security.” This same article could be employed to maintain reactionary governments that did not enjoy the confidence of the Reichstag. The application of Article 48 was one of the prerogatives of the president of the republic, to whom, in general, the constitution allotted enormous powers: he appointed the chancellor and the ministers and other high officials and was the commander in chief of the army. In addition to the Reichstag, which was elected by means of universal suffrage, there was a second chamber (the Reichsrat), which consisted of representatives of the governments of the various Lands (Prussia, Bavaria, etc.). Under certain conditions, the Reichsrat could prevent laws adopted by the Reichstag from coming into effect. F. Ebert was elected the first president of the republic, and P. Scheidemann, another Social Democratic leader, headed the government, which consisted of representatives of the bourgeois parties and the SPD. The bourgeoisie and the Junker class believed that nothing threatened their domination. But in the Ruhr region and central Germany as early as the second half of February 1919 and in Berlin in March general strikes broke out. The establishment of the Bavarian Soviet Republic was a bright moment in the class battles of 1919 in Germany. Although these actions were suppressed, the workers succeeded in defending the gains of the November Revolution.
The peace treaty by which the victor powers bound Germany was signed in Versailles on June 28, 1919. It provided for Germany to be deprived of all its colonies and for certain lands that Germany had previously seized (including Elsass-Lothringen) to be returned to neighboring states. At the same time, the Versailles Treaty placed the entire responsibility for the imperialist war on Germany and put it in an unequal economic and political position. Germany was obligated to make enormous reparation payments (the overall amount and term of payments were not established, however). It was prohibited from having offensive weapons, an air force, and a submarine fleet; its army (the Reichswehr) was not to exceed 100,000 men. For demagogic purposes, the domestic counterrevolution made extensive use of the discontents of the masses with the treaty. Among the most reactionary chauvinist groups were the German National People’s Party (formed in November 1918) and the National Socialist (fascist) Party (born in 1919). As early as the spring of 1920 reactionary militarist circles made an attempt to over-turn the government headed by the Social Democrats and establish an outright military dictatorship. The Kapp putsch of 1920—which became possible because the Social Democratic leaders shut their eyes to the activity of the reactionary organizations—was liquidated as the result of a general strike, which demonstrated the irresistible force of the united actions of the proletariat. In the Ruhr the struggle grew into an armed uprising against the government that had supported the militarists. These events contributed to a sharp decline in the influence of the SPD—one of the reasons for its temporary loss of power. In June 1920 a government without SPD participation was established for the first time after the November Revolution. An expression of the weakening of reformism and evidence of the growing popularity of communist ideas was provided when a significant portion of the membership of the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany joined the Communist Party of Germany in December 1920.
The Entente powers did not take effective measures to liquidate Germany’s military might, despite the limitations stipulated by the Versailles Treaty. The reasons for this were the anti-Soviet designs of the ruling circles of Great Britain, France, and the USA and also the contradictions among the imperialists. The issue of reparations held an important place in the political life of Germany in the 1920’s. On May 5, 1921, the Entente states presented Germany with an ultimatum demanding recognition of total reparations amounting to 132 billion marks and immediate payment of a first installment of 1 billion marks. This produced a governmental crisis in Germany. A cabinet headed by K. Wirth, a figure in the Catholic Center Party, came to power. Wirth’s government implemented a policy of fulfilling the obligations imposed on Germany by the Versailles Treaty while at the same time attempting to lead Germany out of the isolation in which it found itself. The Rapallo Treaty, which established diplomatic relations between Germany and Soviet Russia, was signed on Apr. 16, 1922. It corresponded to the fundamental national interests of the German people.
In the course of 1922 elements insisting on the sabotage of reparation payments continually grew in strength among the ruling circles of Germany. The French imperialists also had an interest in aggravating the situation in order to carry out their long-standing plan of seizing the Ruhr Basin. In November 1922 a new government headed by W. Cuno was formed in Germany. It adopted a course aimed at ending reparation payments. Taking advantage of this fact, France and Belgium occupied the Ruhr region in January 1923. The German government proclaimed a campaign of “passive resistance,” calling on the population of the Ruhr to refuse to comply with the orders of the occupiers and to refuse to work in mines and mills whose output was designated for France and Belgium. The state subsidized the owners of the idle enterprises. The Ruhr conflict greatly increased inflation in Germany; by the end of September 1923 one gold mark was worth 38.1 million paper marks. While enriching the capitalists to a fabulous extent, inflation impoverished manual and office workers and ruined the petit bourgeois strata of the cities. The sharpening of class contradictions produced a powerful new upsurge in the revolutionary movement in Germany. About 400,000 workers struck in the Ruhr region in May 1923; in the struggle against the working class the German bourgeoisie treacherously resorted to the aid of the French occupiers, who allowed German troops in the Ruhr. A general strike in August 1923 forced Cuno to retire. His successor was G. Stresemann, the leader of the German People’s Party (formed in December 1918)—the chief party of the big bourgeoisie. He brought the Social Democrats into the government once again. On September 26, striving to free its hands in order to suppress the revolutionary movement, the Stresemann government ended “passive resistance.”
By this time certain preconditions for the successful struggle to overthrow the rule of monopolistic capital and the militarists had taken shape in Germany. There were armed “proletarian bands” in a number of sections of the country. The struggle of the revolutionary forces proceeded under the slogan of the creation of a workers’ and peasants’ government. In early October governments including left-wing Social Democrats and Communists were formed in two Lander, Saxony and Thuringia. These governments did not justify the hopes that workers placed on them; they did nothing for the immediate improvement of the workers’ situation, nor did they carry out any consistently democratic measures. The right-wing opportunists in the leadership of the KPD (G. Brandler and others) artificially restrained the development of the mass movement for the workers’ social and democratic rights. At the same time, leftist elements exaggerated the degree of maturity of the revolutionary crisis. It was the fault of the Social Democratic leaders in Germany that one of the primary conditions of success was absent— the firm unity of the working class. At the end of October a portion of the Reichswehr entered Saxony and Thuringia. The workers of Hamburg, led by E. Thälmann, rose in an armed rebellion, but they found themselves isolated. The defeat of the revolutionary proletarians inspired the forces of extreme reaction. On Nov. 8-9, 1923, the ringleader of the German fascists, A. Hitler, and General E. von Ludendorff and a group of their followers made an attempt at a coup d’etat in Munich. Although the fascist putsch failed, it revealed a potential threat to the existence of the Weimar Republic.
The German bourgeoisie strengthened its position. The stabilization of the mark was carried out in late 1923. In 1924 a new plan for regulating reparation payments, which contained certain concessions to German imperialism, came into effect. At the same time the Dawes Plan made it easier for foreign capital to make its way into Germany’s economy. Foreign—primarily American—capital rushed into Germany, and this accelerated the restoration and augmentation of Germany’s military-industrial potential. The concentration of production increased steadily; giant monopolies, including the chemical trust I. G. Farbenindustrie and the so-called Steel Trust, concentrated a significant part of the national production of Germany. The monopolists’ influence on the policies of the government grew, and the regulating role of the state in economic life was strengthened. At the same time the Weimar Republic was evolving in the direction of reaction. In 1925, after the death of Ebert, the imperial field marshal and monarchist P. von Hindenburg was elected president. In 1926 it was decided to return to the former kaiser and other previous sovereign princes their properties confiscated after the November Revolution. A mass movement rose up against this decision. It was led by the KPD, whose chairman was E. Thälmann as of 1925. In a referendum 14.5 million people favored the expropriation of the property of the princes.
In the sphere of foreign policy the German imperialists strove for a rapprochement with Great Britain and France. This was expressed in the Locarno agreements of 1925, which stipulated that Germany would renounce attempts at revanche at the expense of France; however, Germany did not even provide a formal affirmation that it would maintain the stability of its eastern borders. The Locarno agreements had an anti-Soviet orientation. Nonetheless, Germany did not seriously worsen its relations with the USSR, because these were very important to it from economic and other perspectives. In 1926 the USSR and Germany signed the Berlin Treaty concerning neutrality. That same year Germany entered the League of Nations.
In the elections to the Reichstag of 1928 the number of votes cast for the SPD increased substantially. Its leader, H. Müller, headed a coalition government (1928-30) that demanded a review of the reparations question. The new plan confirmed in 1930 facilitated the further growth of Germany’s military and economic potential.
The refusal of the Entente powers to adopt effective measures against German militarism made it easier for Germany to reestablish and develop its military might. New models of weapons that could be put into lot production at any moment were developed continuously. The ruling circles regarded the Reichswehr as only a skeleton of a future mass army, for which illegal military formations and reactionary paramilitary organizations, including the monarchist Steel Helmet and the bands of storm troopers of the fascist party, were a reserve. In actuality, the general staff, which had been liquidated, was in existence under another name. Despite budgetary difficulties, the Müller government began construction of the type A battleship, which was the first in a whole series of warships of this type. Thus, the foundations for the rapid growth of Germany’s military power after 1933 were laid.
Germany had only recovered from the consequences of military defeat and postwar ruin when the world economic crisis of 1929-33 began. In 1932 the general decline in production exceeded 40 percent (in comparison to 1929); unemployment extended to nearly 45 percent of the proletariat, and many workers did not work a full week. The situation of small merchants, craftsmen, the intelligentsia, and small and middle peasant farms deteriorated. The workers’ indignation with the existing system grew. Under these conditions the activity of the fascist National Socialist Party resumed with marked vigor. Utilizing large subsidies from the monopolists (Thiessen, Kirdorf, etc.), the fascists began a vocal demagogic campaign from the end of 1929. Distracting workers from the true causes of their misfortunes, the Hitlerites inflamed chauvinist attitudes and hatred for the so-called internal enemies, particularly the Communists; they conducted un-bridled racist and anti-Semitic propaganda campaigns and carried out bloody terror against democratic organizations and individuals.
In the spring of 1930 the leader of the Center Party, H. Brüning, was made head of the government (without the participation of the Social Democrats). He strove to limit the democratic rights of working people in every possible way with a view to shifting all the burdens of the economic crisis on to their shoulders and to doing away with bourgeois parliamentarism in Germany, replacing it with “presidential” government based on Article 48 of the constitution. Using this article, Briining’s government published numerous emergency decrees; expenditures for social needs were repeatedly curtailed, wages were lowered, taxes were increased, and so forth. The government also carried out a number of measures of a state-monopoly nature, which sup-ported the monopolies at the expense of the toiling people and which substantially expanded the state sector in industry and banking.
The elections to the Reichstag in September 1930 graphically demonstrated the extreme growth of the fascist threat. The Nazis collected more than 6.4 million votes—eight times the number they had gotten in the elections of 1928—and moved into second place (after the SPD) in the Reichstag. The KPD achieved outstanding success, winning more than 4.59 million votes. But the mobilization of the revolutionary proletariat proceeded at a considerably slower pace than the consolidation of the forces of reaction. The primary reason for this lay in the opportunistic policies of the Social Democratic leaders, who split the working class and fettered its activity. In the name of the doctrine of the “lesser evil” the leaders of the SPD supported Briining’s government, which pandered to the Hitlerites and other reactionaries. Under the most difficult conditions only the KPD consistently opposed the growing threat of fascism, showing the masses that it was possible to prevent the establishment of a fascist dictatorship only by struggling against all varieties of reaction and tirelessly striving for the creation of a unified front of the proletariat. In the form of its Program for the National and Social Liberation of the German People (August 1930), the KPD opposed the ideas of peace and true democracy to the chauvinism and revanchism of the Hitlerites.
In the presidential elections of March-April 1932 the Hitlerites collected over 13 million votes. But Hindenburg, who was supported by a substantial portion of the ruling camp (and also Social Democratic leaders, who called on their followers to vote for him), became president again. In June 1932, Hindenburg replaced the previous cabinet with the more reactionary government of F. von Papen, who had entered into a direct agreement with the Nazi ringleaders. A wave of fascist excesses unprecedented in scope and bitterness rolled over the country. On July 20, 1932, Papen’s government carried out a coup d’etat in Prussia, driving out the incumbent coalition government that included Social Democrats. The Central Committee of the KPD immediately summoned the masses to a general strike and turned to the leadership of the SPD with a proposal for joint struggle against the reaction. However, the Social Democratic leaders once again refused to cooperate with the Communists; this brought about a substantial strengthening of the position of the reaction and the demoralization of a portion of the proletariat.
In the last months of 1932 a certain shift in the course of the class struggle in Germany was perceptible. The mass campaign led by the KPD called Antifascist Action—a rallying of all democratic forces in order to repulse the onslaught of the reaction—unfolded on a broad scale. Between August and November 1932 about 1,100 strikes, most of them successful, were carried out under the leadership of the KPD. In the elections to the Reichstag of November 1932 the National Socialist Party lost more than 2 million votes compared to the elections of July 1932, when it had received 13.7 million votes. At the same time the KPD scored a great victory, winning about 6 million votes. The decline in the influence of the Hitlerites and fear of the forces of revolution stimulated the German monopolists to accelerate the transfer of power to the Nazis. On Jan. 30, 1933, Hindenburg appointed Hitler chancellor. The fascist dictatorship was established in Germany—a dictatorship of the most reactionary, chauvinist elements of monopoly capital, which aimed at doing away with the organized workers’ movement and at developing without hindrance preparations for a war for German world domination.
FASCIST DICTATORSHIP (TO THE BEGINNING OF WORLD WAR II). When they came to power, the Nazis began reprisals against all democratic forces—first of all, the Communists—in the name of a “struggle against communism.” On Feb. 27, 1933, they carried out a monstrous act of provocation—the burning of the Reichstag; the culprits in this action were declared to be Communists. Massive arrests of anitfascists were carried out all over Germany. The KPD was forced to go deep underground. An important landmark on the path toward a totalitarian regime was the Reichstag’s concession of emergency powers to the fascist government on March 23, which resulted in the illegal nullification of the mandates of the KPD and the capitulation of leading figures of the “old” bourgeois parties to the Nazis. Trade unions were disbanded in May 1933, and during June-July all but the Nazi Party were either dissolved or else chose themselves to dissolve. The Nazi Party was declared the “bearer of German statehood” and became the primary force implementing the policies of the German monopolies.
The fascist dictatorship immeasurably augmented the power of the major capitalist monopolies. Germany moved into first place in the capitalist world in terms of the level of development of state-monopoly capitalism. The Law on the Organic Structure of the German Economy (1934) and subsequent decrees that defined it provided for the establishment of six imperial economic groups, as well as a large number of subgroups and economic bodies, to be headed by the major monopolists and bankers. The economic groups and bodies were closely related to the cartels through their personnel. The entire national economy was restructured in order to adapt it to the needs of the aggressive war, which German imperialism was preparing. This reorganization began to accelerate considerably in 1936 (after H. Goring was appointed commissioner for the implementation of the so-called four-year plan). The institutions established in this period gradually turned into the basic organs for the state-monopoly regulation of the economy. The situation of workers and industrial enterprises was determined by the Law on the System of National Labor (1934), which nullified the gains achieved by the German proletariat in the course of many years of struggle. In 1935 a decree concerning the forced-labor obligation of young people was promulgated; in 1938 it was extended to the entire adult population.
The economy of fascist Germany (population, 69.3 million according to a 1939 census; area within the 1937 boundaries, 470,000 sq km), which possessed great industrial potential, took on a one-sided military character. By 1937, 300 large military-aircraft, automobile and tank, military-chemical, military-shipbuilding, and other military-industrial installations had been built. Military enterprises enjoyed financial advantages and privileges in securing manpower, raw materials, electrical energy, and so forth. In preparing for an aggressive war, fascist Germany attempted to over-come the limitations of the raw-material base of its industry by expanding imports of strategic raw goods—petroleum and petroleum products, nonferrous metals, and so forth—and simultaneously forcing the assimilation of domestic low-grade raw materials, such as the iron ore of Salzgitter, the use of which was the basis for the construction of a large ferrous metallurgical combine by the state combine Reichswerke Hermann Goring (founded in 1937). In mining, the coal industry developed greatly; Germany was second in capitalist Europe in production of coal (in 1937, the total was 184.5 million tons) and first in brown-coal production (184.7 million tons). Much of the coal mining industry (about 70 percent of production) was concentrated in the Ruhr Basin, and two thirds of the brown coal was mined in central Germany. Almost two-thirds of ferrous metallurgy (1939) was based on imported ores (from Sweden, France, and other countries); much of the steel produced was smelted from scrap metal. Germany was first in Europe in steel production (19.4 million tons in 1937). Germany sped up the smelting of light metals. It moved into first place in the world in aluminum production (based on imported bauxite; 127,600 tons in 1937—27 percent of the world capitalist production). Aluminum was replaced in domestic use by magnesium, the production of which was adapted for the domestic raw-materials base. Metalworking, machine building, and the chemical industry attained a high level of development; to a considerable degree, the output of these branches was subordinated to military interests. Electrical engineering and optical mechanics were large-scale industries. The development of the main branches of the chemical industry—primarily those based on the use of hard coal and brown coal (the coke-oven, dye, and synthetic nitrogen industries)—was greatly sped up. Particular attention was paid to the development of the production of synthetic materials to replace the raw materials and fuel that were lacking. The main military-industrial base for German militarism was the Ruhr region. However, there was considerable new military-industrial production in the areas of central Germany far from the country’s state borders (the zone of the Central German Canal and the former Prussian province of Saxony). Germany’s transportation system was very dense and branched; there were about 60,000 km of railroads. The road system was supplemented by autobahns, and natural waterways were connected to each other by a system of navigable canals with a high degree of technical perfection.
The giant military-industrial concerns played the decisive role in Germany’s economy and politics. I. G. Farbenindustrie controlled a substantial part of the production of the main chemicals, including 100 percent of the production of strategically important synthetic rubber and 72 percent of the production of nitrogen compounds, on which the production of ammunition was based. The coal and metallurgical concerns of the Ruhr—Vereinigte Stahlwerke (the Steel Trust), which was headed by Thiessen, and the Krupp, Mannesmann, Hoesch, Klokner, Haniel, and Flick concerns—accounted for 80 percent of the production of cast iron and 95 percent of the production of steel. The potassium concerns Wintershall and Salzdetfurth owned practically the entire potassium industry. The electrical engineering industry was dominated by the Siemens, AEG, and Bosch concerns. Banking and credit were in the hands of the “big three” of large banks—the Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank, and Commerz Bank. Legally, all independent small and intermediate enterprises were placed under the control of the monopolies and large enterprises (the so-called forced cartelizing and “organic construction” of the economy). The growth of Germany’s economic and military potential was promoted by the extensive financial support that Germany received from the Western powers, first of all, the USA and Great Britain, as well as by the importing of private, foreign, especially American, capital. American capital took key positions in the automobile industry (General Motors and Ford), the electrical engineering industry (General Electric), the chemical industry (Du Pont de Nemours), petroleum refining (Standard Oil of New Jersey), and other branches of industry. (More than 80 large enterprises in Germany belonged to American capital.)
In order to assure self-sufficiency in foodstuffs and agricultural raw materials in the event of war and in order to strengthen the social base of fascism in the countryside, the majority of prosperous peasant farms (85 percent), some intermediate farms (35 percent), and many Junker farms were declared exempt from the partition of “hereditary farmsteads” (the law of 1933).
Organizations charged with the implementation of terror played an important role in the machinery of the fascist dictatorship, including security detachments of Hitler’s party— the SS—and the state secret police—the Gestapo, which entangled the German people in a web of espionage, shadowing, and provocations. Concentration camps covered the country.
The KPD exerted enormous efforts to liquidate the split in the proletariat and create an antifascist Popular Front. However, during these years, Social Democratic leaders thwarted the achievement of unity of action. The KPD developed a militant program for the overthrow of fascism (it was put forth in the resolutions of the Brussels Conference of 1935 and the Bern Conference of 1939); this program presented a concrete notion of the thoroughly democratic system, which was to be established after the liquidation of the fascist regime.
The development of the antifascist movement was greatly retarded by the influence of fascist demagoguery. The Hitlerites intensively inflamed chauvinism, racism, and antiSemitism; they disseminated myths about the superiority of Germans over other peoples and Germany’s lack of “living space” and alleged that a war would “bring work and bread to all.” The Nazis succeeded in deluding and winning over a significant portion of the population, primarily the youth. Ideological indoctrination was regarded as one of the most important aspects of the preparation for war.
The creation of powerful armed forces proceeded rapidly. Instead of the ten divisions the Reichswehr had in 1932, by 1936 the German Army had 40 divisions and in 1938, 51 divisions. The air force developed rapidly; in 1937, Germany had at its disposal more than 5,600 planes, including over 2,650 combat planes. Fascist Germany left the League of Nations in October 1933. Universal military obligation was reinstituted in March 1935; thus, Germany embarked on the one-sided revision of the military articles of the Versailles Peace Treaty. The ruling classes of Great Britain and France, and the USA as well, not only failed to prevent this development; they even offered fascist Germany political and economic aid in hopes of using it as a shock force in the struggle against the USSR and against the workers’ and democratic movement in Europe. In 1933, Great Britain and France concluded the “Four-Power Pact” with Germany and Italy, and in 1935, Great Britain and Germany signed a naval agreement that was extremely advantageous to the latter. On the basis of experience, fascist Germany was confident of the connivance of the Western powers, and it moved to initiate aggression. Between 1936 and 1939, Germany and Italy jointly carried out armed intervention in Spain. An aggressive bloc of Germany with Italy and Japan was put together in 1936-37 on the basis of common imperialist interests. As early as October 1936 a treaty of cooperation formalizing the Berlin-Rome axis was signed by Germany and Italy. In March 1938 fascist Germany seized Austria. At the Munich Conference of 1938 the ruling circles of Great Britain and France entered into a criminal deal with fascist Germany, sanctioning its annexation of a portion of Czechoslovakia in order to direct German aggression against the USSR in the future. An Anglo-German nonaggression declaration was signed on Sept. 30, 1938, and a Franco-German declaration, in December 1938.
However, the persistent efforts to “appease” fascist Germany did not eliminate the profound conflicts between it and the other imperialist states. Germany waged a stubborn offensive against the economic position of its rivals. The contradictions between the imperialists became particularly sharp in the context of the new world economic crisis that began in 1937. Germany’s economic position, like that of other countries, deteriorated under the influence of this crisis. Accelerating the realization of its program of aggression, German imperialism attempted to overcome emerging difficulties. Within the ruling classes of Germany there were contradictions with respect to the question of whether the country was sufficiently prepared to wage a “big” war; there were also contradictions concerning the direction of further aggression. Certain groupings of the forces of monopoly capital objected to actions that would infringe upon the interests of the Western powers. These differences were expressed in the dismissal of a number of high civilian and military figures in fascist Germany in late 1937 and 1938 (K. Neurath, H. Shacht, L. Beck, and others).
Germany annexed the whole of Czechoslovakia in March 1939. In the summer of 1939 it entered into secret negotiations with Great Britain. These negotiations were not successful, because the imperialist contradictions between the two countries were irreconcilable.
In August 1939, Germany turned to the USSR with a proposal for a nonaggression treaty. Seeking to avert the creation of a single anti-Soviet front of the imperialist states, the Soviet Union was forced to accept the German proposal for the conclusion of a nonaggression treaty, since all of its efforts to secure the organization of a system of collective security against aggression had been thwarted by Great Britain and France.
WORLD WAR II: THE DESTRUCTION OF GERMAN FASCISM. In Germany’s aggressive plans first place was accorded to the seizure of the territory of the USSR, but these plans also envisioned the conquest of many other countries and ultimately the establishment of fascist Germany’s rule all over the world. Germany unleashed World War II (1939-45) by its aggression against Poland, begun on Sept. 1, 1939. Great Britain and France declared war on Germany on September 3; however, they were totally unable to aid in any way their ally Poland, whose resistance was broken by Germany’s troops. Even after this, Great Britain and France did not conduct active military operations, and so Germany was able to prepare without hindrance a powerful blow in the west. During April-May 1940, fascist German troops occupied Denmark and Norway, and in May they invaded Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, and France. On June 22, 1940, Germany bound France to a truce by which most of the country was put under occupation. All the resources of the seized countries were placed in the service of German monopoly capital, thus greatly strengthening Germany’s military-economic potential. Immediately after it had routed France, Germany embarked on preparations for the attack on the USSR. Germany, Italy, and Japan signed a military alliance in Berlin in September 1940. In April 1941, Germany occupied Yugoslavia, which had refused to adhere to the Berlin Pact, and much of Greece. A large part of Europe was enslaved by the fascist German aggressors. On June 22, 1941, Germany attacked the USSR, perfidiously violating the Soviet-German nonaggression pact. Despite the temporary successes of German forces, the course of military operations on the Soviet-German front did not measure up to the hopes of the fascist German strategists. Soviet troops halted the German Army in heavy defensive fighting. The rout of the fascist German hordes near Moscow, which marked a decisive turn of military events in favor of the Soviet Union, thwarted for good Hitler’s plan for a blitzkrieg against the USSR. From the end of 1941, Germany was also in a state of war with the USA.
During the war the monopolies’ domination of all spheres of Germany’s economy and politics became still more comprehensive. The war brought the monopolies fabulous gain. A new source of profits was the free labor of millions of people driven into Germany from the various European countries and that of prisoners of war. Fascist Germany established a so-called new order—a regime of the harshest terror and national oppression—in the territories it had captured. Millions of citizens of the USSR, Poland, Yugoslavia, and other states were annihilated in the concentration camps of Majdanek (Lublin), Oswiecim (Auschwitz), and others.
Taking advantage of the absence of a second front in the west, in the summer of 1942 the German Army undertook a major new offensive on the Soviet-German front. The many months of fierce fighting in the vicinity of Stalingrad were concluded with the encirclement, and later liquidation, of an enormous grouping of fascist German troops (Nov. 19, 1942-Feb. 2, 1943). The crushing defeat of the fascist German troops near Stalingrad marked a major turning point both in the course of the Great Patriotic War and in World War II as a whole. The disintegration of the bloc of aggressors began in 1943, when Italy fell away. The resistance movement, which was spreading in all the occupied countries, received a powerful impetus. The defeat of the fascist German troops on the Volga gave great inspiration to the antifascists in Germany itself and shook the faith of the population in the invincibility of German arms. The antifascist organizations directed by the Central Committee of the KPD and headed by A. Seffrow (Berlin), T. Neubauer (Thuringia), H. Schuhmann (Saxony), and others were activated; an all-German underground center of the KPD was established. The establishment of the National Committee, Free Germany (1943), by German political emigres and prisoners of war in the USSR was of great importance for the antifascist movement in Germany. The committee called upon all Germans, independent of their social position and party affiliation, to join together for the struggle against the fascist regime.
Germany suffered ever-increasing losses in men and matériel. Starting in early 1943 several “total mobilizations” were proclaimed in Germany, but these did not yield the expected results. Economic difficulties increased, particularly shortages of coal and oil. The victory of the Red Army in the battle of Kursk in 1943 marked the culmination of the major turning point in the course of the war. It became increasingly apparent that the USSR would be able to smash fascist Germany with its own forces. Only then did the Western powers step up their activity; they had previously confined themselves to air raids on German cities and operations on a minor scale in Africa and Italy. On June 6, 1944, a second front was opened as a result of the Allies’ landing in northern France. By this time fascist Germany was in a state of profound political crisis, provoked by defeats on the Soviet-German front. The conspiracy of the bourgeoisie and generals in Germany was a manifestation of this crisis; convinced that the fascist clique was incapable of carrying out the tasks imposed on it, the participants in the conspiracy attempted to save German imperialism by sacrificing Hitler. The failure of the attempt on Hitler’s life of July 20, 1944, prompted a new orgy of fascist terror. Making short work of the conspirators, the Hitlerites also smashed underground workers’ organizations. On Aug. 18, 1944, E. Thälmann was brutally killed in the Buchenwald concentration camp. The terror bled the German antifascists dry.
The defeat of fascist Germany was inevitable, but the Hitlerites were prepared to doom the entire German people to destruction for the sake of their own interests. Retreating deep into German territory, the fascist German troops carried out scorched earth tactics. In October 1945 the so-called Volksturm (home guard) was established; youth from 16 years of age and the very old were conscripted for service in the war. Hitler and those surrounding him dragged out the war, counting on a split in the anti-Hitler coalition. But these calculations proved unfounded. The Soviet Army’s concluding operation to take Berlin unfolded on Apr. 16, 1945. On April 30, Hitler committed suicide, and on May 2, Berlin was taken by Soviet troops. The fascist regime in Germany fell under the blows of the Soviet Army, which bore the primary weight of the war on its shoulders. On May 8, 1945, the document containing fascist Germany’s unconditional surrender was signed in Berlin. The Soviet people provided the German people the necessary aid to liberate them from fascism.
The downfall of Hitler’s so-called Third Reich was also accompanied by economic collapse. Germany’s military expenditures during the war years amounted to about 800 billion marks. (During World War I, Germany had spent 80 billion marks.) The material losses borne by Germany through direct destruction of enterprises, means of transportation, housing, and so forth in the war it had unleashed amounted to approximately $50 billion. Germany’s losses in dead, wounded, and prisoners, totaled 13.6 million people (1 million of them on the Soviet-German front).
FROM 1945 TO 1949. After fascist Germany’s unconditional surrender, a declaration by which the governments of the four allied powers—the USSR, the USA, Great Britain, and France—assumed supreme power in Germany was signed (June 5, 1945). Sovereignty passed to the Control Council, which was made up of the commanders of the occupying forces of the four powers. Germany was divided into four occupation zones, and Berlin was divided into four sectors. (The city was administered by a four-party allied Kommandatura.) At the Potsdam Conference of 1945 the USSR, the USA, and Great Britain pledged to carry out the demilitarization, denazification, and democratization of Germany. It was decided to transfer the city of Konigsberg and the region adjacent to it to the Soviet Union and to establish the Polish-German border along the Oder-Neisse line.
The Soviet Military Administration in Germany consistently carried out the Potsdam decisions in its zone. It gave comprehensive support to antifascist parties and trade unions, which were allowed to operate as of June 1945. In its appeal of June 11, 1945, the Communist Party of Germany formulated a program for the establishment of an antifascist democratic system in Germany. The newly formed leadership of the Social Democratic Party welcomed this program, and the two parties concluded an agreement on unity of action. The interest of the petite and middle bourgeoisie in limiting the power of the monopolies and liquidating Junker landownership made it possible to involve bourgeois parties in the process of democratic reconstruction—the Christian Democratic Union (founded in June 1945) and the Liberal Democratic Party (founded in July 1945). A bloc of antifascist democratic parties was created in July 1945; the newly established Democratic Peasants’ Party (founded in 1948) and the National Democratic Party (founded in 1948) joined this bloc in June 1948. Overcoming the resistance of the big bourgeoisie and the Junkers, the democratic forces of the eastern part of Germany, led by the Communist Party, established antifascist democratic organs of self-government; they implemented agrarian reforms that liquidated the landlord class (3.3 million hectares [ha] of lands and forests were taken away from the landlords; of this total, 2.2 million ha were divided among agricultural workers, small peasants, tenants, and immigrants) and established the basis for a firm alliance between the working class and the peasantry; they carried out school reform; they confiscated in the summer of 1946 enterprises belonging to war criminals and active Nazis, which was tantamount to the liquidation of monopoly capital; and they began to create a national sector in industry. In the eastern part of Germany, German imperialism and fascism were rooted out, and the basis for democratic power that was by its class content a revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the workers and peasants emerged; the problems of the antifascist democratic revolution were successfully resolved. The unity of action of the Communists and Social Democrats in carrying out revolutionary transformations in the eastern part of Germany created the conditions for these workers’ parties to amalgamate into a single party on the basis of Marxism-Leninism. The founding congress of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SEPD) was held on Apr. 21-22, 1946. The founding of the SEPD was one of the major events in the history of the German workers’ movement. The unity of the working class consolidated its hegemony in the struggle for antifascist democratic transformations.
In the western occupation zones the bourgeoisie, with the support of the Western powers, succeeded in preventing the unification of the Communists and Social Democrats. The USA, Great Britain, and France promoted the rebirth of aggressive German imperialism in the western zones in order to utilize it against the Soviet Union. In fact, the cartels and trusts were not liquidated. Landlord holdings were preserved. Many positions in the organs of self-government were occupied by former Nazi officials. The Western powers hindered the activity in every possible way of the democratic forces, particularly the Communists.
Striving to preserve the monopolies’ domination, even if only in a part of the country, the Western powers and the reactionary forces of the western part of Germany adopted a policy of splitting Germany. The first step on this path was the signature by Great Britain and the USA of an agreement (Dec. 2, 1946) on unifying their occupation zones (“Bizonia,” or “Bizone”).
The SEPD and the KPD led the struggle for the peaceful democratic development of the country. The first German People’s Congress, convened in Berlin in December 1947 on the initiative of the SEPD, initiated an organized movement for democratic unity and for the conclusion of a peace agreement. However, the Western powers continued the policy of splitting Germany. At the London Conference of 1948 the USA, Great Britain, and France adopted a resolution on the formation of a separate West German state out of the three western zones. In June 1948 the Western powers carried out a separate monetary reform in their zones—that is, they split Germany economically, in violation of the Potsdam agreements. They also detached the western part of Berlin from the city’s natural surroundings (before long, the four-party status of Berlin was completely liquidated and the city split into two parts, east and west). They paralyzed the operations of the Control Council in Germany. The so-called Marshall Plan was extended to the western portion of Germany.
In order to protect the economy of the eastern part of Germany from disorganization—the threat of which had arisen as a result of the separate currency reform in the western part of Germany—the Soviet Military Administration in Germany, relying on the support of democratic forces, carried out a currency reform in the eastern part of Germany. From the second half of 1948 economic construction developed there on the basis of national-economic plans.
Having carried out the economic split of Germany, the Western powers implemented measures to complete the political split of the country. On order of the occupation authorities, the “Basic Law” (constitution) for a separate West German state was worked out. (It came into force on May 24, 1949.) Elections to the West German parliament, the Bunde-stag, were held in August 1949. On Sept. 20, 1949, the government of the Federal Republic of Germany was formed. Representatives of the clerical Christian Democratic Union, headed by K. Adenauer, who held the post of federal chancellor, played the main role in this government. An occupation statute ensuring the control of the activity of the West German government by the supreme commissioners of the USA, Great Britain, and France was introduced in West Germany.
The split of the country demanded unity and decisive action by the democratic forces of Germany. Toward this end, the German People’s Congress movement formed the National Front of Democratic Germany. On Oct. 7, 1949, the People’s Council elected by the German People’s Congress proclaimed the establishment of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). That same day, the People’s Council transformed itself into the Provisional People’s Chamber, which put a democratic constitution into effect. W. Pieck was elected president of the GDR, O. Grotewohl became prime minister, and W. Ulbricht became deputy prime minister. The Soviet government transferred the governmental functions that had previously belonged to the Soviet Military Administration to the government of the GDR.
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Neusykhin, A. I. Vozniknovenie zavisimogo krest’ianstva kak klassa rannefeodal’nogo obshchestva v Zapadnoi Evrope VI-VII vv. Moscow, 1956.
Neusykhin, A. I. Sud’byi svobodnogo krest’ianstva v Germanii v VIII-XIIIvv. Moscow, 1964.
Kolesnitskii, N. F. “Issledovaniia po istorii feodal’nogo gosudarstva v Germanii (IX-l-ia pol. XII vv).” Uch. zap. Moskovskogo oblastnogo ped. in-ta: Kafedra vseobshchei istorii. Moscow, 1959, vol. 81, no. 2.
Stoklitskaia-Tereshkovich, V. V. Ocherki po sotsial’noi istorii nemetskogo goroda v XIV-XV vv. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936.
Smirin, M. M. Ocherki istorii politicheskoi bor’by v Germanii pered Reformatsiei. Moscow, 1952.
Smirin, M. M. Narodnaia reformatsiia Tomasa Miuntsera i Velikaia Krest’ianskaia voina, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1955.
Smirin, M. M. Germaniia epokhi Reformatsii i Velikoi Krest’ianskoi voiny. Moscow, 1962.
Smirin, M. M. K istorii rannego kapitalizma v germanskikh zemliakh (XV-XVI vv). Moscow, 1969.
Epshtein, A. D. Istoriia Germanii ot pozdnego srednevekov’ia do revoliutsii 1848 g. Moscow, 1961.
Mehring, F. Istoriia Germanii s kontsa srednikh vekov. Moscow, 1923. (Translated from German.)
Otto, K.-H. Deutschland in der Epoche der Urgesellsehaft. Berlin, 1960.
Stern, L., and H.-J. Bartmuss. Deutschland in der Feudalepoche von der Wende des 5.16. Jh. bis zur Mitte des 11. Jh. Berlin, 1964.
Stern, L., and H. Gericke. Deutschland in der Feudalepoche von der Mitte des 11. Jh. bis zur Mitte des 13. Jh. Berlin, 1965.
Stern, L., and E. Voigt. Deutschland in der Feudalepoche von der Mitte des 13. Jh. bis zum ausgehenden 15. Jh. Berlin, 1964.
Steinmetz, M. Deutschland von 1476 bis 1648. Berlin, 1965.
Modern and recent history
Liebknecht, K. Izbr. rechi, pis’ma i stat’i. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from German.)
Liebknecht, K. Gesammelte Reden und Schriften, vols. 1-9. Berlin, 1958-68.
Luxemburg, R. Ausgewählte Reden und Schriften, 2nd ed., vols. 1-2. Berlin, 1955.
Zetkin, K. Ausgewählte Reden und Schriften, vols. 1-3. Berlin, 1957-60.
Mehring, F. Gesammelte Schriften, vols. 1-15. Berlin, 1960-67.
Thälmann, E. Izbr. stat’i i rechi, vols. 1-2. Moscow, 1957-58. (Translated from German.)
Pieck, W. Izbr. proizv. Moscow, 1956. (Translated from German.)
Ulbricht, W. Izbr. stat’i i rechi. Moscow, 1961. [Translated from German.]
Ulbricht, W. Zur Geschichte der deutschen Arbeiterbewegung, vols. 1-11. Berlin, 1953-68.
Grotewohl, O.Izbr. stat’i i rechi (1945-1959). Moscow, 1961. (Translated from German.)
Rotshtein, F. A. Iz istorii prussko-germanskoi imperii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Iz istorii Germanii novogo i noveishego vremeni: Sb. st. Moscow, 1958.
Varga, E. S. Istoricheskie korni osobennostei germanskogo imperializma. Moscow, 1946.
Erusalimskii, A. S. Germanskii imperializm: istoriia i sovremennost’. Moscow, 1964.
Kuchinskii, Iu. Ocherki istorii germanskogo imperializma, vol. 1. Moscow, 1952. (Translated from German.)
Norden, A. Uroki germanskoi istorii. Moscow, 1948. (Translated from German.)
Ocherk istorii germanskogo rabochego divizheniia. Berlin, 1964.
Warnke, G. Ocherk istorii profsoiuznogo dvizheniia v Germanii. Moscow, 1956. (Translated from German.)
Geschichte der deutschen Arbeiterbewegung, vols. 1-8. Berlin, 1966.
Geschichte der deutschen Arbeiterbewegung: Chronik, vols. 1-3. Berlin, 1965-67.
Schreiner, A. Zur Geschichte der deutschen Aussenpolitik: 1871-1945, 2nd ed., part 1. Berlin, 1955.
From the middle of the 17th century to 1917
Erusalimskii, A. S. Bismark: Diplomatiia i militarizm. Moscow, 1968.
Erusalimskii, A. S. Vneshniaia politika i diplomatiia germanskogo imperializma v kontse XIX v, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1951.
Lukin, N. M. Ocherki po noveishei istorii Germanii: 1890-1914. Leningrad-Moscow, 1925.
Germanskoe rabochee dvizhenie v novoe vremia: Sb. st. i materialov. Moscow, 1962.
Hallgarten, G. Imperializm do 1914 goda. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from German.)
Schilfert, G. Deutschland von 1648 bis 1789. Berlin, 1959.
Streisand, J. Deutschland von 1789 bis 1815. Berlin, 1959.
Obermann, K. Deutschland von 1815 bis 1849. Berlin, 1961.
Engelberg, E. Deutschland von 1849 bis 1871.… Berlin, 1959.
Engelberg, E. Deutschland von 1871 bis 1897. Berlin, 1965.
Klein, F. Deutschland von 1897/1898 bis 1917, 2nd ed. Berlin, 1963.
Arbeiterklasse und nationaler Befreiungskampf. … Leipzig, 1963.
Darstellungen und Quellen zur Geschichte der deutschen Einheitsbewegung im neunzehnten und zwanzigsten Jahrhundert, vols. 1-7. Heidelberg, 1957-67.
Rozanov, G. L. Ocherki noveishei istorii Germanii (1918-1933). Moscow, 1957.
Kul’bakin, V. D. Ocherki noveishei istorii Germanii. Moscow, 1962.
Germanskoe rabochee dvizhenie v noveishee vremia: Sb. st. i materialov. Moscow, 1962.
Galkin, A. A. Germanskii fashizm. Moscow, 1967.
Gintzberg, L. I. Ten’ fashistskoi svastiki: Kak Gitler prishel k vlasti. Moscow, 1967.
Blank, A. S. Kommunisticheskaia partiia Germanii v bor’be protiv fashistskoi diktatury (1933-1945). Moscow, 1964.
Gintsberg, L. I., and la. S. Drabkin. Nemetskie antifashisty v bor’be protiv gitlerovskoi diktatury (1933-1945). Moscow, 1961.
Rozanov, G. L. Germaniia pod vlast’iufashizma (1933-1939). Moscow, 1961.
Fomin, V. T. Agressiia fashistskoi Germanii v Evrope: 1933-1939 gg. Moscow, 1963.
Ushakov, V. B. Vneshniaia politika Germanii v period Veimarskoi respubliki. Moscow, 1958.
Ushakov, V. B. Vneshniaia politika gitlerovskoi Germanii. Moscow, 1961.
Stern, L. Vliianie Velikoi Oktiabr’skoi sotsialisticheskoi revoliutsii na Germaniiu i germanskoe rabochee dvizhenie. Moscow, 1960. (Translated from German.)
Dörnberg, S. Rozhdenie novoi Germanii. Moscow, 1962. Translated from German.)
Ulbricht, W. K istorii noveishego vremeni, vol. 1. Moscow, 1957. (Translated from German.)
Ulbricht, W. Vergangenheit und Zukunft der deutschen Arbeiterbewegung. Berlin, 1963.
Pieck, W. Im Kampf um die Arbeitereinheit und die deutsche Volks-front: 1936-1938. Berlin, 1955.
Klein, F. Deutschland 1918. Berlin, 1962.
Vietzke, S., and H. Wohlgemuth. Deutschland und die deutsche Arbeiterbewegung in der Zeit der Weimarer Republik. Berlin, 1966.
Badia, G. Histoire de l’Allemagne contemporaine (1917-1962), vols. 1-2. Paris .
Ruge, W. Deutschland von 1917 bis 1933. Berlin, 1967.
Deutschland von 1933 bis 1939. Berlin, 1969.
Deutschland von 1939 bis 1945. Berlin, 1969.
Der deutsche Imperialismus und der Zweite Weltkrieg, vols. 1-5. Berlin, 1960-62.
Lipski, H. Deutschland und die deutsche Arbeiterbewegung, 1945-1949. Berlin, 1963.
Badstübner, R. Restauration in Westdeutschland 1945-1949. Berlin, 1965.
Badstübner, R., and S. Thomas. Die Spaltung Deutschlands 1945-1949. Berlin, 1966.
N. F. KOLESNITSKII (historical survey to the end of the 15th century), M. M. SMIRIN (late 15th to the middle of the 17th centuries), E. A. VOLINA (middle of the 17th century to 1917), L. I. GINTSBERG (1917-45), A. I. MUKHIN (fascist Germany —economic-geography reference), P. V. POLIAKOV (1945-49)
Natural and technical sciences. The accumulation of factual scientific knowledge and the initial generalizations began in the period of the early Middle Ages and accelerated in the 16th century in connection with the intensified development of mining in Germany, especially silver extraction, metallurgy, the art of salt-making, textile manufacture, and so on. The first scientific works belong to church figures and are permeated with scholastic ideas; one of the greatest scholars of the Middle Ages was Albertus Magnus (13th century), the author of extensive works on alchemy, zoology, and botany. In the second half of the 14th and in the 15th century universities appeared in Heidelberg (1386), Cologne (1388), Leipzig (1409), Rostock (1419), Greifswald (1456), Freiburg (1457), Mainz, Tübingen (1477), Ingolstadt (1472; in Munich after 1826). The invention of book printing (J. von Gutenberg, 1445) was a major stimulus to the development of science.
In the mid-18th century Nicholas of Cusa expressed his idea about the movement of the earth around the sun and created a map of Central Europe. M. Behaim made the first globe (1492). J. Miiller (Regiomontanus) compiled astronomical tables, which were used by B. Dias, Vasco da Gama, and C. Columbus in their travels. German mathematicians (the so-called Kossist group), the greatest of which was M. Stifel (16th century), made a substantial contribution to algebra. The painter and scholar A. Dürer worked out a mathematical theory of perspective. Botanical and zoological works appeared. The creator of iatrochemistry, Paracelsus, greatly influenced the development of anatomy and medicine. He broke with the traditions of ancient and Arabic medicine and found the causes of diseases in the chemical processes of the organism.
The founder of European mineralogy, Agricola, whose work summarized the experience of mining and metallurgy production and served as a practical guide for two centuries, played a significant role in the development of learning about mineral ores and mining.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CLASSICAL NATURAL SCIENCES (17TH AND 18TH CENTURIES). The Thirty Years War (1618-48), which ravaged Germany, and the disintegration and economic backwardness of the country caused Germany to lag behind England and France in the development of science in the 17th and 18th centuries. The works of only a few German scientists are outstanding in this period. The astronomer and mathematician J. Kepler discovered the laws of planetary motion, gave a qualitative explanation for the tides, developed the first theory of the telescope, and proposed fruitful (although not rigorous) methods of integration. G. W. Leibniz was the greatest German scholar of this period. While he was in Paris from 1672 to 1676 with C. Huygens and other scholars, he mastered the most advanced mathematics of the time and essentially created—independently of I. Newton—differential and integral calculus. Leibniz’ method of differentiation and integration became widespread on the European continent. Leibniz was responsible for the idea of the conservation of kinetic energy in mechanics; he undertook the first attempt at a mathematization of logic and advanced the idea of a hierarchy of living beings. The works of Leibniz constituted an epoch in science, but he had no direct successors in Germany. The scientific reputation of the Prussian Academy of Sciences (founded by Leibniz in 1700 in Berlin) as to mathematics and mechanics was maintained in the mid-18th century by invited foreigners—L. Euler, J. Lambert, and J. Lagrange. However, they also were unable to create schools of science in Germany. In 17th-century physics O. von Guericke was well known for demonstrating the possibility of the creation of a vacuum by means of an air pump he constructed and the existence of atmospheric pressure. Guericke invented the manometer and the water barometer and built the first electrostatic machine. The most significant German applied chemist in the 17th century, J. Glauber, worked for a long time in Holland and developed methods of producing pure substances.
In the 18th century, especially in the second half, German science gradually caught up to English and French science, primarily in chemistry and biology. A new stage in the development of German chemistry came with J. Becher’s and G. Stahl’s idea of the existence of phlogiston, which served until the last quarter of the 18th century as a basis for explaining the chemical processes of oxidation, fermentation, and combustion. Technical chemistry and analytical chemistry, serving the needs of mineralogy and pharmacology, began to progress in the 18th century. M. Klaproth (an opponent of phlogiston theory and a follower of A. L. Lavoisier), discovered uranium, zirconium, titanium, and cerium and produced compounds of strontium, chromium, and other elements. At the end of the 18th century, J. Richter discovered one of the basic quantitative laws of chemistry—the law of equivalents.
In German biology of the 18th century a discussion unfolded between the mechanistic (iatrophysical) school of thought (F. Hoffman), which viewed the organism as a hydraulic machine, and animism and vitalism. Animism viewed the origin of life processes as being “in the soul” (G. Stahl). Vitalism admitted the existence of individual forces and “sensitivities” in various organs of the body. The animists and vitalists claimed that the synthesis of organic compounds outside the body is impossible. The position of vitalism was strengthened by A. von Haller, one of the greatest physiologists of that time, who made a significant contribution to the study of the physiology of the nerves and muscles (his studies of irritablility), and J. Blumenbach, one of the founders of comparative anatomy and anthropology, Von Haller was also an adherent of preformism, which asserted that all the limbs and organs of the body already exist in the embryo in an invisible form. The ideas of vitalism created a firm tradition in Germany; they reflected the weakness of biology and medicine at that time in explaining physiological and psychoneurological phenomena and were in agreement with the idealist Weltanschauung that was dominant in Germany in the 18th and early 19th centuries. The tenets of preformism were exploded by C. Wolffs studies in embryology, which proved that the organs of the body are formed from simpler and homogenous elements in the process of their development (the concept of epigenesis). However, Haller’s hostile attitude and the hegemony of idealist traditions in Germany forced Wolff to leave Germany and emigrate to Russia. The discovery by R. Camerarius (1694) of sex in plants and J. Kölreuter’s experiments on their hybridization (1760 and later) were extremely significant. C. K. Sprengel (1793) explained the process of pollination and the role of insects in it.
I. Kant made the first breach in the 18th-century meta-physical Weltanschauung, with his cosmogonic hypothesis (1755), according to which the heavenly bodies emerged from an original gaseous mist. Kant also indicated the role of the tides in slowing down the earth’s rotation. The cosmogonic hypothesis was also the basis for geotectonic constructions.
The rapid development of geology began in the mid-18th century. The first mining academy in the world was opened in 1765 in Freiberg (Saxony). General geological problems were also studied (J. Lehmann, F. Fiichsel, and A. Werner). Werner was the founder of the Freiberg school of neptunists, who held that the development of the earth is determined by external factors; over several decades the neptunists were opposed by the plutonist school (J. Hutton) in Great Britain and finally gave up leadership in geology to it in the 19th century. The successes of German geologists in studying problems of the origin of mineral substances, in particular ores (I. Henckel, K. Zimmerman, and others) were especially significant. In the 18th and 19th centuries, German geologists and geographers were closely associated with Russian scholars.
RISE OF THE NATURAL SCIENCES IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURY. The rise of German science began in the first half of the 19th century. This rise was related to the country’s accelerated economic development, which led to the beginning of the industrial revolution in the 1830’s, with the accompanying expansion of university and technical education and the stimulation of the natural sciences. The deep philosophical approach of a number of German scholars to problems of natural science contributed to broad scientific generalizations and to the discovery of fundamental laws of nature. In addition, German natural science of this period was characterized by the hegemony of Kantian ideas in geometry and physics—on the a priori nature of cognition of the laws of space and time and the unknowableness of the nature of the forces that bind together particles of matter, as well as natural-philosophical concepts in biology and geology. German chemistry and mathematics gained great successes in this stage; in the 18th century, German mathematics was of minor significance in world science, but toward the mid-19th century it began to threaten French supremacy.
K. Gauss, the greatest mathematician of his time, played a large role in the flowering of German mathematics. Starting from the concrete problems of astronomy, mechanics, and physics, he developed new directions in mathematics. Thus, the general problem of geodesy—the study of the shape of the earth’s surface—led him to the creation of an internal geometry of irregular surfaces; in connection with the problems of electrostatics, he developed a theory of potential. He was also the author of important works in physics—on the earth’s magnetism, mechanics (“Gauss’ principle”), geometric optics, geodesy, and astronomy. Gauss had almost no disciples, but the ideological influence of his works was great. P. Dirichlet, K. Jacobi, and E. Kummer were his followers in numbers theory and mathematical analysis. The geometric studies that were originally developed under the influence of G. Monge’s French mathematical school and that occupied a prominent place in world science (A. Möbius, J. Pliicker, J. Steiner, and K. Staudt) occupied an important place in German mathematics in the first half of the 19th century. H. Grassmann developed multidimensional geometry, vector theory, and linear algebra. Thanks to Gauss, Jacobi, and Dirichlet, the universities at Göttingen, Berlin and, to a certain extent, Konigsberg became major centers of mathematics. The large number of scientific centers, mainly universities, which were created in every major German state, and technical institutes (Dresden, 1828; Karlsruhe, 1825; Darmstadt, 1836) was very significant for the development of mathematics and the other natural sciences in Germany.
In the first half of the 19th century a rapid development of inorganic chemistry, made possible by the birth of the chemicals industry, took place. The major chemists of this period (E. Mitscherlich, the Rose brothers, and F. Wühler) were students of the Swedish chemist J. J. Berzelius, who greatly influenced German chemistry. R. Bunsen investigated the electrolytic separation of metals from melted salts; in 1828, J. Gmelin obtained artificial ultramarine; C. Schonbein discovered ozone (1839) and pyroxylin (1845) and studied electrochemical processes. The progress of chemistry was also facilitated by the founding of new chemical laboratories. Beginning in the 1830’s, organic chemistry underwent particular development. An entire epoch in the development of organic chemistry is associated with the name of J. von Liebig, the founder of a school of organic chemists, creator of the world-famous laboratory in Giessen, and founder of several chemical journals. Von Liebig divided all organic compounds into proteins, fats, and carbohydrates; he was the first to produce chloroform (1831), acetaldehyde (1835), and other compounds; he advanced a chemical theory of fermentation and putrefaction; and he laid the basis for agrochemistry and worked out a theory of the mineral nourishment of plants. In 1834, E. Mitscherlich defined the relation of benzol and benzoic acid. In 1843, A. Hofmann established the identity of anilines of different origin. Although the synthesis of organic compounds was first accomplished by Wühler even earlier (in 1824, oxalic acid, and in 1828, urea), the principal meaning of these achievements was understood only later.
Significant progress in technology and physics (primarily in optics and electrodynamics), as well as in astronomy, occurred in Germany in this period. Steam engines were perfected, and a hydraulic reaction turbine (K. Henschel, 1837), and new types of equipment for rolled metal, air-blast machines, and so on were developed. I. Ritter proved the existence of ultraviolet rays in 1801; in 1814, J. von Fraunhofer, a reformer in optical technology, described the lines of the sun’s spectrum, which bear his name, and created diffraction gratings, which opened the way for the spectroscope. In 1821, T. Seebeck discovered thermoelectricity. German physicists made a significant contribution to the study of quantitative laws of electrical and magnetic phenomena. In 1826, G. Ohm discovered the law that bears his name. Beginning in 1832, Gauss and W. Weber developed a system of absolute measurement of electrical and magnetic values and the concomitant measuring instruments. In 1846, Weber formulated a general law of the interrelations of moving charges, based on the idea of long-range actions. F. Neumann created a theory of electromagnetic induction (1845-48). The extent of astronomical studies grew rapidly, especially at the Bonn and Konigsberg astronomical observatories. J. Galle discovered the planet Neptune (predicted by the French scholar U. J. Leverier) and Saturn’s dark inner ring. P. Hansen developed a theory of the moon. F. Bessel first determined the distance of three stars by measuring their parallax. An astronomical journal that subsequently attained world significance began to be published. The greatest achievement of the mid-19th-century physician R. von Mayer and the physiologist H. Helmholtz was the discovery of the basic law of natural science—the law of the conservation of energy. In his Dialectics of Nature, F. Engels gave a deep philosophical analysis of this law and its interpretation by Mayer and Helmholtz.
The natural-philosophical trend, whose theoretician was F. von Schelling, became supreme in German biology at the turn of the 19th century. The basic idea of this natural philosophy was the coherence and complication of nature, brought about by some rational principle. In spite of its mystical understanding of the relations in nature, natural philosophy played a positive role in biology, stimulating several discoveries. The poet J. W. von Goethe, one of the proponents of natural philosophy, substantiated the idea of the metamorphosis of plant organs (1790) and proclaimed the principles of comparative anatomy based on the idea of “the unity of the structure’s plan” in animals. The advocates of this tendency thought that a parallelism existed between the development of an embryo and the steps on the “ladder of beings” (K. Kielmeyer, L. Oken, and J. Meckel the younger). Oken also noted, in speculative form, the idea of the cell structure of all organisms.
The physiologist J. Müller and his school (T. Schwann, E. Du Bois-Reymond, H. Helmholtz, R. Virchow, and others) played an outstanding role in the history of German biology in the mid-19th century. Their works marked the turn to studying physiological processes by means of the experimental method; the natural-philosophical views, which influenced Müller in the early period of his work, were gradually replaced by mechanistic views. Müller’s guide Human Physiology (1834-40) was very significant for the development of medicine. Schwann’s creation of a unified cell structure theory for all living beings (1838) was the greatest achievement of this period; Engels called it one of the three great discoveries of natural science in the 19th century.
The natural-philosophical constructions of Schelling and Oken (1830’s) were also widespread in the earth sciences, but in the 1840’s they began to give way to specific scientific investigations. The development of chemistry and physics facilitated the study of minerals (E. Mitscherlich, J. Breithaupt, and K. Bischoff). C. Weiss and J. Hessel were among the founders of crystallography. The basis was laid for the classification of minerals (G. Rose and others). The differentiation among the earth sciences continued, but a comprehensive system of knowledge in this area also began to be formed. A. von Humboldt’s work The Cosmos (1845-62) was an outstanding scientific synthesis; Humboldt is considered the founder of general physical geography, climatology, and plant geography. He also contributed to the development of other branches of natural science. The Magnetic Union was organized on his initiative, with the goal of conducting uniform measurements of the earth’s magnetism in various countries. He supported research in astronomy, physics, chemistry, and mathematics. Simultaneously with von Humboldt’s complex approach, another tendency in geographical studies developed—the so-called chorological tendency, represented by C. Ritter. Humboldt, along with L. Buch, adopted the ideas of plutonism in geology and developed catastrophist notions of orogenesis. K. von Hoff, who made a major contribution to the development and substantiation of the variation of the historical method, which later became known as actualism, wrote works on dynamic and evolutionary geology. The paleontological methods in geology, which appeared at the beginning of the century in Great Britain and France, then became the basis of biostratigraphical studies in Germany (A. Oppel, F. Quenstedt, and others). Geodetic and astronomical studies broadened; Gauss and F. Bessel produced fundamental works in geodesy.
DEVELOPMENT OF NATURAL AND TECHNICAL SCIENCES IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURY. THE EMERGENCE OF GERMAN SCIENCE INTO THE FOREFRONT. In the second half of the 19th century, rapid progress occurred in Germany in all areas of theoretical and applied natural science, and German science took a leading place in mathematics, organic and technical chemistry, biology, and several branches of physics. In this period it was characterized not only by the creation of profound general theories but also by an intensive development of applied and technical disciplines; therefore the role of science in the development of the country was greater than in other advanced countries. Chemical studies in the universities and technical institutes received material support from rapidly growing industry; this support was a unique phenomenon at the time. The flowering of mathematics, physics, biology, and medicine was facilitated by the large number of scientific centers, which was characteristic of German science; by the existence in Germany (as opposed to the other advanced countries), even in the 19th century, of a great number of professional scholars; and by the “migration” of scholars from one university to another. In the second half of the 19th century, Germany held first place in the world in number of scientific journals (especially chemical and medical). High demands were set for the qualification of scholars and teachers of natural science (for example, the Prussian Regulations of 1866 demanded from every candidate for the position of mathematics teacher in Gymnasiums such thorough knowledge of higher geometry, mathematical analysis, and analytical mechanics that he could conduct independent research in these areas). H. Grassmann was a Gymnasium teacher; K. Weierstrass, R. Clausius, and many other great scholars began by teaching in Gymnasiums.
The leading role of German mathematics in world science in the second half of the 19th century was determined first of all by a review of the basic concepts of mathematical analysis, with the goal of giving it a more rigorous grounding (“arithmetization of analysis”). This task was completed primarily by K. Weierstrass, R. Dedekind (in Braunschweig), and other mathematicians of the Berlin school, and it led to important generalizations. To a significant degree, it was in connection with studies of the bases of analysis that a new mathematical discipline, the theory of manifolds, was formed in the works of G. Cantor. The influence of the works and ideas of B. Riemann, the greatest mathematician of the mid-19th century and a follower of the traditions of K. Gauss, was even more fruitful. Riemann was responsible for a profound analysis of the concept of an integral (the “Riemann integral”); he gave a new construct to the theory of the functions of a complex variable, using geometrical methods (the so-called conform representation) that are still applied in hydroaerodynamics and other areas of physics. His fundamental ideas in geometry (which developed the non-Euclidean geometry of N. I. Lobachevskii) were recognized only two decades later; Riemannian geometry, subsequently developed by other scholars, was used by A. Einstein in the general theory of relativity. In the last quarter of the 19th century, F. Klein completed a synthesis of many areas of mathematics on the basis of group theory. Thanks to Klein, the University of Göttingen became toward the end of the 19th century a world center of mathematical thought.
The results obtained by German scientists in the general theory of heat phenomena (thermodynamics), in particular its application to radiation theory, were of great significance in theoretical physics of the second half of the 19th century. All three laws of thermodynamics were formulated by German physicists—the first law by Helmholtz in 1847, the second by R. Clausius in 1850, and the third by W. Nernst in 1906. Thermodynamics owed a great deal to M. Planck for its further development. Helmholtz made a major contribution to hydrodynamics, as did G. Kirchhoff to the theory of wave dispersion, particularly light waves. Helmholtz also developed the foundations of acoustics and meteorology. A. Krönig and Clausius worked out the kinetic theory of gases.
Toward the end of the 19th century, the theoretical physicists began to free themselves from Kantian views. However, energetism was widespread among certain German scholars (W. Ostwald and others). The successes of atomic physics in the early 20th century forced Ostwald to admit the erroneousness of energetism.
In the second half of the 19th century, experimental physics moved far ahead. In 1859, Kirchhoff, who in 1847 had established the laws of branching of an electric current, created together with R. Bunsen the foundations of spectral analysis. In the 1850’s, H. Geissler built a mercury vacuum pump, which made it possible to conduct experiments on electric discharge in rarefied gases. In the 1860’s, J. Pliicker and W. Hittorf began to study decaying discharge; in 1886, E. Goldstein discovered canal rays. In 1895, while conducting analogous experiments, W. Rontgen discovered the rays bearing his name (he received the first Nobel Prize in physics; 1901). In 1886, H. Hertz discovered the external photoeffect. Hertz’ discovery between 1886 and 1889 of electromagnetic waves, which the English scholar J. Maxwell had predicted, was the greatest achievement of German experimental physics in this period. In the 1870’s, the physics institute of the University of Berlin, headed by Helmholtz, became one of the greatest physics centers in the world. A. Michelson, P. N. Lebedev, Hertz, F. Braun, and many others worked there. The school of A. Kundt in Strassburg also played a significant role in the development of acoustics, molecular physics, and other areas of experimental physics.
The industrialization of Germany in the second half of the 19th century created the conditions for a sharp rise in technical physics and for the separation and formation of various technical sciences. The significance of the fundamental sciences gradually grew, providing a basis for new branches of technology. The development of electrodynamics served as a basis for electrical engineering, as did thermodynamics for the creation of the internal-combustion engine and refrigeration technology. Technical problems held a prominent place in the activity of the State Physics and Technical Institute, founded in 1888 in Berlin; Helmholtz was its first president. Significant successes were achieved in the areas of electrical engineering and thermal power engineering. Werner Siemens, W. von Heffner-Alteneck, and F. Haselwander developed the construction of DC and AC generators. Electrical drives were created for various purposes (Werner Siemens). In the last third of the 19th century, G. Zeiner and M. Schroder developed a theory of steam engines, and F. Redtenbacher and J. Weisbach developed a theory of the hydraulic turbine, in the mid-19th century. The gas internal-combustion engine was created by N. Otto and E. Langen in 1867. C. von Linde constructed an ammonia cooling machine in 1874. In 1883, G. Daimler and W. Maybach perfected the construction of a high-speed gasoline engine; in 1886, C. Benz constructed his automobile. In 1897, R. Diesel built an internal-combustion engine that used heavy fuel. With the construction of a gas turbine in 1905 (H. Holzwarth) and a single-pass boiler machine in 1907 (J. Stumpf) the creation of the foundations of modern thermal-energy machine building was completed. The technology of metallurgy made a great leap forward with the construction of an electric smelting furnace by Wilhelm Siemens and a tube mill by the Mannes-mann brothers. In the second half of the 19th century the bases of the kinematics of mechanisms (F. Redtenbacher, F. Reuleaux, and others) were created. Problems of strength of materials and construction mechanics were studied by O. Mohr, H. Müller-Breslau, and A. Föppl.
In the last third of the 19th century, Germany became the world center of applied optics. E. Abbe laid the foundations of modern microscope theory, and C. Zeiss organized the world-famous production of optical instruments.
The second half of the 19th century was a period of intensive development for all branches of German chemistry. Organic chemistry developed the most vigorously, but outstanding results were obtained in inorganic and analytical chemistry as well. With the aid of spectral analysis, R. Bunsen and Kirchhoff discovered the new elements cesium (1860) and rubidium (1861), and F. Reich and T. Richter discovered indium (1869). C. Winkler discovered germanium (1886). The works of J. Döbereiner and L. Meyer on the classification of chemical elements preceded D. I. Mendeleev’s discovery of the periodic law. The international conference at Karlsruhe (1860), at which the concepts of element, atom, and molecule were made more precise, was a very important event in 19th-century chemistry. In the last quarter of the 19th century, the development of physical chemistry began, mainly in connection with the work of Ostwald on the theory of solutions and of W. Nernst on electrochemistry (Nobel Prizes, 1909 and 1920, respectively).
German chemists made a major contribution to theoretical organic chemistry—to the development of structural theory (A. Kékule, E. Erlenmeyer), the theory of aromatic compounds (the schools of Kekulé and V. Meyer), and stereochemistry (J. Wislicenus, Meyer). The practical achievements of chemistry were also great; they were made possible by the close bond between science and industry, especially in the 1870’s, when the great concentration of chemical production began. The most outstanding results were obtained in the area of synthesis of dyes and medicinal substances. The absence of a sufficient raw-material base stimulated the search for new materials. In 1860, H. Kolbe discovered a means of producing salicilic acid; in 1875, the synthetic acid was extracted 8 times more cheaply from willow bark. In 1869, C. Graebe and C. T. Liebermann synthesized alizarin, and in 1870, A. von Baeyer synthesized indigo. Baeyer, who received a Nobel Prize in 1905 for his studies in the area of dyes, was the head of a large school of chemists from which many Nobel laureates emerged. Another great school of organic chemists was headed by E. Fischer (Nobel Prize, 1902).
Practical studies in inorganic chemistry were also of paramount significance. In 1875, Winkler perfected a method of producing sulfuric anhydride, on which the contact method of production of sulfuric acid was based. The study of glass chemistry permitted O. Schott to found a world-famous firm (Jena, 1884).
In the mid-19th century, intensive progress took place in biology. Physiology was developed, under the influence of medical investigations. The greatest successes were achieved by scholars in J. Möller’s school. E. Du Bois-Reymond worked out the first foundations of electrophysiology. The works of Helmholtz were especially significant (the energetics of muscular contraction, 1847; measurement of the speed of nerve impulse transmission, 1850; physiological optics, 1850’s-1870’s). C. Ludwig, the leader of a large school of physiologists, gave examples for the experimental study of blood circulation, the nervous system, and other organs. Many Russian physiologists and doctors, including I. M. Sechenov, S. P. Botkin, and I. P. Pavlov, studied under him. Well-equipped physiological laboratories were organized at many universities.
Histology and embryology developed rapidly. Great successes occurred in the study of protozoan unicellular organisms (K. von Siebold). The processes of cell reproduction and their role in prenatal development were studied (H. Mohl, K. von Nágeli, R. von Kolliker, and R. Remak). A new stage in the development of cell studies was completed by the works of R. Virchow, who announced the position that “every cell comes from a cell” (1855); he extended the principles of cell theory to pathological processes. Virchow and his students introduced microscopic, histological, and physiological analysis to medicine. However, Virchow’s ideas also had a negative influence, since they led to an extremely mechanistic understanding of the organism as a “federation of cell states.” Virchow mistakenly insisted that any disease is located only in a certain tissue, in a concrete group of cells. The pathologist L. Crelle and others developed the functional aspect of cell theory.
The theory of evolution put forth by C. Darwin in Great Britain had many outstanding followers in Germany, foremost among them E. Haeckel, who actively propagandized for Darwinism and developed a teaching on phylogenesis on the basis of research done by F. Miiller and A. O. Kovalevskii. K. Gegenbaur developed the evolutionary tendency in the area of comparative anatomy.
In the last quarter of the 19th century, bacteriology began to flourish (R. Koch and his colleagues; F. Löffler, G. Gaffky, and others). The causes of anthrax (1876), tuberculosis (1882), diphtheria, Asiatic cholera, and tetanus were discovered. In 1891 the R. Koch Institute of Infectious Diseases was founded in Berlin. In 1905, F. Schaudinn and E. Hoffmann discovered Spirochaeta pallida, which causes syphilis. E. von Behring’s discovery of an antitoxin serum against diphtheria (1892; first Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine, 1901) was the beginning of serotherapy. P. Ehrlich developed chemotherapy. On the basis of these scientific achievements, practical medicine began to flourish. In the last third of the 19th century, surgery, which had developed as a result of the discovery of anesthesia and the development of antisepsis and then asepsis, achieved great success. R. Volkmann and E. von Bergmann introduced the method of antisepsis into German clinics, and G. Schleich, A. Bier, and others introduced anesthesia. F. von Esmarch (1873) proposed styptic remedies. The adoption of intracavitary operations (T. Bilroth, A. Welfler, R. Krönlein, and others) was an important step. M. von Petenkoffer, K. Voit, K. Lehmann, G. Ziemssen, M. Rubner, and others made major contributions to the creation and development of a scientific basis for hygiene and the treatment of professional diseases. Special branches of medicine—dermatology, gynecology, otolaryngology, and psychiatry—developed quickly.
The development of general biology continued. In the 1870’s and 1880’s, E. Strassburger, W. Flemming, and others worked out a doctrine of complex cell division and the role of the nucleus and chromosomes in it. This made possible the discovery of several details in the process of the maturation of sex cells and fertilization (O. Hertwig, 1875-90) and the formulation of the nuclear theory of heredity (W. Roux, Strassburger, Hertwig, and especially A. Weissmann). Weissmann’s works on embryonic plasma (1892) anticipated several of the positions of modern genetics. Roux (1885 and later), who advanced the task of a causal study of embryonic development, created the mechanics of the organism’s development—ontogenesis. At the same time, there were attempts to treat the data obtained by the scholars of this tendency in the spirit of vitalism (C. Drisch and others).
In the second half of the 19th century, the geological and geographical sciences continued to develop. Many regions of Asia and Africa, as well as the territory of Germany, were studied, often in pursuit of colonial goals. With the appearance of optical methods of petrography, a natural systematization of mineral ores was created (H. Rosenbusch, F. Zirkel, and others). The development of theoretical questions of geography was continued in the works of F. Richthofen, F. Ratzel, and others. The works of outstanding climatologists (W. Köppen, E. Brückner), geologists (J. Walter), and paleontologists (K. Zittel) marked a transitional stage before the modern period.
NATURAL SCIENCE DURING THE SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION (FIRST THIRD OF THE 20TH CENTURY). In the first third of the 20th century, German science continued to lead in theoretical and applied physics, in chemistry, and in several branches of biology. German scholars (together with English) made a major contribution in the first stage of the modern scientific revolution to the creation of relativity and quantum physics. The number of special scientific facilities connected with industry grew. In 1911 an association of research institutions, the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft für Förderung der Wissenschaft (Kaiser Wilhelm Society for the Advancement of Science), was formed. In the applied sciences, especially chemistry and certain technological sciences, a tendency to the investigation of problems of military significance was observed.
From the end of the 19th century to the 1940’s, D. Hilbert was the leader of German mathematics. He began with studies in algebra and number theory, which prepared the growth of the new (abstract) algebra. In his Foundations of Geometry (1899) he summarized all the 19th-century works on ordering the system of geometric axioms and developed his own axioms. Hilbert began the systematic treatment of the foundations of functional analysis (Hilbert space). He subsequently worked mainly in the area of mathematical logic. Hilbert’s lecture courses, like those of F. Klein, attracted an international audience at the University of Göttingen. In the early 20th century H. Minkowsky, who developed the mathematical apparatus for special relativity theory (Minkowsky space), and C. Runge, who worked in applied mathematics, worked at Gottingen simultaneously with Hilbert and Klein. In the 1920’s a new school of abstract algebra headed by E. Noether was formed. Hilbert’s student G. Weil left significant works in algebra, especially group theory, as well as number theory and mathematical analysis. J. von Neumann, one of the greatest 20th-century mathematicians, began to work in the 1920’s. The works of German theoretical physicists in the first third of the 20th century brought this area of science in Germany into first place in the world (German experimental physicists also played a great role). M. Planck discovered the law of energy dispersion in the heat radiation spectrum (1900) and introduced the concept of a quantum of action. A. Einstein discovered the basic law of the photoelectric effect and introduced the concept of the photon (1905). The principle of quantification of the atom’s energy, advanced by the Danish scholar N. Bohr, was confirmed in 1913 by the classic experiments of J. Franck and G. Hertz (Nobel Prize, 1925). J. Stark, A. Sommerfeld, O. Stern, and W. Gerlach made fundamental contributions to the development of Bohr’s theory. The quantum theory of heat capacity was created by A. Einstein and P. Debye. In 1916, Einstein developed a theory of radiation and predicted the existence of induced radiation. In 1924 he developed the principles of quantum statistics proposed by the Indian physicist S. Bose. In 1925-26, W. Heisenberg and M. Born created (together with E. Schrödinger and P. Dirac) quantum mechanics—the theoretical basis of modern physics and chemistry (Nobel Prizes, 1933 and 1954, respectively). In 1905, Einstein created the special theory of relativity, and in 1916, the general theory of relativity.
In the first third of the 20th century, studies in solid-state physics (P. Debye, M. Born, and F. Bloch) and magnetic phenomena (Heisenberg, Bloch, H. Bethe, and R. Becker) unfolded.
In the 1930’s, Heisenberg developed the theory of the nucleus and nuclear forces. K. Schwartzschild and R. Embden, whose works formed the basis for the theory of the inner structure of stars, obtained outstanding results in astrophysics.
German scholars also made major contributions to experimental physics. In 1912, M. von Laue and his colleagues W. Friedrichs and P. Knipping discovered the diffraction of X rays in crystals (Nobel Prize, 1914). W. Wien, F. Paschen, O. Lummer, E. Pringsheim, C. Rubens, and others completed major works in optics and spectroscopy. Important experimental research was done in atomic and nuclear physics (O. Hahn, L. Meitner, W. Müller, W. Bothe, and C. Geiger), in physical electronics (C. Busch, W. Glaser, and O. Scherzer), in electronic optics, and in several branches of modern technical physics. In the early 1930’s, the study of semiconductors received much attention (W. Schottky and others).
In the early 20th century, those branches of technology that were of immediate military significance—particularly dirigible and airplane building (F. Zeppelin, A. Fokker, and G. Junkers) and, in the 1930’s, rocket technology— developed at an accelerated pace. The development of aviation and rocket building in Germany was closely related to the achievements of German scientists who worked in the area of gas and aerodynamics (L. Prandtl, L. Titiens, and C. Busemann).
In the first third of the 20th century, the development of new branches of technology began—first of all applied electronics and radiotechnology (F. Braun, A. Wenelt, M. Wien, W. Goldschmidt, E. Meisner, and P. Nipkow) and then television. German scientists created the electron microscope (M. Knoll, E. Ruska, E. Briiche, G. Johannson, and M. von Ardenne).
In the 20th century, the fundamental chemical investigations, conducted mainly in the laboratories of I. G. Farbenindustrie and in university departments, were geared to the discovery of the structure of several organic substances. The structure of sugars was studied (E. Fischer), and the structure of chlorophyll was established (R. Willstätter; Nobel Prize, 1915), as was the structure of turpentines (O. Wallach; Nobel Prize, 1910). Vitamin groups were studied (A. Windaus; Nobel Prize, 1928), vitamin B2 was synthesized in 1935 and vitamin A in 1937 (R. Kuhn; Nobel Prize, 1938), hormones were studied (A. Butenandt; Nobel Prize, 1939), prontosil and other sulfamide preparations were discovered (G. Domagk; Nobel Prize, 1939), and a method of diene synthesis was developed (O. Diels and K. Alder; Nobel Prize, 1950).
Theoretical chemistry continued to develop. The theory of chemical bonds was created, originally on the basis of Bohr’s atomic theory (W. Kossel, 1916) and then based on quantum mechanics (W. Heitler and F. London, 1927). The role of applied chemical studies, which had military significance as well, grew even more. The exhaustion of saltpeter reserves posed the problem of artificial nitrogen fixation. F. Haber’s research on the reaction for the formation of ammonia from elementary nitrogen and oxygen (1904) and the development of a basically new technology for synthesis at high temperatures and pressures (Haber, C. von Bosch, and A. Mittasch) culminated in the start-up of industrial plant in 1913.
The enormous concentration of industry during World War I (1914-18) led to the further growth of scientific investigations. In 1928 alone, the firm I. G. Farbenindustrie spent over 30 million marks on them, half as much as Great Britain spent on all scientific research. Special attention was devoted to the production of synthetic products based on coal. From 1921 to 1923 a technological process for catalysis of the hydrogenization of coal to produce benzene was developed (F. Fischer and C. Tropsch; C. von Bosch and F. Bergius—Nobel Prize, 1931). In 1937, Germany became first in the world in the production of synthetic benzene. The problem of an industrial use for cheap acetylene was resolved by W. Reppe (I. G. Farbenindustrie).
In the second half of the 19th century, physiologists and chemists were already intensively studying metabolism in animals and man (F. Hoppe-Seyler, M. von Pettenkoffer, O. Voigt, and M. Rubner). Toward the end of the 19th century, biochemistry became distinguished from physiology. At the turn of the 20th century, E. Schultz and A. Kossel (Nobel Prize, 1910) established that proteins are made of amino acids. It was E. Fischer, however, who revealed the nature of amino acid bonds in protein molecules, which subsequently made possible not only the deciphering of protein structure but also the discovery of ways to synthesize it artificially.
In 1897, E. Buchner (Nobel Prize, 1907) separated the enzyme zymase from yeast fungus; this discovery laid the basis for enzymology, in whose development R. Wilstätter and O. Warburg (Nobel Prize, 1931) played a large role. O. Meyerhof (Nobel Prize, 1922) revealed the nature of the biochemical processes involved in muscle contraction.
H. Spemann, the greatest representative of 20th-century German experimental embryology, discovered the phenomenon of “induction” in embryonic development and on that basis created the theory of developmental “organizers” (1921 and later). R. Magnus and M. Verworn achieved great results in the area of physiology of the central nervous system.
From the time of its appearance in the early 20th century, genetics developed intensively in Germany. K. Correns, who had studied the principles of Mendelism in plants, anticipated the phenomena of adhesion and exchange of hereditary factors in the chromosomes, the inheritance of sex in plants, and so on. E. Baur, R. Goldschmidt, and others carried out important research. The works of W. Weinberg (methods of human genetic analysis) and F. Bernstein were of general genetic interest.
On the basis of the very important achievements of biology, organic chemistry, and physics in the first third of the 20th century, medicine continued to develop rapidly in Germany. Germany was the first country in which clinics were equipped with the latest laboratory apparatus. X-ray technology became particularly significant; the encephalo-graph was constructed (H. Berger). New methods were developed for diagnosing and studying diseases and their causes. P. Uhlenhut discovered the spirochaete, the cause of spirochaetosis; in 1906, A. Wassermann advanced a method for the serological diagnosis of syphilis. Many chemical therapeutical substances were created; the greatest achievements in that area belong to P. Ehrlich (the preparations salvarsan and neosalvarsan; Nobel Prize, 1908) and G. Domagk (prontosil).
Surgery (F. Sauerbruch—lung surgery), cardiology (W. Gies and F. Kraus in Berlin, E. Romberg in Munich), other areas of therapy (A. Strümpel in Leipzig, L. Aschoff in Freiberg), and psychiatry (E. Kretschmer) were on a high level.
The development of geophysics, in particular the appearance of seismology (S. Günther, E. Wichert, and B. Gutenberg), and the establishment of geochemistry (W. Gold-schmidt) were important features of this period in earth sciences.
In geology, the geotectonists were responsible for the most important summarizations (F. Kossmat, A. Wegener, R. Staub, C. Stille, S. Bubnow, and E. Kraus). Detailed structural geology was created (H. Cloos and B. Sander). German geologists conducted surveys on various continents (E. Krenkel and G. Hert) and works in hydrogeology (C. Höffer and E. Prinz). The intensive studies of mineral substances answered the growing demands of the economy (G. Berg, P. Ramdor, and C. Schneiderhöhn). The greatest geographical theoretician in Germany was the scholar and explorer A. Hetner, whose ideas greatly influenced the geographers of other countries. S. Passarge and others developed landscape studies. Oceanographic studies were conducted.
NATURAL SCIENCE IN GERMANY UNDER FASCISM. The fascist dictatorship led to the degradation of theoretical natural science in Germany. Many outstanding scholars either left the country (Einstein, Born, E. Schrödinger, J. Franck, O. Stern, L. Maitner, G. Weill, E. Noether, J. Neumann, F. Haber, R. Willstätter, and R. Goldschmidt) or ceased to work (Gilbert, Planck, and Laue). For several years German mathematics, theoretical physics, and biology descended to an all-time low. The splitting of the uranium atom by O. Hahn and F. Strassmann (1938) and Heisenberg’s development of a quantum field theory (1943) are among the very few achievements of German science during this time. Studies in the area of plasma, the electron microscope, and biochemistry continued. C. Schrader’s studies (1937) on the chemistry of pesticidal phosphororganic compounds soon became a search for poisonous substances. Work on the production of high-quality alloy steels (A. Wacker) and rubber expanded. Extensive studies were conducted in aviation and machine building and in automation of production. In 1939 the first German jet airplane engines appeared; in the 1940’s, the V-1 and V-2 rockets were built (W. von Braun). In biology, work was done on “race hygiene,” which aimed at justifying the supremacy of the “Nordic” race and the necessity for mass extermination of the “non-Aryan” peoples. The ideas of geopolitics were developed (K. Haushoffer and others). Only after the defeat of the fascist state was it possible to proceed once again from the great traditions of German science to the development of the fundamental areas of natural science.
I. B. POGREBYSSKII (mathematics), G. GERNEK, GDR (physics), E. I. SMIRNOVA (chemistry), I. V. KRUT’ (geology and geography), A. E. GAISINOVICH (biology), M. A. KARLOV (medicine), and V. I. OSTOL’SKII (technical sciences)
Philosophy. German philosophy had an immense influence not only on the entire history of German civilization but also on the development of the philosophical thought of the entire world. Speculativeness and profound intellectual analysis are its distinctive peculiarities; the propensity to build a complete and closed system is characteristic of the majority of German philosophers.
The first form of German philosophy was the medieval scholasticism of Hrabanus Maurus, Notker Labeo, and especially Hugh of St. Victor. The greatest representative of late scholasticism was Albertus Magnus, one of the first Christian Aristotelians and the forerunner of Thomas Aquinas. The foundation for an original tradition of German philosophy distinct from scholasticism as a church teaching was laid by mysticism. Its early form was the so-called female mysticism represented by the nuns Hildegard of Bingen (12th century) and Mechthild of Magdeburg (13th century); it found its highest expression in the work of Meister J. Eckhart. His successors were H. Suso and J. Tauler (14th century); and with Tauler mysticism lost its isolated contemplative character.
A transitional figure from medieval philosophy to the philosophy of modern times was Nicholas of Cusa. Being a representative of late scholasticism and, at the same time, a naturalist, mathematician, and astronomer inclined toward nominalism, he sought to reconcile these branches of knowledge and arrived at the conclusion that experience and reason could give knowledge of the finite world but that the infinite—god—could be known only by immediate spiritual contemplation, through which man is capable of grasping the coincidence of opposites. The doctrine of the coincidence of opposites was subsequently to influence the development of the dialectic in German philosophy.
Unlike the Italian Renaissance, the German Reformation was hostile toward pagan antiquity and favored the early Christian ideal of religious life. For this reason such humanists as J. Reuchlin and U. von Hutten, who opposed the official church and were attracted to classical civilization and Neoplatonism, played a lesser role in the Reformation than the religious leaders (above all M. Luther, the founder of German Protestantism). P. Melanchthon systematized the ideas of Lutheranism. The popular understanding of Protestantism was developed by the revolutionary teaching of T. Münzer; his pantheism borders, in fact, on atheism. In the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century S. Franck, V. Weigel, and especially J. Böhme continued to develop a mysticism that tended toward pantheism. Unlike early mysticism, Weigel and Böhme gravitated to natural philosophy. Mysticism and natural philosophy were also combined by the notable physician and alchemist Paracelsus and by the mathematician and naturalist J. Kepler, among others.
The collapse of the social movement of the first half of the 16th century and the economic and political decline of Germany, which was aggravated by the devastation caused by the Thirty Years War of 1618-48, hindered the development of German philosophy. New winds were blowing from the West (R. Descartes, B. Spinoza, and J. Locke). The first German Cartesians (followers of Descartes) were J. Clausberg and J. Sturm; S. Pufendorf brought the ideas of natural law as conceived by Hugo Grotius and T. Hobbes to Germany. The most radically opposed to the orthodoxy of the church were the German adherents of Spinoza: F. Stosch, L. Schmidt (who published Spinoza’s Ethics in 1744 in German), and E. W. von Tschirnhaus.
The greatest representative of German Enlightenment of the second half of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century, G. W. von Leibniz, sought to reconcile both tendencies of the 17th century—empiricism and rationalism. Leibniz imparted a new direction to the controversy on innate ideas. According to him, ideas neither exist primordially in “ready form” in human consciousness nor are implanted in it through experience from outside, but they exist in it as unconscious representations; experience, however, serves as the cause of their becoming conscious. In his monadology Leibniz introduced the idea of individualism into the philosophy of rationalism and provided a new solution to the problem of matter by conceiving it dynamically as an active force. C. Wolff systematized Leibniz, giving his ideas academic and popular form. His presentation of Leibniz’ ideas dominated philosophy in the universities of Germany for many years. Wolffs pupil A. Baumgarten was the first to treat aesthetics as a special philosophical discipline.
A new stage in the interpretation of antiquity began with the work of J. Winckelmann, who set up “the noble simplicity and serene grandeur” of the Greeks as the aesthetic ideal. The most outstanding representative of the German Enlightenment in the middle of the 18th century was G. E. Lessing. He defended in his polemics with church orthodoxy the ideals of free thought and humanity in the spirit of pantheistic Spinozism. The idea of historicism and especially the understanding of the organic connection between language, art, and civilization on each particular historical and ethnic soil was advanced by J. G. von Herder. In opposition to Enlightenment rationalism there arose the irrationalist teachings of immediate knowledge of J. G. Hamann and F. Jacobi; they stressed artistic and religious intuition as against conceptual cognition.
The turning point in the development of German philosophy is found in the works of the “critical” period of I. Kant (the 1780’s). These works made him the forebear of classical German philosophy, which was to offer an original theoretical interpretation of the Great French Revolution. Beginning with the state of contemporary natural science, Kant established the insufficiency of Enlightenment rationalism in solving a number of problems posed by the development of science. Taking as his point of departure the analysis of scientific knowledge itself, Kant deprived it of any ontological status; only the phenomenon is accessible to cognition but not the being as such, not the “thing in itself.” While defending the necessity and general relevancy of the conclusions of science against the skepticism of the English philosopher D. Hume, Kant at the same time limited the possibility of theoretical knowledge (taking in fact the position of agnosticism) in saying that whereas science gives knowledge of the sensory world, it cannot say anything concerning what is beyond the senses. At this point, according to Kant, the sphere of practical reason, that is, of the will, begins. Completing the rationalism of the Enlightenment, the philosophy of Kant at the same time exceeds its limits (the dualism of knowledge and faith, reason and will, although Kant in the spirit of the Enlightenment traditions conceived of the will as rational).
Toward the beginning of the 19th century Kantian philosophy superseded Leibniz-Wolff rationalism and became the dominant philosophy in Germany. Kant’s ideas were developed by L. H. Fichte and F. W. Schelling. Whereas Fichte started from Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason (1788) and made ethics the center of his system, Schelling sought to overcome Kant’s dualism in the sphere of aesthetics. By this Schelling drew near to German romanticism (A. and F. von Schlegel and Novalis) and at some moments to F. von Schiller. For Schiller as for Schelling there was the understanding that the sphere of aesthetics should serve as a bridge between nature and freedom and between natural impulse and moral duty. As early as in the work of Fichte and even more in Schiller, the romanticists, and Schelling, the historical approach to culture was emphasized. Schelling in his natural philosophy transformed Fichte’s subjective idealistic dialectic into an objective idealistic one.
Unlike Fichte and Schelling, G. Hegel tried to overcome Kantian dualism by developing the theory of an absolute subject-substance, with logic being the pure form of its activity. With this approach, Hegel to a large degree turned philosophy back to rationalism, endowing it, however, with a new, dialectical form.
Thinking in classical German philosophy had an intense dialectical character. Although the dialectic in Kantian teaching was seen negatively as a criticism of the dialectics of illusions, the Kantian theory of the antinomies of reason provided a powerful impulse in the development of the dialectic as the way to find truth. Contradiction became for Fichte the principle on which to build a system. Schelling and Hegel viewed the dialectic as the only adequate method of philosophy. Owing to the research of the romanticists in the field of cultural philosophy, the dialectic became more and more the method of the understanding of spiritual content, the method of the science of the spirit; it was precisely in this form that Hegel developed the dialectic in his aesthetics, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of history. The theory of contradiction is the nucleus of Hegel’s dialectical method and of his concept of alienation. It received the greatest development in Hegel’s “Logic,” which has been reinterpreted in the materialist manner and developed on a new, scientific foundation by Marxism.
The reaction against the speculative rationalist philosophy of German idealism (especially against Hegel’s panlogism) that took place in the 1830’s assumed an irrationalist form in the late Schelling and in A. Schopenhauer and a materialist form in L. Feuerbach. Coming out against the rationalist construction of reality, the late works of Schelling contrast it against a philosophy based on immediate spiritual experience—above all on religious revelation. In Schopenhauer’s philosophy the will was the foundation of the world and moreover not the rational will, as was the case in Kant, Fichte, and Hegel, but the will as an unconscious, irrational principle. This imparted a pessimistic character to Schopenhauer’s teaching, which influenced F. Nietzsche and the “philosophy of life,” on one hand, and E. von Hartmann, on the other.
Feuerbach criticized the idealist character of German classical philosophy from a position of anthropological materialism, defending direct sense experience against speculative dialectical mediation, the concrete individual against abstract generalization; he exposed the connection between idealism and religion and suggested an anthropological explanation of religion as the alienation of the human essence.
In the first half of the 19th century, the rejection of speculative idealist philosophy and a tendency toward positivism characterized the school of J. F. Herbart and the school of J. F. Fries, with his psychological substantiation of epistemology.
In the 1840’s, Marxism arose in Germany, advancing a new revolutionary critical reinterpretation of philosophy as not only explaining the world but as showing the way to changing it as well. In the works of the 1840’s, including Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, The Holy Family, German Ideology, Theses on Feuerbach, and The Poverty of Philosophy, K. Marx and F. Engels worked out the most important principles of a new world outlook—the materialist understanding of history, the view of the essence of man as “the totality of all social relations,” and so on. During this period the foundations were laid of the Marxist theory of scientific communism, the theory of classes and class struggle, the state and law, and social revolution. During the 1850’s and 1860’s the economic research of Marx (Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy and Das K’apital) and his discovery of the regularities of the development of capitalist society were of great significance for the development of dialectical materialism. In the 1870’s, Marx developed the theories of the state, the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the two phases in the development of communist society. The works of F. Engels in the 1870’s and 1880’s made an important contribution to the philosophy of dialectical materialism. In such works as Dialectics of Nature and Anti-Dühring he examined problems of materialist dialectics and the theory of knowledge and philosophical problems of natural science. In the 1860’s the tanner J. Dietzgen independently came out with the principles of dialectical materialism.
From the middle of the 19th century the principles of natural-scientific thinking (in both their problematic and methodological aspects) and, correspondingly, positivist tendencies were the most significant in German philosophy; the traditions of speculative idealism were pushed into the background. The appearance of many schools and trends, which based themselves on different sciences, including physics, biology, and psychology, was characteristic of this period. Vulgar materialism was preached by L. Büchner, K. Vogt, and J. Moleschott, the adherents of mechanist philosophy. The positivist approach appeared in the philosophy of monism of E. Häckel; in F. Jodl, who developed under the influence of Feuerbach a “humanitarian” ethics; in H. Czolbe and E. Dühring; and among philosophers that directed their attention toward theoretical physics, such as R. Mayer, H. von Helmholtz, and H. Hertz. Positivist motifs were also strong in the early representatives of neo-Kantianism A. Lange and O. Liebmann. Psychology influenced the views of W. Wundt, who sought to unite positivist ideas with certain statements of Kant and Leibniz, and of E. von Hartmann, the originator of the irrationalist “philosophy of the unconscious.”
During the 1870’s and 1880’s neo-Kantianism arose as a reaction against the principles of natural-scientific thinking. In the 1880’s and 1890’s two schools of neo-Kantianism were formed, the Marburg and the Baden schools. The representatives of the Marburg school (H. Cohen, P. Natorp, E. Cassirer, and others) were taken up mostly with logical problems and strove to interpret the new achievements of mathematics (especially the discovery of non-Euclidean geometry) and the exact sciences from the positions of Kantian philosophy. The Baden school (H. Rickert, W. Windelband, and E. Lask) centered its attention on problems concerning axiology, culturology, and history. Problems of the philosophy of history and culture were treated by neo-Kantianism mainly from a methodological point of view. Close to the Baden school of neo-Kantianism were the historian and sociologist M. Weber and the sociologist and cultural philosopher G. Simmel, who combined neo-Kantian motifs with the ideas of life philosophy.
At the end of the 19th century positivism attempted to interpret traditional empiricism in the light of the new achievements in science. It took the form of the empirio-criticism of E. Mach and R. Avenarius, the immanence philosophy of W. Schuppe and J. Rehmke, and the functionalism of H. Vaihinger. The revolution in science at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century also caused a change in positivist philosophy in the form of neopositivism, which regarded philosophy chiefly as the logical analysis of the language of science.
The development of irrationalist and voluntarist directions in philososphy is characteristic of the era of the general crisis of capitalism in Germany. Life philosophy spread widely; its first representative in Germany was F. Nietzsche, who attacked the liberalism of the positivists and Kantians and created under the influence of Schopenhauer an irrationalist and voluntarist philosophical conception. The teaching of Nietzsche gained wide popularity at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Whereas neopositivism and neo-Kantianism concentrated their attention mainly on problems of methodology, life philosophy turned to ontological problems. In German life philosophy two directions were discernible—the naturalistic-nonhistorical (L. Klages, H. Kayserling, and O. Spann) and the historical (W. Dilthey, G. Simmel, O. Spengler, T. Litt, E. Spranger, E. Troeltsch, and E. Rothacker). Neo-Hegelianism (R. Kroner, H. Glockner, and A. Liebert) was related to the historical variant of life philosophy; it interpreted idealist dialectics in an irrationalist manner. Some variants of neo-Hegelianism that stressed the priority of the universal over the particular and the state over the individual, as well as the naturalistic biological variant of life philosophy, became widespread during the period of fascist rule; their official theoreticians in this respect were A. Bäumler and E. Krieck.
Tremendous influence on idealist philosophy, spreading far beyond Germany’s borders, was exerted by phenomenology, whose founder was E. Husserl. He based himself on the logistic tradition stemming from B. Bolzano, F. Brentano, and A. von Meinong, who were all critics of the attempt to ground logic in psychology. Unlike the positivists and Kantians, Husserl inclined toward objective idealism and tried to establish phenomenology as the science of “immediate intuition of essences.” Originating under Husserl’s influence were the neorealism of N. Hartmann, the existential ontology of M. Heidegger, and the philosophy of M. Scheler, who brought phenomenology close to life philosophy and developed the theory of the dualism of “spirit” and “life,” which lies at the foundation of his axiology, anthropology, and sociology of culture.
After World War I (1914-18) and under the conditions of the general crisis of capitalism in Germany, there arose existentialism (M. Heidegger and K. Jaspers). Existentialism set for itself the task of trying to interpret philosophically from irrationalist positions the condition of the human personality placed in a critical, or boundary, situation, in which traditional norms and values have lost their meaning. Similar to existentialism in its problems is dialectical theology, the dominant school in modern Protestant theology (P. Tillich, R. Bultmann, and others). At the beginning of the 20th century the influence of Catholic theology also increased; its center in Germany was a school in Pullach (W. T. Brugger and others). In the 1920’s philosophical anthropology began to develop; it took as its conception of man on the one hand the ideas of phenomenology (M. Scheler and H. C. Plessner) and on the other the ideas of pragmatic positivism (A. Gehlen).
A great role in disseminating the ideas of Marxism in Germany at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century was played by W. Liebknecht, A. Bebel, and F. Mehring, who developed in their works the materialist understanding of history. In a creative way Mehring applied the Marxist method to problems of literature, art, and social thought and criticized vulgar materialism and the philosophy of Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and E. von Hartmann, as well as neo-Kantianism and the neo-Kantian theory of ethical socialism. The principles of historical materialism were propagandized by K. Kautsky at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century; he subsequently entered on a path leading away from revolutionary socialism. In the development of Marxist theory the struggle against E. Bernstein’s revision of Marxism was very significant. He viewed socialism as only an ethical ideal rather than as a scientific theory and proclaimed in philosophy the slogan “Back to Kant!” The most influential representatives of the neo-Kantian revision of the philosophical foundations of Marxism in Germany were H. Cunow and K. Vorländer. A. Bebel, F. Mehring, R. Luxemburg, K. Liebknecht, and others criticized the reformist ideas of Bernstein; their works played an important part in propagandizing the ideas of revolutionary Marxism.
The works and speeches of E. Thälmann in the 1920’s exposed the revisionist falsification of Marxism by the German opportunists and the leaders of social democracy. During the period of fascist rule (1933-45) the fight of the German Marxists against the ideas of chauvinism and racism and the unmasking of the social demagoguery of fascism and its philosophical myths were of the greatest importance in the formation of an antifascist front.
P. P. GAIDENKO and V. A. KARPUSHIN (Marxist philosophy in Germany)
Historical scholarship. The most important works of German feudal historiography of the 11th through the 13th centuries are the chronicles by Thietmar of Merseburg, Adam of Bremen, Helmold, Arnold of Lübeck, and Otto of Freising. Outstanding representatives of German humanistic historiography of the 15th and 16th centuries were J. Wimpfeling, Beatus Rhenanus, Aventinus, and S. Franck, the most important historian of the democratic wing of the humanists. The humanists accomplished a great deal with respect to collecting and publishing German medieval and ancient literary monuments; they undertook the first steps in the scholarly criticism of sources and in overcoming the medieval theological conceptions of history. They wrote general surveys of German history, as well as local histories (for example, that of Bavaria); the humanists’ historical and geographical works assisted in awakening the national self-consciousness. German historiography of the 16th century was influenced by the sharp sociopolitical and religious struggle of the epoch of the Reformation and the Peasants’ War.
German Enlightenment historiography of the 18th and early 19th centuries made an important contribution to the treatment of progress as a universal, worldwide historical phenomenon (the philosopher J. G. Herder, the Arabist J. J. Reiske, and the founder of the Göttingen school of historians, A. L. von Schlözer). Criticism of feudal absolutism began from bourgeois points of view, and a bourgeois conception of the national state developed (although slowly, held back by feudal isolation and fragmentation). Nevertheless, the German Enlightenment figures in the field of historical knowledge as applied to religion and the state did not come to the conclusions that were inherent in the Enlightenment philosophy of history in France. The greatest strides (linked with the achievements of philology and, to some extent, archaeology) were made in the 18th and the first half of the 19th centuries in research into ancient history. German scholars became the founders of a new, critical method in the study of classical culture (J. Winckelmann), Greek philology (F. A. Wolf), and the most ancient history of Rome (B. G. Niebuhr); they began the systematic study of Hellenism (J. G. Droysen), laid the foundations of Greek epigraphy (A. Böckh) and the decipherment of ancient Persian cuneiform writing (G. F. Grotefend), and made a major contribution to the decipherment of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics (K. R. Lepsius). The representatives of German classical philosophy (especially J. G. von Herder and G. Hegel) considerably deepened the concepts of progress and historical development. Bourgeois nationalistic German historiography developed (F. von Schiller, H. Luden, and others). This trend was considerably aided by the publication of a multivolume edition of source materials on the history of medieval Germany—Monumenta Germaniae historica (from 1826), begun by the Society for the Study of Early German History (founded in 1819). The gentry-Junker tendency was dominant in German historiography. It was represented, first of all, by German romantic historiography (F. C. von Savigny and K. F. Eichhorn), by the political scientists K. L. von Haller and A. Müller, and by the historian H. Leo. The origin of the historical school of L. Ranke was also closely linked with reactionary romanticism.
The major works of these reactionary romantics were permeated with hostile attitudes toward the ideas of the Enlightenment and the Great French Revolution, with apologetics for the Middle Ages, and with an idealization of backward German sociopolitical systems. For an extended length of time these opinions exercised a reactionary influence on the development of historical and political thought in Germany. Nevertheless, the romantics made a significant contribution to the growth of historical scholarship. Savigny and Eichhorn emphasized the historical ties between epochs and the unique development of each people. Ranke began the extensive use of archival diplomatic documents, and he was the first to introduce seminar classes as a pedagogical method in the teaching of history at the universities. In the organization of historical scholarship and the level of research techniques Germany began to surpass other countries during the second quarter of the 19th century.
The foremost trend of bourgeois historiography during the first half of the 19th century, which opposed the predominant gentry-Junker tendency and also to a large degree continued the traditions of the Enlightenment, was the Young German, or the so-called Heidelberg, school of historians. Like the moderate Enlightenment thinkers this school was incapable of providing the historical groundwork for the necessity of democratically transforming Germany’s social structure and of solving the problem of unifying the country by revolutionary democratic means. Nevertheless, the historians of this school (F. C. Schlosser, G. Gervinus, K. von Rotteck, and others) did produce a criticism of the Middle Ages (albeit from liberal-idealistic, moralistic, and Enlightenment points of view); they evaluated the Enlightenment and early bourgeois revolutions positively. W. Zimmermann elucidated the history of the Peasants’ War (1524-26) in Germany with sympathy for the peasants and from a democratic point of view.
A truly revolutionary turning point in historical scholarship was the creation by K. Marx and F. Engels of the dialectical materialistic conception of history, historical materialism. It was developed by them not only in general philosophical and economic works but also in strictly historical studies (such as The Class War in France from 1848 to 1850 and The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte by Marx; The Peasant War in Germany and The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State by Engels). Marx and Engels were the founders of the Marxist school in German historiography.
During the 1850’s and 1860’s the dominant trend in German historiography was the Prussian or “Lesser German” school of historians (H. von Sybel, J. G. Droysen, later H. von Treitschke, and others). Characteristic of this school, which openly proclaimed the principle of bourgeois partisanship, were the active advocacy of the unification of Germany “from above” under the aegis of Prussia, criticism of the Middle Ages and the Catholic Church and, at the same time, hostility toward revolutionary and democratic movements, militant nationalism, and an ideological and methodological eclecticism (the assimilation of many theoretical principles of Ranke’s school, such as the worship of the state and “heroes” and the recognition of the primary importance of foreign policy). The rapprochement of bourgeois historiography with that of the Junkers, the defense of the history of Prussia, and the teaching that the Hohenzollerns were the “people’s kings” and Bismarck was the incarnation of the “strong personality” became particularly intense during the 1870’s, 1880’s, and 1890’s (the works of Treitschke and others). At the same time essential progress was achieved in organizing historical scholarship. In many German states historical commissions were established, which concerned themselves primarily with local history and with the publication of historical source materials. In 1852 the All-German Union of German Historical and Archaeological Societies was formed. Multivolume publications of sources were begun, for example, Chronicles of the German Cities (from 1862) and Documents of the German Reichstag (from 1867). In 1859, Sybel founded the journal Historische Zeitschrift, which became the foremost historical journal of German bourgeois historians. Of serious importance for the study of antiquity were the archaeological excavations in Troy of H. Schliemann and especially those of W. Dörpfeld. The most important contribution to developing the history of ancient Rome was made by T. Mommsen. Scholars from the Berlin school of Egyptologists (A. Erman and his students) wrote fundamental works on Egyptian philology; the works of T. Nöldeke laid the foundation for the scholarly study of the Koran; and the works of J. Wellhausen were a landmark in the history of Old Testament biblical criticism. A major achievement of German medieval scholarship was the creation in the 1860’s by G. L. von Maurer of the communal theory.
Beginning in the 1870’s and 1880’s, German bourgeois historiography came to be influenced more than it had been earlier by positivism (the most important German positivist historian was K. Lamprecht); more attention began to be paid to economic problems (historical economic works by the representatives of the so-called young historical school, G. von Schmoller, G. F. Knapp, and K. Bücher, and works by representatives of the classical patriarchal theory, including K. Lamprecht, K. T. Inama-Sternegg, and K. W. Nitsch). Beginning in the 1890’s, noticeable symptoms of an incipient crisis in bourgeois historical methodology were manifested. There was an increased influence of neo-Kantianism (W. Windelband and H. Rickert) on bourgeois historiography. Also relying on its methodology was the cultural-historical school in ethnography, headed by F. Graebner. The so-called critical trend in medieval studies (G. von Below, G. Seeliger, W. Wittich, and others) proceeded (from a reactionary point of view) to reexamine the fundamental positions of the communal theory. The contradictory nature of the development of German historiography at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century was manifested in the successes of German scholars in specific historical studies, on the one hand, and the reactionary nature of their general methodological points of view on the other hand. This contradictory quality was clearly apparent in the work of the very important specialist on ancient history E. Meyer, the Assyriologist and Hittologist H. Winckler, and the enthnographer L. Frobenius. At the beginning of the 20th century there was a noticeable growth in the influence of the militaristic, imperialistic, and chauvinistic conceptions of the Pan-Germanic historians (D. Schäfer, G. von Below, and others).
The most important representative of German Marxist historiography during the last third of the 19th and the first part of the 20th century was F. Mehring; he made serious contributions to the unmasking of the Prussophile monarchist legends of Junker-bourgeois historiography, to the study of the history of the workers’ movement, to the life and activity of Marx, and so forth. The historical works of K. Kautsky and G. Cunow, dating from this period and written from completely Marxist points of view, elucidated the history of pre-Marxist socialism and unmasked the legends concerning the decisive role of the big bourgeoisie in destroying feudalism in France. However, the increased influence of opportunism in the German social democratic movement had a gradually increasing effect on historical concepts as well (the revisionist ideas of the German workers’ movement and the demeaning of revolutionary Marxism and the exaltation of reformism in the works of E. Bernstein and others).
During the period of the Weimar Republic (1919-33) some German historians (foremost among whom was F. Meinecke) attempted to modify the old traditional ideas of German reactionary historiography (pre-1914), applying them to the new conditions (propaganda for an alliance with Great Britain, an emphatically hostile attitude toward Soviet Russia, etc.). The militant antiliberals (G. von Below, G. Ritter, F. Härtung, and others) continued to justify German imperialism in their historical works; they declared that the revolutionary movement, especially the German proletariat, was responsible for Germany’s defeat in the war (the legend of the “stab in the back with a dagger”), and they continued to disseminate the worship of Frederick II and Bismarck. Such German historians as G. Oncken and E. Brandenburg strove in their works to absolve Germany of responsibility for the war. This same goal was pursued in the tendentious publication of diplomatic documents from the period 1871-1914 (40 volumes). In historical methodology there was an intensification in the struggle against the idea of historical laws in history, as well as in the influence of irrationalism. Some historians were greatly influenced by the sociology of M. Weber. Left-wing liberal and democratic trends were represented by a small group of historians (G. Meyer, F. Valentin, and others). In social democratic historiography (Kautsky, Cunow, and P. Kampfmeyer) there was an increase in reformist propaganda in elucidating the history of the German workers’ movement. During the period of the fascist dictatorship (1933-45) the reactionary traditions of Junker and bourgeois historiography were put at the service of fascist ideology.
Marxist historical thought (the works of W. Ulbricht and other leaders of the Communist Party of Germany, the KPD) devoted its primary attention to the history of the German workers’ movement, the history of the KPD, and the exposure of the reality of fascism along with the democratic tendencies of German history.
A. I. DANILOV and V. A. GAVRILICHEV
Economic scholarship. In Germany economic scholarship has been essentially influenced by the characteristics of the country’s historical and economic growth (a prolonged disunity of its regions, backwardness in capitalistic development as compared to the advanced Western European countries, unification “from above” and its rapid economic growth beginning in the 1870’s, the nature of German imperialism, etc.). During the 17th and 18th centuries Kameralis-mus developed in Germany (J. J. Becher, W. von Schröder, P. V. von Hering, J. H. von Justi, and J. von Sonnenfels); it was closely linked to the economic requirements of the German absolutist states and therefore did not attain the theoretical level reached by British mercantilism. The doctrine of the physiocrats had a few followers in Germany during the second half of the 18th century (J. A. Schlettwein and J. Mauvillon). The most prominent representative of German reactionary romanticism in economic scholarship and political science at the beginning of the 19th century was A. Müllér, who defended the estatecorporate structure and other feudal survivals in Germany and who opposed even moderate bourgeois reforms.
Bourgeois political economy developed in Germany as vulgar political economy. During the first half of the 19th century a great influence on the development of bourgeois economic thought in Germany was exerted by F. List, who opposed the classical bourgeois political economy and its idea of free trade with a so-called national economy (together with a system of prohibitive protectionism and the active assistance of the state in developing capitalist industry); in List progressive elements of economic policy were interwoven with vulgar economic theoretical positions. The theoretician of the so-called Prussian way of developing capitalism in agriculture was J. H. von Thünen (first half of the 19th century), and J. K. Rodbertus-Jagetzow worked on the problems of pauperism and business crises. The 1840’s and 1850’s witnessed the rise of the so-called old historical school of vulgar political economy (W. Roscher, B. Hildebrand, K. Knies, and others), which replaced analysis of the essence of economic categories by their description and superficial classification. Later came the so-called new (young) historical school (G. von Schmoller, L. Brentano, K. Bücher, A. Wagner, G. Knapp, and others), which advocated social reforms and the peaceful growth of capitalism into socialism.
A revolutionary turning point in political economy was achieved by K. Marx and F. Engels, whose economic doctrine became one of the principal component parts of Marxism-Leninism.
Predominant among German bourgeois economists were the ideas of protectionism and the state’s active intervention in economic life. A reaction to the rapid spread of Marxism and the growth of the workers’ movement was the emergence of the ideas of bourgeois economic reformism. They were widely propagated by the representatives of the so-called Kathedersozialismus; this movement included many economists of the new (young) historical school, such as G. von Schmoller, G. von Schulze-Gävernitz, and later W. Sombart, who became one of the most influential bourgeois economists at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. A considerable number of representatives of the German national economy began to mask their bourgeois opinions with socialist terminology. The ideas of a so-called state socialism were propagated by many bourgeois economists (those who, like Rodbertus-Jagetzow, were representatives of Kathedersozialismus), as well as certain opportunistic leaders in the workers’ movement (such as F. Lassalle). From the end of the 19th century an important place in the economic thought of Germany was occupied by the views of the reformist, revisionist trend in the social democratic movement, which “synthesized” many positions of bourgeois vulgar political economy with Marxism and which introduced many “corrections” to Marxism, supposedly using “new data of economic development” (E. Bernstein and his followers, E. David, G. von Vollmar, and others). Such prominent figures in the German social democratic movement as R. Hilferding and K. Kautsky contributed to propagandizing the economic doctrine of Marxism and to working out a number of economic problems (Kaut-sky’s analysis of the agrarian question, Hilferding’s treatment of specific problems of finance capital). Subsequently, however, they advocated revisionist anti-Marxist theories on a number of questions (the theories of “ultraimperialism,” “organized capitalism,” for example). The struggle against revisionist economic concepts was waged with the greatest logical persistence by R. Luxemburg (although her economic views were not free from erroneous concepts).
The attempts to advance an economic doctrine that would be an alternative to Marxism and to provide an interpretation of the new manifestations of capitalism, which had entered upon the imperialistic stage, found expression after World War I (1914-18) in the appearance of the social-legal and social-organic trends of bourgeois political economy (R. Stammler, R. Stolzmann, K. Diehl, and others); a great influence on the development of bourgeois scholarship in Germany was exerted by the ideas of the theoretician of marginal utility, J. Schumpeter.
During the period of fascist domination in Germany no economic theories were created that would satisfy the requirements of bourgeois economic practice and, at the same time, completely correspond to fascist propaganda. The level of bourgeois political economy during the period of the fascist dictatorship was low. Even Keynesianism and the theory of monopolistic competition, which were widespread at that time, had little influence on German economists, although they were welcomed by certain representatives of monopoly capital and state leaders (H. Schacht). The neoliberal trend (W. Eucken, F. Böhm, and L. Miksch) that originated during this period exerted no influence, but it did play a large role subsequently in postwar West Germany.
Jurisprudence. The development of jurisprudence as a specialized branch of learning distinct from theology was connected in Germany, as in all of continental Europe, with the reception of Roman law. However, early trends in German jurisprudence of the 13th to the 16th century (such as the activity of the legal glossators and postglossators) did not attain a level comparable to that reached in the Latin parts of Europe. These trends, nevertheless, facilitated the development of the so-called Roman law of the German nation, which became the general law of the Empire in contrast to the particular laws of the various principalities.
In the second half of the 17th century and in the 18th century German legal thought was influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment but developed under conditions of economic and political backwardness and fragmentation. This circumstance also had an effect on the most characteristic current of the period—the idea of natural law—especially on the works of its leading representatives in Germany, S. Pufen-dorf, C. Wolff, and C. Thomasius. In this period attention was more and more directed to the working out of specific problems of positive law, especially criminal and civil law, for example, the works of S. von Cocceji the Younger, one of the compilers of the Prussian Code of 1794. J. Moser and G. F. von Martens represented the so-called positive school in international law. In 1693, G. W. von Leibniz’ Code of International Law was published, which also devoted much attention to the historical and comparative study of law.
The exponents of German classical philosophy, I. Kant, J. Fichte, and G. Hegel, also gave considerable attention to legal problems in their works, regarding jurisprudence as a part of philosophy. They propounded their social and political views, including their theories of the state, as the philosophy of law. These philosophers also worked out many concrete problems of jurisprudence, including the relationship between law and ethics and between law and the state, the basis of responsibility, the principles of justice, and questions of civil, criminal, and international law.
In the first half of the 19th century jurisprudence in Germany developed under the influence of the historical school of law of F. K. von Savigny, K. F. Eichhorn, and G. F. Puchta. Defending the feudal structure, this school advanced the idea of the spontaneous self-development of law and of the leading role of customary law, which was set in opposition to legislation and particularly to codifications. A predominant role was played by historical-legal studies, which to a large extent were no more than the study of the “general law of the German nation,” that is, the received Roman law, which objectively answered the needs of developing capitalistic relations. The Romanist, or Pandectist, school arose, represented by H. Dernburg, B. J. Windscheid, and others. The important civil law material collected by the Pandectists served as the basis for the German Civil Code of 1896. In contrast to the Romanists the so-called Germanists, such as R. von Gneist and O. von Gierke, urged the creation of a “truly German law,” thereby giving nationalistic overtones to the historical school’s thesis of the national path of the development of law. The conflict between the Romanists and the Germanists left a considerable imprint on the development of legal thought in Germany. It assumed a particularly sharp form at the time of the codification of laws.
Beginning in the middle of the 19th century positivist tendencies predominated in German jurisprudence. The representatives of positivism in general legal theory included R. von Jhering and K. Bergbohm; civil law was represented by the Pandectists; and in criminal law there arose the classical school of criminal law of A. von Feuerbach and K. E. Zachariä. In constitutional law positivist ideas found expression in the so-called juridical school of statecraft (P. Laband and G. Jellinek). At this time there arose in Germany the concept of Rechtsstaat (an idea earlier expressed by Kant), that is, the claim of “self-limitation” of state power by constitutional and other legal rules established by the state itself. This concept has retained its great significance in the 20th century.
At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th there appeared new schools with legal-philosophical and legal-sociological orientations. Among the representatives of the legal-philosophical school, neo-Kantian influences were especially strong on R. Stammler, E. Lask, and G. Radbruch, while neo-Hegelianism influenced J. Kohler and J. Binder. The legal-sociological schools in Germany, represented by H. Sinzheimer, H. Kantorowicz, and F. von Liszt, reflected basic modifications in bourgeois law in connection with the development of monopoly capitalism, the decline of legal-philosophical ideas, and the crisis tendencies of the bourgeois legal order and legality. Foremost in all these conceptions is the dichotomy between legislation and “living law” (E. Ehrlich) and between statutes and the “idea of justice,” as well as a demand that the judge be free to exercise discretion. Among the so-called academic socialists (Kathedersozialisten) the ideas of “legal socialism” (A. Menger) were widely accepted, which in the spirit of the general tendency of reformism and opportunism opposed social revolution by advancing legal reforms.
At the beginning of the 20th century an ideological complex arose in Germany supporting the aggressive militaristic course of the German monopolies and Junkers. It promoted the idea of the superiority of the “truly German law,” an interpretation of law based on force and social Darwinism, and psychological conceptions of law of a chauvinist bent. In the period after World War I (1914-18) this complex, together with some others that arose in this period under the influence of certain doctrines—the reactionary neo-Hegelianism of
G. Lasson and the “integrationism” of R. Smend—became part of the official legal-political ideology of fascist Germany.
Fascist German jurisprudence (represented by K. Schmitt, H. Nicolai, O. Köllreutler, and K. Lorenz), having proclaimed the ideas of race law, of “the law as the will of the leader,” and of “the superiority of the German legal order,” justified the arbitrariness of the Nazis, their hatred of humanity, and their aggressive war. Many representatives of Nazi jurisprudence have continued their activity in the German Federal Republic.
V. A. TUMANOV
Literary history and criticism. German literary history and criticism began to develop during the period of the Enlightenment. G. E. Lessing in his struggle against the dogmatic classicism of J. C. Gottsched laid the groundwork for realistic aesthetics and gave literary criticism a scholarly foundation.
J. G. von Herder introduced the idea that literature is historically conditioned and turned to folk poetry as its source. The Romantics, such as the brothers A. and F. von Schlegel, referring back to Herder, attempted to give a broad survey (Europe, the Orient) of the development of literature. Later Romantics interpreted the concept of nationality in a reactionary manner—as the expression of the “eternal spirit of the people.” Nevertheless, the turn to the national past resulted in the appearance of A. Arnim and C. Brentano’s collection of folk songs and in the work of the Grimm brothers, the founders of the mythological school of folklore. In the 1830’s the cultural-historical school of G. Gervinus arose; it regarded literature as part of the culture and social and political development of the people. H. Hettner, a follower of Feuerbach, struggled against abstract aesthetics, affirming the connection between literature and life. In the 1880’s the philological method of W. Scherer and his school, based on positivism, gained strength. Scherer’s method consisted of textual criticism, study of the sources, compilation of commentaries, description of the history of the work’s creation, and study of the author’s biography.
At the turn of the 20th century the school of intellectual history (Geisteswissenschaften) of W. Dilthey and F. Gundolf arose as a reaction against positivism and historical materialism, with its intuitionist rejection of the historical method and its search for the irrational essence of an author’s experience, metaphysically tied to the “spirit of the age.” O. Walzel combined a formal approach to the study of literary history and criticism with typological categories derived from the pictorial arts. Fascist pseudoscholarship, represented by A. Bartels and J. Nadler, treated the writer in terms of “blood and soil.”
The enrichment of literary theory and of the scholarly-historical analysis of literature became possible only from the anti-imperialist position or in direct connection with Marxism—for example, the essays in literary history of H. and T. Mann and of W. Benjamin. The Marxist approach to literary history and criticism, represented after the writings of K. Marx and F. Engels by the works of F. Mehring, C. Zetkin, and R. Luxemburg, was the first to put the study of literature on a genuinely scholarly basis. The masters of literature J. F. Becher, B. Brecht, A. Seghers, and A. Kurella made an outstanding contribution to the theory of socialist realism.
M. L. TRONSKAIA
Linguistics. During the 15th and 16th centuries in Germany school dictionaries and grammars in Latin and German appeared. During the 17th and 18th centuries Germanic philology was developed by M. Opitz, J. G. Schottel, J. Bödiker, M. Kramer, J. L. Frisch, J. Gottsched, J. Adelung, and others. During this period normative grammars and German-language dictionaries were compiled, remnants of ancient German literature were published, and collections of dialectal materials were begun.
In the 19th century German scholars developed comparative historical linguistics. The founders of this school were F. Bopp, who proved the genetic kinship of the Indo-European languages, and J. Grimm, who looked upon the history of language as a study of “the changes of linguistic customs in time” and language as a product of the cultural-historical development of a people. Guided by the ideas of J. Grimm, F. Diez and I. Zeuss laid the foundations of comparative linguistics of the Romance languages and the Celtic languages respectively. A. Schleicher published A Compendium of the Comparative Grammars of the Indo-European Languages during 1861-62, and A. Fick published his Comparative Dictionary of Indo-Germanic Languages in 1868.
In the 1870’s and 1880’s the Leipzig school of neogrammarians played a significant role in the extensive development of Indo-European comparative linguistics. It developed the theory of the strict regularity of phonetic change. In the multivolume Survey of Comparative Grammar of the Indo-Germanic Languages (vols. 1-5, 1866-1916; 2nd ed., vols. 1-5, 1897-1916) published by K. Brugman and B. Delbrück, questions of phonetics, morphology, and syntax were treated. This work, despite some questionable reconstructions found in it, remains relevant today. Among the fundamental works on Indo-European linguistics appearing in the 20th century are Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Germanic Languages by A. Walde, published by J. Pokorny (vols. 1-3, 1926-32), and Indo-Germanic Grammar by H. Hirt (vols. 1-7, 1921-37).
In the 19th and 20th centuries research on languages of other groups was carried out, including the Semitic languages by V. Ganesius, T. Nöldeke, and C. Brockelmann and the African languages by D. Westermann, F. Praetorius, and C. Dillmann.
The views of W. von Humboldt, who looked upon language not as something static and completed but as a process or an action, significantly influenced the development of linguistics. A. Schleicher worked out a naturalistic conception of linguistics in the 1850’s and 1860’s. The psychological trend in linguistics was represented in the works of H. Steinthal, W. Wundt, and A. Scherer, as well as in those of H. Paul (especially in the work Principles in the History of Language, 1880), who founded and developed the views of the neogrammarian school. The leading representative of the aesthetic theory of language or “idealistic neophilology,” which took shape in the 1920’s, was K. Vossler.
The scientific study of German dialects was begun by J. Schmeller (The Grammatical Structure of Bavarian Dialects, 1821) and J. Winteler (The Kern Dialect in the Canton of Glarus, 1876). Further progress in dialectology through the plotting of dialects on maps was made possible by G. Wenker and F. Wrede, who compiled the first Dialectological Atlas of the German Language (1926-51). W. Mitzka and T. Frings also contributed to this aspect of linguistics. F. Engel’s unfinished work The Frankish Dialect was of fundamental importance. Through dialectological research historical and sociological concepts were introduced in German linguistics.
A materialistic understanding of language was formulated in various works and statements of K. Marx and F. Engels, who defined language as practical active consciousness (German Ideology) and set forth the theory of the origin of language as a means of intercourse in the human collective in connection with the process of labor.
V. A. ABRAMOV and N. N. SEMENIUK
REFERENCESMarx, K., and F. Engels. Nemetskaia ideologiia. Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 3.
Engels, F. Liudvig Feierbakh i konets klassicheskoi nemetskoi filocofii. Ibid., vol. 21.
Karinskii, M. Kriticheskii obzor poslednego perioda germanskoi filosofii. St. Petersburg, 1873.
Windelband, W. Istoriia novoifilosofii … , 3rd ed., vols. 1-2. St. Petersburg, 1913. (Translated from German.)
Windelband, W. Filosofiia v nemetskoi dukhovnoi zhizni 19 stoletiia. Moscow, 1910. (Translated from German.)
Asmus, V. F. Nemetskaia estetika 18 v., Moscow .
Geine, G. K istorii religii i filosofii v Germanii. Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 7. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936.
Istoriia filosofii, vols. 2-3. Moscow, 1941-43.
Istoriia filosofii, vols. 2, 3, 5, 6. Moscow, 1957-65.
Cornu, A. Karl Marks i Fridrikh Engel’s: Zhizn’ i deiatel’nost’, vols. 1-3. Moscow, 1959-68. (Translated from German.)
Oizerman, T. I. Formirovanie filosofii marksizma. Moscow, 1962.
Schwarz, T. Ot Shopengauera k Kheideggeru. Moscow, 1964. (Translated from German.)
Zeller, E. Geschichte der deutschen Philosophie seit Leibniz, 2nd ed. Munich, 1875.
Hartmann, N. Die Philosophie des deutschen Idealismus, parts 1-2. Berlin, 1923-29.
Überweg, F. Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie, 13th ed., vol. 4. Basel, 1951.
Die deutsche Philosophie der Gegenwart in Selbstdarstellungen, vols. 1-7. Edited by R. Schmidt. Leipzig, 1921-29.
Lukacs, G. Die Zerstörung der Vernunft. Berlin, 1954.
Löwith, K. Von Hegel zu Nietzsche, 4th ed. Stuttgart .
Schelsky, H. Ortsbestimmung der deutschen Soziologie, 3rd ed. Düsseldorf-Cologne, 1967.
Istoriografiia novogo vremeni stran Evropy i Ameriki. Moscow, 1967.
Istoriografiia novoi i noveishei istorii stran Evropy i Ameriki. Moscow, 1968.
Studien über die deutsche Geschichtswissenschaft, vols. 1-2. Berlin, 1963-65.
Marx, K. Teorii pribavochnoi stoimosti (vol. 4, Kapital). K. Marx and F. Engels. Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 26, parts 1-3.
Rozenberg, D. I. Istoriia politicheskoi ekonomii. Moscow, 1940.
Istoriia ekonomicheskikh uchenii. (Textbook.) Editor in chief, N. K. Karataev. Moscow, 1963.
Deborin, A. M. Sotsial’no-politicheskie ucheniia novogo i noveishego vremeni. Vol. 2: Ocherki sotsial’no-policheskoi mysli v Germanii: Konets XVII-nachalo XIX v. Moscow, 1967.
Schiller, F. Literaturovedenie v Germanii. Moscow, 1934.
Positionen. Leipzig, 1969.
Eppelsheimer, H. W. Bibliographie der deutschen Literaturwissenschaft, vol. 7. [Frankfurt am Main, 1967.]
The oldest remaining heroic epic in Old High German (written c. 810) is Song of Hildebrand, in which the conflict between honor in war and feelings of kinship is treated. The oldest poem is Heliand, in which an attempt is made to adapt the biblical lives of the saints to the heroic epic. A verse arrangement of the Gospels by the monk Otfried of Weissen-burg (the first German poet known by name), plays (imitative of Terence), religious poetry, lives of the saints, and legends (in Latin) by the nun Hrosvitha of Bad-Gandersheim (c. 935-c. 975) are believed to date from the ninth and tenth centuries. Wandering minstrels—Spielmänner—continued to be the guardians of the oral poetic traditions. From the middle of the 12th century ascetic sermons gave way to poems (King Rother, Herzog Ernst, etc.) and to chivalric novels and lyric poetry, all for the most part having a secular character with the exception of the novel Parzival (c. 1198—1210) by Wolfram von Eschenbach (c. 1170-c. 1220), which has a mystical religious character. In the romance Tristan und Isolde (c. 1210) by Gotfried of Strasbourg (13th century) and in verses by the Minnesinger (in the political poetry of Walther von der Vogelweide, c. 1170-c. 1230, and others) the chivalric adoration of the lady is glorified. The last compilations of ancient historic tales—the Ring of the Niebelungen (c. 1200), Kudrun (beginning of the 13th century), Poem of Dietrich von Bern, and others—are believed to date from the 12th and 13th centuries.
From the 13th century the genre of city chronicles, or burgher literature (the Nuremberg Chronicle and others), was developed. The latter included stories, or Schwanken, by Der Strieker (the middle of the 13th century). A short story in verse by Wernher der Gartenaere called Meier Helmbrecht (c. 1275) contrasted the honest toilers with the brigand-knights. In the 14th and 15th centuries didactic and allegorical poetry, Meistersang, and Fastnachtsspiele (folk farces) were popular.
In the Renaissance there was a flowering of humanistic literature with an ardent anticlerical bias, such as Ship of Fools (1494) by S. Brant (1457-1521), Guild of Swindlers (1512) by T. Murner (1475-1537), Letters of Obscure Men (1515-17), written by a group of humanists (among them U. von Hutten), and In Praise of Folly (1509) by Erasmus of Rotterdam (c. 1466-1536; Dutch by origin but closely tied to German and all northern humanism). The dialogues of Ulrich von Hutten (1488-1523) were witty and merciless. The literature of the Reformation, beginning with anti-Catholic pamphlets by the radical burgher opposition and messages and sermons by leaders of the peasant-plebeian movement, found its fullest expression in the exposés of papal Rome by Luther (1483-1546). By reforming the German language in his translation of the Bible, he “created modern German prose” (F. Engels; see K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed. vol. 20, p. 346). The songs of the Peasants’ War opened a revolutionary page in German literature. The sermons of T. Münzer (c. 1490-1525) were the first to be inspired by the communist ideal, although in religious trappings. Protest against feudal oppression and religious hypocrisy were expressed in the works of Meistersinger H. Sachs (1494-1576), the satirist J. Fischart (1546-90), and in the remarkable “popular books” (cheap popular editions) Til Eulenspiegel (1515), Schildbürger (1598), and The Story of Doctor Johann Faust (1587).
The literature of the 17th century was affected by the Thirty Years War and the general religious crisis. M. Opitz (1597-1639) upheld the principles of classicism and attempted to overcome the dependence of German literature on other European literatures (Book on German Poetry, 1624). The greatest influence was the literature of the baroque (D. C. von Lohenstein, 1635-83, and C. H. von Hofmannswaldau, 1617-79). The works of the playwright and poet A. Gryfius (1616-64) and the prose writer H. J. C. von Grimmelshausen (1621-76), author of Simplicissimus (1669), belong to this school. The latter work was the high point of German literature in the 17th century, because it so realistically reflected the tragic lot of the people of a country devastated by wars. C. Weise (1642-1708) and C. Reuter (1665-c. 1712) were writers of the early Enlightenment. In the 18th century J. C. Gottsched (1700-66) wrote prose and drama of the Enlightenment after the model of French classicism, but it was through the works of G. E. Lessing (1729-81) that German literature acquired an antiabsolutist character and reached its highest point of development. In his fables and dramas (Minna von Barnhelm, 1767; Emilia Galotti, 1772; and Nathan the Wise, 1779) urgent social questions were raised. In Laokoon (1766) and Hamburg Dramaturgy (1767-69) the principles of enlightened realism and national art were laid down. C. M. Wieland (1733-1813) in his novel Agathon (1766) was the originator of the genre of the German Bil-dungsroman. The lyricist F. G. Klopstock (1724-1803) expressed the consciousness of the most progressive element of the German burghers and influenced many young poets.
In the 1770’s the writers of the Sturm und Drang movement, developing the democratic ideals of Lessing, denounced the classicists and proclaimed “feeling” and “passion” as their determining principle. One of the founders of this movement and its greatest theorist was J. G. von Herder (1744-1808). He turned to the treasure of folklore and mapped out a historical approach to the questions of national literature and art. The early works of J. W. von Goethe (1749-1832) and F. von Schiller (1759-1805) also fit into this movement, along with J. Lenz (1751-92), F. M. Klinger (1752-1831); C. F. D. Schubart (1739-91), H. L. Wagner (1747-79), G. A. Bürger (1747-94), J. G. Hamann (1730-1788), and F. H. Jakobi (1740-1814). The lyrical poetry of the young Goethe and his first German historical drama Götz von Berlichingen (1773) were the artistic discovery of the century. His sentimental novel The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774), which protested against the enslavement of the individual by the absolutist and class social structure, earned him universal acclaim. The plays of the young Schiller—The Robbers (1781), Love and Intrigue (1784), and Don Carlos (1787)—were full of rebellious enthusiasm.
At the end of the 1780’s, Goethe and Schiller worked out an aesthetic program called Weimar classicism, developed from the ideas of J. J. Winckelman (1717-68). It called for an artistic regeneration of the classical image of the harmonious man. Reflecting the contradiction between the revolutionary feelings of the time and the national backwardness of Germany, Weimar classicism was searching for effective ways to transform society. However, the classicist tragedy Iphigenia on Tauris (published 1787) and verses in the style of the poetry of antiquity were only one facet in Goethe’s searching. At the same time he continued to develop the realistic line in his works. He wrote the historical drama Egmont in 1788 and a Bildungsroman, The Education of Wilhelm Meister, in 1793-96.
The Great French Revolution (in which an active participant was the greatest German democrat of the 18th century, G. Forster [1754-94]) influenced even the works of the authors who disapproved of it, or approved of it with reservations. Influenced by the ethics and aesthetics of I. Kant (the trilogy Wallenstein, 1797-99), Schiller’s plays were permeated with the spirit of a new age. Schiller’s portrayal of the people as the motive force in society (especially in Wilhelm Tell, 1804) was new. The culmination of the 18th-century ideas of the European Enlightenment was Faust (1808-32), in which Goethe expressed his passionate faith in the power of labor and knowledge.
Romanticism originated at the turn of the 19th century (the Schlegel brothers—Friedrich, 1772-1829, and August, 1767-1845—and L. Tieck, 1773-1853). A result of disillusionment with bourgeois progress that did not substantiate the hopes for social and cultural change, romantic literature took many forms and had many different biases. J. Hölderlin (1770-1843) illuminated his lyric poetry, prose (Hyperion, 1797-99), and dramas (The Death of Empedokles, 1798-99) with the ideals of the Great French Revolution; in contrast, his contemporary, F. L. Novalis (1772-1801), idealized the feudal Middle Ages (Heinrich von Ofterdingen, 1802). H. von Kleist (1777-1811) combined in his works a defense of the Prussian state and a hatred of Napoleon with an exposure of the real contradictions and antihumanism of bourgeois society. One positive aspect of romanticism was its interest in folk poetry (the collection The Boy’s Magic Horn by A. von Arnim, 1781-1831, and C. Brentano, 1778-1842; and Children and Family Tales, 1812-14, by the brothers Grimm—Jakob, 1785-1863, and Wilhelm, 1786-1859). These works were a fertile influence on the lyric poetry of J. von Eichendorff (1788-1857), W. Müller (1794-1827), and the young H. Heine (1797-1856). E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776-1822), whose works combined the real and the fantastic, presented a satirical exposé of the feudal world (Reflections on Life by Murr the Tomcat, 1820-22) and brilliantly pointed out the tragedy of man’s alienation in bourgeois society (Little Zaches, 1819); the latter theme was also clearly put forth in the novella Peter Schlemihl (1814) by A. von Chamisso (1781-1838). The motifs of Heine’s Book of Songs (1827) already point to a transcendence of romance itself. He approaches revolutionary-democratic views in his book Travel Pictures (1826-31).
Sympathy with the July Revolution of 1830 in France (L. Börne, 1786-1847, Letters From Paris, 1832-4) was expressed in polemics against romanticism and traditional German classicism; these polemics were initiated by a group of young writers called Young Germany, who were brought together by common liberal principles (L. Wienbarg, 1802-72; K. Gutzkow, 1811-78; H. Laube, 1806-84). Poetry gave way to prose, publicistic writings, and plays. The historical dramas of C. D. Grabbe (1801-36) and Gutzkow were of great interest. The works of G. Büchner (1813-37) were outstanding; his play Danton’s Death (1835) evaluated the experience of the French Revolution in light of the problems of the lower classes. His social tragedy Woyzeck (1837, published 1879) and his leaflet published in Der Hessische Landbote (1834) were directed against social and political oppression.
The first organ propagandizing the new aesthetic principles was the Rheinische Zeitung (1842-43), the editor of which was K. Marx. In the political narrative poem Germany, a Winter Tale (1844), in the collection Contemporary Verse (1843-44), and in publicistic essays Heine developed his socialist ideals in the spirit of St. Simon. Political lyric poetry became the main literary genre on the eve of the bourgeois-democratic revolution, including that of F. Freiligrath (1810-76), G. Herwegh (1817-75, Verses of a Living Man, 1841), A. Glassbrenner (1810-76, Forbidden Songs of a German Poet, 1844; the satiric Neuer Reineke Fuchs, 1846).
After the revolt of the Silesian textile workers (1844) literature found a new hero—the proletarian. The poets (“true socialists”) and authors of the first novels with a working-class theme (E. Willkomm, 1810-86; L. Otto-Peters, 1819-95; and R. Prutz, 1816-72) limited themselves to sympathy and compassion, but the poets of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung (1848-49), also headed by Marx, exposed the lot of the working class from the viewpoint of scientific socialism. The poet G. Weerth (1822-56) in his novella Humorous Sketches from German Commercial Life (1847-48) and in his novel The Life and Adventures of the Famous Knight of Schnapphahnski (1849) raised German socialist literature to the level of national literature.
After the Revolution of 1848-49 in Germany the great era of German literature begun by Lessing was over. The process of developing critical realism in German literature did not proceed in one unified direction. The works of T. Storm (1817-88), B. A. Auerbach (1812-82), and F. Reuter (1810-74) did not transcend the limits of regional literature. The novels of F. von Spielhagen (1829-1911) enjoyed some popularity. The most significant artist-realist of this time was T. Fontane (1819-98), author of the novella Schach von Wuthenow (1883) and the novels Frau Jenny Treibel (1892) and Effi Briest (1895), which sharply criticized the morals of bourgeois and aristocratic society.
The development of German drama took a different course. F. Hebbel (1813-63) and R. Wagner (1813-83) exhibited reactionary biases in their new interpretations of the romantic tradition. The only revolutionary drama in this period following the example set by Schiller was F. Las-salle’s (1825-64) historical drama Franz von Sickingen (1859). In the second half of the 19th century there appeared a literature defending the Junker-bourgeois state, such as the historical novels of F. Dahn (1834-1912), the dramas of E. von Wildenbruch (1845-1909), and G. Freytag’s (1816-95) novel Income and Expenditure (1855). In the works of the philosopher and author F. Nietzsche (1844-1900), criticisms of bourgeois liberalism, vulgar morals, and decadence in art were combined with antidemocratic views, power worship, and the preaching of immorality. Later, his writings were used as a weapon by imperialistic reactionary forces.
At the end of the 19th century the growth of the workers’ movement produced a proletarian literature (the historical novel of the Peasants’ War of the 16th century, For Liberty, 1898, by R. Schweichel, 1821-1907, for example). F. Mehring (1846-1919) became one of the most prominent of the Marxist literary critics and historians of German proletarian literature. Several democratically motivated writers played a major role in the development of naturalism. The role of naturalism in German literature was quite different from that in France. Some of the problems not resolved by German critical realism after 1848 were settled by the German naturalists; the theme of the actions of the proletariat figured in the works of R. Dehmel (1863-1920) and others. The famous playwright G. Hauptmann (1862-1946) started his career as a naturalist (Before Sunrise, 1889); his play The Weavers (1892) portrayed the Silesian Uprising of 1844.
However, as early as the beginning of the 20th century the impressionists, led by A. Holz (1863-1929) and J. Schlaf (1862-1941) began to demonstrate antinaturalistic tendencies. Several reactions to realism appeared, including neoromanticism and symbolism. However, if in The Sunken Bell (1896), Hauptmann as a symbolist might be said to continue to express a humanistic searching and striving, the symbolism and apologia of the state in the works of S. George (1868-1933) were a blatant expression of decadence.
In these same years realism grew stronger in German literature. The social analysis of T. Mann’s (1875-1955) Buddenbrooks (1901) and the first novels of H. Mann (1871-1950) and B. Kellerman (1879-1951) gave realism a new depth. The making of realism progressed in a complex interaction with norealistic tendencies (the features of aestheticism in The Goddesses, 1903, H. Mann; the influence of impressionism on the early Kellerman. One of T. Mann’s main themes was the tragic fate of the artist in bourgeois society (the short stories Tonio Kröger, 1903, and Death in Venice, 1913). H. Mann continued the traditions of German satire and grotesquely denounced the German bourgeois monarchy (Professor Unrat, 1905; The Patrioteer, published in Germany in 1918). C. Sternheim (1878-1942) wrote satirical comedies.
On the eve of World War I under conditions of growing revolutionary crisis, expressionism was born. Rebelling against the capitalist reality, it did not so much depict it as express revulsion (the poets G. Trakl, 1887-1914, and G. Heym, 1887-1912). Ecstatic expressionist lyric poetry called for the renewing of the world but in an abstract and Utopian way (the plays of W. Hasenclever, 1890-1940; G. Kaiser, 1878-1945; and E. Toller, 1893-1939). However, the works of the writers that were grouped around the magazine Aktion were filled with the ardor and acuteness of the struggle. Many of them aligned themselves with the proletarian struggle (J. Becher, 1891-1958; Toller; and R. Leonhard, 1889-1953). The magazine welcomed the Great October Revolution and published articles by V. I. Lenin and other participants of the Russian Revolution. Many realist writers felt the influence of expressionism (H. Mann in Kobes, 1925; L. Frank, 1882-1961, in The Man Is Good, 1917; and Kellerman in The Ninth of November, 1920).
In the years following the Great October Revolution in Russia, the November Revolution in Germany, and the class struggles of the beginning of the 1920’s several complex factors were at work in literature. On the basis of the reactionary apologist literature of the early 20th century a literature arose that urged counterrevolution, chauvinism, and aggression and that ended in fascist antiart. On the other hand, together with the relentless growth of socialist literature, humanist-bourgeois literature also made strides.
T. Mann created a new genre—the intellectual novel (Magic Mountain, 1924). In view of the efforts of reactionary forces, antimilitary themes acquired timely significance—the novel by E. M. Remarque (1898-1970) All Quiet on the Western Front, 1929; the books of L. Renn (born 1889); and the first novels of A. Zweig (1887-1968). The social contradictions of bourgeois society found expression in the works of L. Frank, H. Fallada (1893-1947), A. Döblin (1878-1957), who was author of the novel Berlin, Alexanderplatz (1929), and L. Feuchtwanger (1884-1958) in the novel Success (1930), which warned of the danger of fascism. During the second half of the 1920’s proletarian literature developed through the support of the Union of Proletarian Revolutionary Writers (1928). Together with writers leaving the expressionist school (J. Becher and F. Wolf, 1888-1953), a young generation of writers (A. Seghers, born 1900; W. Bredel, 1901-64; E. Weinert, 1890-1953; E. E. Kisch, 1885-1948; and G. Marchwitza 1890-1965) laid the groundwork for a new artistic method. B. Brecht (1898-1956) embraced Marxism and worked out his conception of epic theater. His plays The Threepenny Opera (1928), St. Joan of the Stockyards (1929-30), and Mother (1930-32) exposed bourgeois society from the point of view of the revolutionary proletariat.
After the establishment of a fascist dictatorship in Germany, T. Mann, H. Mann, L. Feuchtwanger, E. M. Remarque, L. Frank, A. Zweig, B. Brecht, J. Becher, A. Seghers, E. Weinert, and others emigrated. Hauptmann, H. Fallada, Kellerman, and Richard Huch remained in Germany but took almost no part in the literary life of the country. Poets of the resistance wrote a heroic page in the history of German literature (for example, the Moabit Sonnets by A. Haushofer, 1903-45, found after the author’s execution). Most significant were the antifascist emigrants, who carried on the development of the realist tradition. Socialist realism became firmly established and matured. The poetry of J. Becher flowered. Various novels were written, among them The Trial (1935) by W. Bredel and The Seventh Cross (1939) and Transit (1943) by A. Seghers; also appearing were the plays of F. Wolf (1888-1953) and the best plays of Brecht, including Mother Courage and Her Children (1939), The Good Woman of Setzuan (1938-40), The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (1941), and the first edition of Galileo (1938-9). The antifascist historical and philosophical novel won world recognition—examples of which are T. Mann’s trilogy Joseph and His Brothers (1933-43) and Feuchtwanger’s The Jewish War (1932). The question of the artist’s mission was answered in B. Frank’s novel Cervantes (1934) and T. Mann’s novel Lotte in Weimar (1939), which was about Goethe. H. Mann wrote a humanistic novel-dialogue about Henry IV (1935-38). The mixed composition of the emigrants was described in Feuchtwanger’s Exile (1939) and in Remarque’s Arc de Triomphe (1946). The best books of this time, full of concern for the fate of Germany and of all mankind, were a glorious page in the history of German humanistic literature.
After the complete defeat of fascism, T. Mann, H. Mann, Feuchtwanger, and Remarque did not return to their native land. They continued to work with themes related to their antifascist viewpoints. Remarque showed the tragedy of the ordinary German, the victim of and participant in the national catastrophe caused by fascism. T. Mann summed up his thoughts about the fate of civilization in his novel Doctor Faust us (1947).
Feuchtwanger’s last works were a series of postwar historical novels portraying the epoch of the Great French Revolution (Goya, 1951; Foxes in the Vineyard, 1947; and An Eccentric’s Wisdom, 1952). Fallada’s last novel Every Man Dies Alone (1947) reflects his antifascist views.
In 1949 the independent development of the literatures of the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany begins.
REFERENCESPurishev, B. I. Ocherki nemetskoi literatury XV-XVII vv. Moscow, 1955.
Istoriia nemetskoi literatury, vols. 1-4. Moscow, 1962-68.
Neustroev, V. P. Nemetskaia literatura epokhi Prosveshcheniia. Moscow, 1958.
Lunacharskii, A. V. Sobr. soch., vols. 4, 5, 6. Moscow, 1964-65.
Reimann, P. Osnovnye techeniia v nemetskoi literature, 1750-1848. Moscow, 1959. (Translated from German.)
Shiller, F. P. Ocherkipo istorii nemetskoi revoliutsionnoipoezii XIX v. Moscow, 1933.
Literaturnaia teoriia nemetskogo romantizma: Sb. Edited by N. Ia. Berkovskii. Leningrad, 1934.
Zhirmunskii, V. M. [Foreword and introductory article.] In Nemetskie demokraty XVIII veka. Moscow, 1956.
Nikolaeva, T. S. Poeziia nemetskoi revoliutsii 1848. Saratov, 1961.
Fridlender, G. M. K. Marks i F. Engel’s i voprosy literatury. Moscow, 1962.
Fradkin, I. Literatura novoi Germanii. Moscow, 1961.
Vil’mont, N. Velikie sputniki. Moscow, 1966.
Müller, J. Wirklichkeit und Klassik. … [Berlin, 1955.]
Voegt, H. Die deutsche jakobinische Literatur und Publizistik, 1789-1800. Berlin, 1955.
Sokel, W. H. Der literarische Expressionismus. Munich, 1959.
S. V. TURAEV
The artistic culture of Germany bears the stamp of the intense spiritual life of the people and of a sharp conflict of ideas. In the course of a millennium German art developed its characteristic traits—a wealth of styles in folk and professional architecture, a predilection for individualized images, for psychological expressiveness, and for intimate lyricism, and a love of vivid detail from everyday life. Monuments of Paleolithic art have been discovered in Germany (female statuettes, carved and engraved animal figurines), as well as of Neolithic art (ceramics, human and animal figurines, megalithic tombs, and pile dwellings), and of the art of the Bronze and Iron ages (the art of the Germanic, Celtic, Illyrian, Slavic, and Baltic tribes). At the beginning of the Common Era, the ancient Romans erected stone buildings in the towns and camps that they founded in southern and western Germany. The first millennium A.D. saw the cultural flowering of the Germanic peoples to the west and of the Slavic peoples of the East. The Germanic peoples built frame houses decorated with carvings and paintings, made polychrome and filigree ornaments and ornaments depicting animals (Tierstil), and fashioned images of their gods. Slavic cultural monuments included religious shrines with temples and statues, such as those at Rethra and Arkona.
German art as such developed during the Middle Ages. Feudalization and the assimilation of Christian teaching and of elements of late classical and Byzantine culture determined the character of the art of the eighth and ninth centuries, which is associated with the Carolingian Renaissance. Stone architecture developed, including such secular monuments as the residences in Aachen and Ingelheim. Some stately, heavy, domed chapels have been preserved (the palace chapel at Aachen, before 798-805; St. Michael’s Chapel at Fulda, c. 820-22), as well as basilican churches with a flat roof and westwork, as at Corvey (822-85). Court and monastic workshops executed remarkable miniatures and objects of carved ivory.
Carolingian traditions formed the basis of the early Romanesque German art of the Ottonian period (second half of the tenth and first half of the 11th century). Monuments of this style include severe basilicas, laid out with geometric precision (Church of St. Cyriacus in Gernrode, after 961; St. Michael’s Church in Hildesheim, after 1001-33), frescoes full of abstract grandeur and tense expressiveness (in the Oberzell monastery church on Reichenau Island, c. 1000), miniatures of the schools of Trier, Cologne, and Reichenau (the Gospel of Otto III, c. 990), sculpture (the bronze portals in Hildesheim cathedral, 1015; Gero’s Crucifixion in Cologne Cathedral, c. 970), and jewelry.
The Romanesque style reached its maturity in the period of developed feudal relations and of the growing strength of the church, and it retained its importance as late as the first half of the 13th century. The first cities arose during the Romanesque period—at first as irregular clusters of houses around castles and monasteries; but soon there appeared cities with rectilinear networks of streets and market and cathedral squares. Castle and monastery complexes began to develop. Distinct house types emerged: urban houses evolved as three-story, half-timbered buildings, with their narrow sides and high pediments facing the street; rural houses were either frame or half-timbered. In northern Germany the residential and service quarters of rural houses were located within a one-story building; in southern Germany the residential and service quarters were placed one above the other, and in central Germany both quarters were situated around a rectangular court. Great monastic churches were built (Maria Laach, 1093-1156), as well as cathedrals, such as the “imperial” cathedrals of Speyer, Mainz, and Worms (11th-13th centuries) and the cathedrals of Bamberg (1186-1237) Naumburg, (c. 1210-40), and Limburg (c. 1230-35). These were majestic and mighty closed basilicas and domed churches with ribbed vaults, towers, and often a well-developed western part. In sculpture, the ascetic and stiff “severe stvle of the end of the 11th and the first half of the 12th century (exemplified by the Wolfram lamp, c. 1157, Erfurt Cathedral) was replaced, in the 12th and 13th centuries, by a freedom of movement and spaciousness of form (the bas-reliefs on the choir screen of St. Michael’s Church at Hildesheim, end of the 12th century; the Liebfrauenkirche at Halberstadt, c. 1200; and Bamberg Cathedral, c 1230). In addition to frescoes, stained glass windows began to be used, as at Augsburg Cathedral (after 1100).
Gothic art developed during the flowering of medieval urban culture from the 13th to the 15th century. Urban fortifications with mighty towers and fortified gates were built, as well as stone and brick town halls with open vaulted galleries, halls, and tracery details, as at Lübeck (13th-16th centuries), at Tangermünde (c. 1430), at Münster (begun in 1335), and at Braunschweig (1302-1468). This period saw the erection of guildhalls, storehouses, market arcades, hospitals, and stone and half-timbered urban houses of up to five stories with steep gable roofs and rich, delicate ornamentation, as well as the building of castles with a complicated pattern of ribbed vaulting in the halls (Albrechtsburg in Meissen, 1471-85). Cathedrals, rising high in the air with one or two immense towers and carved tracery work, were marked by the boldness of their architectural design: at Freiburg im Breisgau (from c. 1200 to the end of the 15th century), at Cologne (begun in 1248), at Regensburg (1275-1524), and at Ulm (1377-1529). Imposing, stark, and severe churches were built by the Dominicans at Regensburg (second half of the 13th century) and at Erfurt (first half of the 14th century). The brick churches of northeastern Germany were characterized by simplified forms but often had richly decorative masonry, as St. Mary’s Church at Lübeck (c. 1270-1350) and St. Mary’s Church at Prenzlau (1326-40). The interiors of south German late Gothic hall churches (Hallenkirchen) became more spacious and lighter, with great windows and slender pillars (the (Frauenkirche at Munich, 1466-92, and St. Anne’s Church at Annaberg-Buchholz, 1499-1525). The cathedral statues at Bamberg (c. 1230-40) and at Magdeburg (c. 1240) and the reliefs and statues in the western choir at Naumburg (c. 1250-60) took on vivid vitality, psychological insight, and bold expressiveness. Frescoes were replaced by stained glass windows. In the 14th century, the art of carved wood sculpture and easel painting developed, associated with the craft guilds. Church interiors were adorned with folding altarpieces and with paintings and polychrome carvings. Artistic crafts, such as metalworking, wood carving, ceramics, and weaving, attained a high level.
In the 15th century, German art gradually began to free itself from church domination, taking on features of the humanist art of the Renaissance. Lyric intimacy and genre motifs appeared at the beginning of the 15th century in the work of Meister Francke and of the artists of the Rhineland. At midcentury the foremost painters of Swabia (Lukas Moser, Hans Multscher)—and to some extent the northern masters (Stefan Lochner, Bernt Notke)—sought within the framework of religous subjects to find ways of representing real life (nature and interiors) and human feelings. Similar strivings appeared in 15th-century sculpture (Hans Multscher, Nicolaus Gerhaert, Jörg Syrlin) and especially in the copper engraving of Martin Schongauer.
The 16th century ushered in a short but brilliant flowering of Renaissance art, which, in Germany, under conditions of class and religious conflict, assumed a complicated and contradictory character. In architecture attention was directed primarily to secular buildings, residential and public. Renaissance ornamentation, distinguished by its picturesque quality and attention to detail, was added to traditional houses with their steep roofs, high pediments, and oriels. Renaissance architectural forms and principles of design reached southern and central Germany in the first half of the 16th century (Augsburg, Nuremberg, Halle). By the end of the century they had spread throughout the country, for example, the town plan of Freudenstadt (end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century) and the Ottheinrichsbau in Heidelberg (1556-59). Renaissance forms merged with Gothic traditions, acquiring a national character but often also a mannered overrefinement and pretentiousness.
At the end of the 15th and first third of the 16th century German Renaissance art combined humanist ideas with a probing interest in reality and a sensitivity to its contradictions, and it portrayed man’s dignity, spiritual strength, and strong-willed purposiveness in vividly individual and concrete images. In A. Dürer’s paintings and graphic works, full of stern manly truth and passionate intense strivings, the German Renaissance was expressed in all its versatility and diversity. Humanist ideals and a striving for balance and harmony are characteristic of the work of H. Burgkmair and of the exact and clear portraits of H. Holbein, whereas M. Neithart (Grünewald) became the interpreter of the tragic upheavals and ecstatic transports and dissonances of his time. Renaissance and late Gothic elements, the affirmation of life, and dramatic expressiveness were interwoven in the work of L. Cranach, A. Altdorfer, and H. Baldung (Grien). Graphic art played an active role in public life and was a medium in which leading painters of the time also worked. Passion, sharp individuality, and spirituality distinguished the sculpture of T. Riemenschneider, V. Stoss (W. Stwosz), A. Krafft, and P. Vischer. With the feudal reaction and the intensified political disintegration of Germany in the second half of the 16th century, the subjectivity and pretentiousness characteristic of mannerist art gained ascendancy. Intricate and whimsical artistic handicrafts, such as the jewelry of the Jamnitzer family of goldsmiths, furniture, and stoneware, became important.
At the beginning of the 17th century Renaissance traditions could still be discerned in Holl’s Augsburg buildings. A. Elsheimer, who worked mainly in Italy, became one of the founders of European realistic painting of the 17th century. On the whole, however, there began a long period of stagnation and imitation. Not until the first half of the 18th century was a new impetus felt in palace and ecclesiastical architecture, which combined the energy and solemn fervor of the late baroque with fanciful rococo ornamentation. Outstanding architects included the Dientzenhofer family and B. Neumann in the south German principalities, M. D. Pöppelmann in Saxony, and A. Schlüter in Prussia. Monumental decorative art began to develop, exemplified by the sculpture and murals of E. Q. and C. D. Asam and the sculpture of A. Schlüter. A high degree of artistry was exhibited in the making of jewelry (J. M. Dinglinger) and furniture (A. and D. Röntgen). The art of porcelain-making, invented in Germany, was represented by the dishes and sculpture of J. J. Kändler in Meissen, F. A. Bustelli in Nymphenburg, and J. P. Melchior in Höchst.
The graceful buildings of G. W. von Knobelsdorff signaled the transition to the classicism of the second half of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century. The classical style, associated with the Enlightenment, was fully represented by the architecture of F. W. Erdmannsdorff and C. G. Langhans. Classicism also became firmly established in German painting (A. R. Mengs, Angelika Kauffmann, A. J. Carstens) and in sculpture (J. G. Schadow, J. H. Dannecker, C. D. Rauch). Elements of Enlightenment realism were clearly manifested in the portraits of Schadow, in the work of the portrait painters A. Graff, A. and and W. Tischbein, and G. Schick, and in the genre engravings of D. N. Chodowiecki. The construction of public buildings—theaters, museums, and educational institutions—expanded. The most important architect of public buildings in the first half of the 19th century was K. F. Schinkel, a master of the severe late classical, or empire, style, who also sought to revive a romanticized Gothic style.
In the German romanticism of the first half of the 19th century, influences of the Great French Revolution, dreams of national unity, and the struggle for individual freedom were combined with mystical tendencies and an apologia for medievalism and religion. A lyrically inspired conception of the world characterized the art of the early romantics—the portraits of P. O. Runge and the landscapes of C. D. Friedrich. In the second decade of the 19th century the Nazarene movement in art arose. Its adherents—such as F. Overbeck, W. von Schadow, and P. von Cornelius—sought inspiration in the Catholic religion, in the medieval past, and in the stylized 15th-century Italian and German art. The German Middle Ages were also glorified by the early representatives of the Düsseldorf school, including A. Rethel, whose interest in the historical fate of the people merged at times with nationalistic tendencies. Within the romantic movement there developed the democratic petit bourgeois art known as the Biedermeier style, represented by the genre painters F. G. Kersting, T. Hosemann, L. Richter, and C. Spitzweg, by the portrait painters F. Krüger and L. F. von Rayski, and by the landscape painter K. Blechen. The Biedermeier style was characterized by an intimate, warm depiction of urban and rural life and nature, by contemplation, and by an idealization of patriarchal elements in everyday life. Idealization was inherent to the Düsseldorf school (scenes of peasant life by L. Knaus and B. Vautier, landscapes by A. Achenbach and J. W. Schirmer). During the Revolution of 1848-49 the work of some masters of this school became infused with a vivid democratic content and a pointed social orientation (the genre pictures of J. P. Hasenclever and C. Hübner and the historical canvases of K. F. Lessing).
In the middle of the 19th century, classicism—which had taken on an intimacy and cosiness in the city houses of the Biedermeier style and a cold splendor in the official buildings of L. von Klenze and F. von Gärtner—was replaced by ostentatious and pretentious eclecticism, such as that of P. Wallot. The uncontrolled development of cities was accompanied by a decline of standards in urban architecture. At the same time, G. Semper sought for functional principles in architectural design. The development of building techniques made it possible to construct great metal bridges, railroad stations, and large halls with frame ceilings. In art romanticism was degenerating into academism (W. von Kaulbach, K. von Piloty). Realism assumed the leading role in German art. German history and contemporary life were portrayed particularly extensively in the versatile work of A. von Menzel. Vivid character studies of German peasants were executed by W. Leibl, and in the last quarter of the 19th century M. Liebermann drew upon the working people for his inspiration. W. Busch satirized German bourgeois Philistinism. The neo-idealists, also known as the “German Romans,” aspired to a monumentally ornamental or abstractly plastic expressiveness and in their art opposed both realism and academic eclecticism (A. Feuerbach, H. von Marées, and the sculptor A. von Hildebrand). By the end of the century, impressionism (Liebermann, L. Corinth, M. Slevogt), as well as symbolism and the modernist style known as Jugendstil (F. von Stuch, M. Klinger), had become widespread.
At the turn of the 20th century Jugendstil gained a foothold in architecture, mainly in interior design, seeking to overcome the eclectic and antiartistic nature of mass construction. The rapid growth of industry and the widespread introduction of metal and concrete in construction was accompanied in the decade from 1910 to 1920 by functionalism and new aesthetic principles in architecture. These efforts were expressed in the innovative reworking of historical traditions (P. Behrens), in a romantic expressiveness and dynamism of architectural forms (H. Poelzig, E. Mendelsohn), and in the resolute break with tradition and the consequent assertion of the principles of functionalism (W. Gropius, B. Taut, L. Mies van der Rohe). Each of these approaches was extensively used for industrial construction and, in the building up of cities, for the construction of residential, public, office, and industrial quarters. The Bauhaus school became the center of the quest for new architectural styles. Another trend adhered to the traditional craft of building (T. Fischer). The principles of this traditional style were carried on in the gloomy, ponderous pseu-doclassicism of the fascist period.
At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century a group of graphic artists who were critical realists came to the fore, including the satirist T. T. Heine, the portrayers of the everyday life of the proletariat and urban poor H. Zilie and H. Baluschek, and K. Kollwitz, the outstanding master of German revolutionary art of the 20th century closely identified with the workers’ movement. Exponents of realism in sculpture included G. Kolbe and the animal sculptors A. Gaul and R. Sintenis. Expressionism arose in Germany as an individualistic protest against the ugliness of bourgeois society. Among the expressionists were the Brücke (Bridge) and Blauer Reiter (Blue Rider) groups and the graphic artists E. Nolde, E. Heckel, E. L. Kirchner, K. Schmidt-Rottluff, F. Marc, and A. Macke, and the sculptor W. Lehmbruck. The emotionally dramatic perception of life that characterized this movement was expressed both in social criticism and in a subjectivistic distortion of the world, mysticism, and abstraction. After World War I socially critical and antiwar themes became stronger in the work of the proletarian artists Kollwitz, O. Nagel, H. and L. Grundig, and K. Querner, as well as in the work of the master of photomontage J. Heartfield. These themes also intensified in the art of G. Grosz and O. Dix, who were identified with the New Objectivity movement, and in the art of some of the expressionists (M. Pechstein, M. Beckmann, and K. Hofer). The sculptor and graphic artist E. Barlach made a humanistic appeal for the brotherhood of man. Abstract art developed between 1910 and 1920 (W. Baumeister, the sculptor R. Belling).
Under the fascist dictatorship, when crude demagogy prevailed in art, a number of progressive artists (Kollwitz, Barlach, Nagel, H. and L. Grundig) continued to work illegally, faithful to their humanistic ideals. Following the collapse of fascism, the democratic traditions of German art were reborn, developing mainly in the art of the German Democratic Republic, whereas bourgeois artistic trends began to concentrate in the German Federal Republic and in West Berlin, where a number of progressive masters, however, are also working. In the 20th century decorative art has evolved from the unique Jugendstil handicrafts to the simple and functional objects developed for industrial production by the German Werkbund and to the cheap, practical items, suitable for mass production and functionally oriented, that were designed by Bauhaus. These styles, interrupted during the fascist period, have had a strong worldwide influence. Among traditional types of folk art are wood carving and painting on wood, metalworking, weaving, pottery, and the making of ornaments and toys.
REFERENCESVseobshchaia istoria iskusstv, vols. 1-6. Moscow, 1956-66.
Izergina, A. N. Nemetskaia zhivopis’ XVII: Ocherki. Leningrad-Moscow, 1960.
Libman, M. Ia. Iskusstvo Germanii XV i XVI vekov. Moscow, 1964.
Dehio, G. Geschichte der deutschen Kunst, vols. 1-4. Berlin-Leipzig, 1919-34.
Deutsche Baukunst in zehn Jahrhunderten. Dresden, 1952.
Hempel, E. Geschichte der deutschen Baukunst, 2nd ed. Munich, 1956.
Feulner, A., and T. Müller. Geschichte der deutschen Plastik. Munich, 1953.
Fischer, O. Geschichte der deutschen Malerei, 3rd ed. Munich, 1956.
Fischer, O. Geschichte der deutschen Zeichnung und Graphik. Munich .
Kohlhaussen, S. Geschichte des deutschen Kunsthandwerks. Munich .
Hütt, W. Deutsche Malerei und Graphik im 20. Jahrhundert. Berlin,1969.
A. M. KANTOR
The music of the ancient Germanic peoples has not been preserved. Evidence of its existence is provided by literary texts, particularly the Nibelungenlied, and by pictorial art from the Middle Ages. Music played an important role in everyday life and in military campaigns. Lures, which were horns used by hunters and soldiers, and instruments resembling the lyre were widely used. In interaction with the song culture of neighboring peoples, including the Slavs, the distinctive German folk song developed, characterized by flowing Metody, steady rhythm and intonation, and moderate tempo. The Catholic Church condemned secular songs. They were preserved in the oral tradition by Spielleute, minstrels who performed their own songs as well as traditional folk songs and dances. In the course of time, musicians in monasteries and churches, such as the monk Notker, began to incorporate elements of peasant music into the liturgy. During the most critical, pivotal epochs in German history—the Peasants’ War, the Thirty Years War, and the War of Liberation against Napoleon—folk songs were to take on a concrete revolutionary character.
In the course of the 12th and 13th centuries, with the flowering of feudalism, there arose in Germany the courtly art of the minnesingers, of whom the outstanding representatives were Walther von der Vogelweide, Wolfram von Eschenbach, and Gottfried of Strassburg.
From the 11th to the 13th centuries, with the rise of cities, musical life developed among the burghers. The art of the Meistersinger arose beginning in the 14th century, and its most important figure was H. Sachs, who lived in the 16th century. In the 14th and 15th centuries folk songs were given polyphonic settings (of which the Lochamer, Schedelschen, and Glogauer songbooks [in manuscript form] are the main sources).
In the 15th and 16th centuries vocal and vocal-instrumental music were predominant. In the 16th century instrumental music—primarily organ music—became important; its composers were K. Paumann, P. Hofhaimer, and others. H. Isaac and L. Senfl (representatives of the Franco-Flemish school) and O. di Lasso, the outstanding master of the Netherlandish school, were composers of polyphonic music who wrote for court chapels.
In the 16th century the Peasants’ War and the Reformation inspired the composition of folk songs. The Protestant chorale, which assimilated to some extent the intonations of the Czech Hussite songs, was created. The best melodies of the Protestant chorale became part of the folk music tradition. Some of them became the revolutionary hymns of their time, a fact that allowed F. Engels to call the chorale “Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott” (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God) “the ‘Marseillaise’ of the Peasants’ War” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 36, p. 268). Whereas the music of the Catholic Church was sung in Latin, Protestant chorales were performed in German.
The Thirty Years War (1618-48) retarded the development of German culture in general. However, at this time there were several outstanding musicians, including H. Schütz. Combining the concertato style developed in Italy with German traditions, Schütz composed motets, church concerti, passions, and other works. He wrote the first German opera, Daphne (1627), and the ballet Orpheus and Euridice (1638). Under Schütz’ influence, the secular solo song with instrumental accompaniment (a musical genre hitherto unknown in Germany) was created in the 17th century. H. Albert also played an important role in the development of secular songs. At the same time the clavichord suite (represented by the compositions of J. J. Froberger) and the orchestral suite (represented by the works of J. Schein) were introduced. Organ music in the form of chorale preludes, fantasias, and variations (partitas) was popular. S. Scheidt was a leading composer in these genres. The work of the organists D. Buxtehude, J. Pachelbel, G. Böhm, and J. Kuhnau was of great significance. Working with polyphonic forms, they were the immediate predecessors of the great German composers J. S. Bach and G. F. Handel. Their creative work was carried out in a Germany fragmented by feudalization.
Leipzig and Hamburg became the centers of 18th-century German cultural life. In Hamburg attempts were made to create a German national opera in opposition to the Italian operatic traditions being developed by J. A. Hasse in Dresden. R. Keiser and later G. P. Telemann occupied an important place in the activity of the first German national opera house, which existed in Hamburg between 1678 and 1738. J. S. Bach worked in Leipzig beginning in 1723. His creative work, embracing diverse genres of vocal composition (passion, oratorio, mass, cantata), as well as numerous instrumental forms (prelude, fugue, sonata, concerto), was of major importance for the establishment of a German national culture. Polyphony reached its height of artistic perfection in Bach’s music. In tapping the riches of folk traditions and synthesizing the highest achievements of the composers of the preceding period and of his own, Bach greatly expanded the expressive possibilities of musical art. Great, also, was Handel’s contribution to German musical culture, especially in opera and oratorio. Although London was his home for nearly 50 years, Handel is a part of the musical history of Germany, where he was educated and began his creative life. He also made a significant contribution to the musical culture of England.
In the second half of the 18th century a type of art song written in the folk style (das volkstümliche Lied) became an important part of the everyday life in the towns of Germany. Such songs were composed by J. Schulz, J. Reichardt, and J. Hiller of Leipzig, as well as by writers from southern and western Germany, such as J. Zumsteeg and Beethoven’s teacher, C. G. Neefe. The first collection of “sentimental” art songs was published from 1737 to 1743 by the musical amateur J. Gräfe. The song genre contributed to the development of the singspiel. J. Hiller, A. Schweitzer and I. Holzbauer were the founders of the singspiel. There arose in German music a trend related to the literary Sturm und Drang movement, the ideas of which were reflected in the creative work of C. P. E. Bach. Also close to this movement were the musicians—mainly Czechs—attached to the chapel of the court of Mannheim, including J. Stamitz, his eldest son C. Stamitz, C. Cannabich, F. X. Richter, and A. Filtz. The Mannheim school, together with the so-called old Viennese school of G. M. Monn, and others, was the predecessor of the Viennese classical school, to which belonged C. W. Gluck, J. Haydn, W. A. Mozart, and the greatest figure in the musical art of Germany, L. van Beethoven, who lived in Vienna after 1792. In the creative work of Beethoven—the greatest of the symphonists—the Viennese classical school achieved the peak of its development. His work vividly reflected the growing antifeudal movement in Germany. A singer of freedom and a supporter of the progressive ideas of the Great French Revolution, Beethoven gave expression to the heroic struggle of the popular masses in his symphonies (especially the Third, Fifth, and Ninth), in his symphonic overtures Egmont and Coriolan, and in his opera Fidelio. A philosophically profound lyricism and a pantheistic feeling were expressed in Beethoven’s other works of various genres, including piano sonatas, concerti, string quartets, and the Missa solemnis. The influence of his versatile art was felt in all the music of the 19th century and continues to be great even at the present time.
In the second and third decades of the 19th century romanticism deeply penetrated German music. Romanticism in music found its first champion in the Austrian composer F. Schubert. The democratic tendency of German romantic music was clearly expressed in C. M. von Weber’s opera Der Freischütz; where the folk elements of the singspiel were fruitfully developed. The vocal music of C. Loewe, the creator of the romantic ballad, was imbued with a dramatic spirit and a great immediacy of feeling. Problems of musical aesthetics were formulated by E. T. A. Hoffmann, at once a writer, music critic, and composer, who wrote the opera Undine. The tendency to idealize the feudal past was reflected to some extent in the operas of L. Spohr and H. Marschner.
Toward the end of the 18th century singing societies began to acquire importance in German musical life. The Berlin Singing Society was established in 1791. In the first decades of the 19th century, choral societies (Liedertafel) brought together the democratic strata of the population. In 1809, under the direction of C. F. Zelter, an amateur choral society was founded in Berlin, and the first large-scale musical festival was held in Frankenhausen in 1810. In 1827 the first all-German singing festival took place.
The upsurge in public life in the period preceding the Revolution of 1848-49 brought to the fore the outstanding musical figures F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, R. Schumann, and R. Wagner. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy was a composer, pianist, and conductor, who in 1843 founded in Leipzig Germany’s first conservatory. His best works include the Italian and Scottish symphonies, a violin concerto, overtures, and piano songs (published under the collective title Songs Without Words). Schumann, a composer, critic, publicist, and founder of the progressive New Journal of Music (1834), worked with Mendelssohn in Leipzig for more than 15 years. His most significant period of activity was in the 1830’s and 1840’s. At that time he composed works remarkable both for their imagery and acute expressiveness—piano pieces, songs, and some large instrumental works, including a piano concerto, ensembles, and symphonies. Schumann’s music was distinguished by a rebellious romantic spirit, variety, and psychological depth. In Leipzig also worked A. Lortzing, whose compositions carried on the singspiel tradition of the 18th century.
The creative work of the Hungarian pianist, conductor, and composer, F. Liszt, who lived mainly in Germany after 1848, had great significance for the development of German music. Combating academism and pedestrian qualities in German music, Liszt aspired to advance new methods of musical composition. Evidence of this is to be found in his best works—the Hungarian Rhapsodies, concerti, études, piano transcriptions, and orchestral symphonic poems. His quest for concrete imagery was important for the development of program music. Liszt had important artistic ties with the representatives of various national cultures, especially Russian.
R. Wagner, whose creative work was devoted almost exclusively to opera, underwent a complex ideological evolution. A participant in the Revolution of 1848-49, he eventually reconciled himself to reactionary reality and indulged in Christian mysticism. Nevertheless, Wagner to an extraordinary extent expanded the capacity of music to convey psychological states and concrete images and extended the range of orchestral expressiveness. He created an original musical form, the music drama, which brought symphonic elements to the opera and was based on a system of leitmotifs. Wagner’s influence on his own and succeeding generations of musicians was exceptionally great. He wrote his own librettos, freely adapting mythological themes, for example, in the tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen. He also wrote a realistic comic opera on the theme of everyday life, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
J. Brahms, who lived in Vienna after 1862, followed an artistic path that differed from Wagner’s. With the exception of opera, he composed works in all musical genres—symphonic, chamber, and vocal. He was the direct heir of the classical tradition as developed by Beethoven. Having in-novatively transformed this tradition and having experienced the influence of Schubert and Schumann, Brahms reflected the complex spiritual world of his contemporaries. His works combine profound content and rich imagery with precise craftsmanship and a strictly disciplined mode of thinking. Two artistic tendencies, linked with the names of Wagner and Brahms, gradually arose in German music. To the first, the Wagnerians, belonged the creative work of R. Strauss, while that of M. Reger is of the tradition identified with Brahms. Endowed with a brilliantly colorful and, at times, unrestrained creative imagination, Strauss composed operas and symphonic works. His operas include Salome, Elektra, and Der Rosenkavalier. Strauss’ music reflected various stylistic influences, including that of expressionism. Reger’s creative range was more limited. His main achievements were in chamber music, where he tried to reform classical structural principles through modern musical language. The development of symphonic composition at the turn of the century in Germany was heavily influenced by the creative work of the Austrian composers A. Bruckner and G. Mahler.
The musical culture of Germany after World War I (1914-18), during the Weimar Republic, was diverse in its ideological and aesthetic objectives. The repertory of opera houses, concerts, and festivals was versatile, and the quality of performance was high. Styles of musical composition ranged from that of the imitators of Wagner (exemplified by H. Pfitzner) to that of the extreme expressionists (best represented by the work of A. Schönberg, who lived in Berlin after 1925). Among the most important composers of the period was P. Hindemith, one of the most prominent representatives of the 19th-century style in music, who sought to give musical form to great humanistic conceptions, particularly after the mid-1930’s. Another important composer was K. Weill, who in collaboration with the dramatist B. Brecht created several works for the musical stage that were critical commentaries on the burning social issues of the time. Other significant composers were C. Orff, who wrote stage works that were original in genre and musical language, and W. Egk. A special place was occupied by the Communist composer H. Eisler, the author of the proletarian battle song that was sung by the popular singer and tribune E. Busch.
The activity of Eisler, O. Gerster, and other composers who joined their ranks, including E. H. Meyer and K. Rankl, was a very important milestone in the development of the German proletarian musical movement that originated in the middle of the 19th century. In 1877 the General Work-ingmen’s Singing Association was organized, and in 1878 it published the first German revolutionary songbook. Collections of the texts of revolutionary songs had been published as early as 1869. In subsequent decades, however, this work-ingmen’s association, owing to opportunistic leadership, found itself increasingly absorbed by bourgeois singing associations. There was a new upsurge in the proletarian musical movement as a result of the stimulus of the Great October Socialist Revolution and of the activity, at the end of the 1920’s, of the Fighting Society of Working-class Singers headed by Eisler.
The establishment of the fascist dictatorship in 1933 left a deep mark on German culture, including music. Many of Germany’s most outstanding musical figures, composers, critics, and performers, emigrated; many perished in concentration camps. There was a sharp decline in the quality of concerts and opera. With crude demagogy reigning, national musical traditions were falsified.
The possibility for the further development of musical art was created in Germany following her crushing defeat in World War II (1939-45). This potential is being realized in different ways under different state systems—socialist in the German Democratic Republic and capitalist in the German Federal Republic.
In the 19th and 20th centuries there were many outstanding performers in Germany. Pianists included F. Liszt, Clara Wieck Schumann, H. von Bülow (also well known as a conductor), K. Tausig, E. D’Albert, F. Busoni, A. Schnabel, and W. Giseking. Violinists included L. Spohr, F. David, J. Joachim, and A. Wilhelmy. Singers included W. Schröder-Devrient, G. Sontag, L. Lehmann, and A. Neimann. Conductors included C. M. von Weber, F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, R. Wagner, G. Mahler, F. Motl, A. Nikisch, F. Weingartner, R. Strauss, O. Fried, B. Walter, O. Klemperer, W. Furtwèngler, F. Busch, L. Blech, H. Abendroth, F. Konwitschny, H. von Karajan, and K. Sanderling.
Outstanding German musicologists include M. Pretorius, I. Mattheson, A. B. Marx, F. Chrysander, O. Jahn, P. Spitte, R. Eitner, G. Kretzschmar, H. Abert, A. Schering, and C. Sachs.
Germany’s best orchestras and choral groups include the Gewandhauskonzerte in Leipzig (founded 1743), the Berlin Philharmonic (1882), and the Berlin Singing Society (1791).
Germany’s leading opera houses include the Dresden Opera (established in 1667), the Weimar Opera (established at the end of the 17th century), the German State Opera (1742), the opera house of A. Kroll in Berlin (1850), the Leipzig Opera (1693), and the Bayreuth Theater (constructed 1872-76).
REFERENCESMaterialy i dokumenty po istorii muzyki, vol. 2. Edited by M. V. Ivanov-Boretskii. Moscow, 1934.
Livanova, T. Istoriia zapadnoevropeiskoi muzyki, part 1, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1965.
Konen, V. Istoriia zarubezhnoi muzyki, vol. 3, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1965.
Rosenshil’d, K. Istoriia zarubezhnoi muzyki, vol. 1. Moscow, 1963.
Levik, B. Istoriia zarubezhnoi muzyki, vol. 2, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1966.
Druskin, M. Istoriia zarubezhnoi muzyki, part 4, 3rd ed., 1967.
Erk, L. Deutscher Liederhort, 2nd ed., vols. 1-3. Berlin, 1925.
Friedländer, M. Das deutsche Lied im 18. Jahrhundert, vols. 1-2. Stuttgart, 1902.
Schering, A. Deutsche Musikgeschichte im Umriss. Leipzig, 1917.
Vetter, W. Das frühdeutsche Lied. Berlin, 1928.
Vetter, W. Das deutsche Lied seit Mozart, 2nd ed., vols. 1-2. Tutzing, 1966.
Müller-Blattau, J. M. Geschichte der deutschen Musik. [Berlin, 1938].
Preussner, E. Die bürgerliche Musikkultur: Ein Beitrag zur deutschen Musikgeschichte des 18. Jahrhunderts, 2nd ed. Kassel and Basel, 1950.
Bücken, E. Das deutsche Lied. Hamburg, 1939.
Steinitz, W. Deutsche Volkslieder demokratischen Charakters aus den sechs Jahrhunderten, vols. 1-2. Berlin, 1955-62.
Knepler, G. Musikgeschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts. Berlin, 1960-61.
M. S. DRUSKIN
Dances have always been popular at folk holiday celebrations in Germany. During the Middle Ages they were a part of Shrovetide and mystery plays and of guild festivals, for example, in Nuremburg and Frankfurt am Main between the 14th and 16th centuries. Court ballet performances are known to have been given since the beginning of the 17th century. In the 18th century, French and Italian choreographers worked in the opera houses of almost every German duchy, principality, and free city. Hamburg, where ballet was influenced by the popular comic theater known as the Hanswurst play, held a special place in the development of the art. In Stuttgart in the second half of the 18th century, the French choreographer J. G. Noverre staged the first tragedy ballets and published his Letters On Dance (1760). In the 18th century A. Vestris, P. Gardel, and other ballet artists performed on the German stage. The composers G. F. Handel, C. W. Gluck, and Beethoven wrote music for the ballet. In the 19th century romantic ballets were staged, such as the productions of the choreographer F. Taglioni in Berlin. By the end of the 19th century German ballet ceased to develop further and was transformed into a light entertainment. In the 20th century, under the influence of the American dancer I. Duncan, “free dance” became widespread. This style evolved its own dance systems—known as the “expressive” or “modern” art dance—which were closely connected with expressionism. The theoretical work of the dancer and teacher R. von Laban and the work of such dancers as M. Wigman and H. Kreutzberg were of great importance. In the 1920’s and 1930’s, German free dance became associated with the leftist, democratic theater and placed itself at the service of the progressive working-class movement. One of the most significant works from this period was F. Cohen’s antiwar ballet The Green Table (1932; choreographed by K. Jooss), which is still presented by many theaters. When the fascists came to power, the development of ballet was cut short as the result of censorship and the absence of a serious repertory. Classical ballet was replaced by light entertainment shows, often with a nationalistic slant.
REFERENCEBöhme, F. M. Geschichte des Tanzes in Deutschland, parts 1-2. Leipzig, 1886.
E. IA. SURITS
German theater has its source in folk rituals and plays. In medieval towns itinerent players, or Spielleute, developed their art in the face of strong church opposition. As in most West European countries, the basic theatrical genres were the liturgical drama, the mystery, miracle, and morality play, and the farce. In Germany the farce took the form of the Shrovetide or carnival play—the Fastnachtsspiel. The Meistersinger directed the production of the Shrovetide play. In the 16th century, the Meistersinger H. Sachs was the most famous writer of Fastnachtsspiele. School drama developed in the educational institutions maintained by the church. Numerous troupes of itinerant English players, later followed by Upper German comedians, were active in Germany from the end of the 16th century and exerted a strong influence on the development of professional acting and on the mass democratic theater. The main comic character uniting the diverse parts of plays performed by the troupes was known as Hanswurst. In the mid-17th century the first professional German company was formed, the so-called Illustrious Band. The actor and impresario J. Velten, who helped bring literary drama to the stage, began his career as a member of this group. The princely courts were the centers of theatrical activity. The greatest dramatist of the 17th century was A. Gryphius, whose works reflected the tragic events of the period of the Thirty Years War (1618-48).
In the 18th century theater and drama developed under the influence of Enlightenment ideas. Progressive theatrical figures sought to use the stage as a tribune from which to proclaim national unity, political liberty, and social justice. Circumventing the obstacles presented by censorship, they succeeded in making the theater an important part of the country’s social and cultural life. The principles of French classical theater were brought into Germany by the dramatist J. Gottsched and by the actress C. Neuber, both of whom also contributed to the early development of the art of acting and to the repertory. However, the goals set by the men of the Enlightenment could be realized only by the creation of a national theater in touch with the democratic masses. Beginning in the second half of the 18th century a genre of musical drama called the Singspiel evolved, closely connected with folk music and drama. A great contribution to German drama and theater was made by the great German Enlightenment figure G. E. Lessing, a dramatist, theater critic, and founder of the realistic movement in German theater. His ideas were put into practice by the Hamburg National Theater, founded in 1767, whose players created the so-called Hamburg school of acting. The most important representatives of this school were K. Ekhof and the actor and director F. L. Schröder, who brought theater close to the dramaturgy of the Sturm und Drang literary movement of the 1770’s (F. M. von Klinger, J. Lenz, and H. L. Wagner). In his quest for a heroic repertory with which to oppose French classical tragedy, Schröder brought Shakespeare to the German stage.
In 1777 the Mannheim National Theater was established, which presented the plays of A. W. Iffland and A. von Kotzebue, written in a style satisfying conservative middle-class tastes. This theater became the center of the so-called Mannheim school of acting, which initially followed the tradition of realism established by Ekhof and Schröder. Later, from the beginning of the 19th century, it concentrated on reproducing everyday life and minor details.
The Weimar Theater was founded in 1791. Headed by J. W. von Goethe (from 1791 to 1817) and by F. Schiller (from 1799 to 1805), the Weimar theater laid the foundation for the development of the art of directing in Germany and worked out the principles of the acting ensemble subordinated to a single artistic conception. It attempted to create theater on a grand scale in accordance with strict staging norms (“Weimar classicism”).
Romanticism evolved in the first quarter of the 19th century. The dramatists A. and F. von Schlegel, L. Tieck, H. von Kleist, and E. T. A. Hoffmann opposed the middle-class drama, and their plays affirmed the synthetic nature of theater. The art of the greatest romantic actors, J. Fleck and L. Devrient, was filled with hostility toward philistine society and protested against social injustice. In the 1830’s the artistic method of K. L. Immermann, founder and director of the Düsseldorf Theater (1832-37), exerted an important influence on the development of realism in German theater. The revolutionary mood of the 1830’s was reflected in the work of the actor K. Seydelmann, who won the high praise of K. Marx.
The feudal fragmentation of Germany hindered the creation of a national theater. As in the past theatrical life was concentrated in smaller cities such as Weimar, Karlsruhe, and Braunschweig. Acting style was characterized by eclecticism, largely because of the persistence of classical and romantic traditions. The art of directing—represented by E. F. Devrient and F. von Dingelstedt—was developed mainly in the staging of plays. The abolition in 1869 of the monopolies enjoyed by court theaters led to the growth of commercial theatrical enterprises. Touring by theater companies became common.
The Meiningen Theater, founded in 1831, sought to create plays which would be unified and harmoniously constructed stage presentations. The outstanding director L. Chronegk worked at the Meiningen Theater from 1866 to 1891.
In the second half of the 19th century the actors T. Döring, A. Matkowsky, L. Barnay, and E. von Possart were prominent, different in their individual performing styles but all masterful artists.
In the 1880’s a new movement, naturalism, began to evolve in drama and theater. Following the ideas of E. Zola and his adherents in France and other countries, German naturalism turned to the “exact” portrayal of contemporary reality. In 1889 a group of literary figures led by O. Brahm founded the Freie Bühne (Free Theater) in Berlin, which aimed to propagate the new drama of such writers as H. Ibsen, G. Hauptmann, H. Sudermann, A. Holz, and J. Schlaf. An important event in the history of German theater was the presentation by Brahm’s theater of Hauptmann’s play The Weavers (1894), which for the first time portrayed rebellious workers on a German stage.
Toward the end of the 19th century Berlin became the center of theatrical life. Here, the Deutsches Theater (1883), the Neue Freie Volksbühne (1890), and other theaters were established. The works of contemporary drama contributed to the development of the creative work of the actors J. Kainz and A. Sorma, who conveyed the aspirations of the German intelligentsia. From the artistic point of view the contribution of the Deutsches Theater was particularly significant from 1893 to 1904. In this period the finest German actors of the time performed here under the direction of Brahm, including Kainz, Sorma, O. Sauer, E. Reicher, R. Rittner, E. Lehmann and A. Bassermann, and the director M. Reinhardt launched his career. In the period after 1905, the year that Reinhardt became director of the theater, the actors G. Eisold, A. Moissi, P. Wegener, and E. von Winterstein became well known through their work in Reinhardt’s theater.
In the second decade of the 20th century the movement known as expressionism arose. Exponents of its principles included the dramatists W. Hasenclever, C. Sternheim, F. Werfel and E. Toller and the directors L. Jessner and K. Martin. Expressionism influenced the work of the actors W. Krauss and F. Kortner.
To a large extent the development of drama and theater in the 1920’s was an outgrowth of the ties many dramatists and theatrical figures had with the workers’ movement. The experimental methods of the director E. Piscator and the plays of B. Brecht were of great importance for the development of the revolutionary theater. Patterned after Soviet agitprop theaters, amateur workers’ groups were formed with the participation of such well-known theatrical figures as the dramatists F. Wolf and B. Brecht, the directors G. Wangenheim and M. Vallentin, and the actors E. Busch and H. Otto.
The establishment of the fascist dictatorship in 1933 was accompanied by savage reprisals against progressive figures in the theater. Theater became an instrument of Nazi propaganda; chauvinistic plays were staged, and the dramatic classics were distorted. Many theatrical figures emigrated, and some perished during the war. In 1944 theaters were closed.
After the crushing defeat of fascism the German theater began to be resurrected under difficult conditions. In 1945 the first play to be performed in liberated Germany, G. E. Lessing’s humanistic Nathan the Wise, was staged at the Deutsches Theater, with Wegener’s participation. Under the direction of Wangenheim, and later W. Langhoff, the Deutsches Theater played a valuable role in preserving and renewing the tradition of realism in national theater, as well as in assimilating the artistic concepts of K. S. Stanislavsky. Here worked outstanding actors and directors—Wegener, Winterstein, and H. Greif, all former participants in the antifascist struggle. In 1946, Germany’s first theater for children, the Theater der jungen Welt, opened in Leipzig. Along with productions of the classics and of the works of contemporary progressive bourgeois authors, an important place in the theatrical life of postwar Germany was held by the stagings of plays by M. Gorky, K. S. Simonov, and Vs. Vish-nevskii and by the work of F. Wolf, B. Brecht, E. Toller, and G. Weissenborn. Soon, however, the development of theater followed different paths in the eastern and western parts of Germany. Whereas in the German Democratic Republic a humanistic realism gained ascendancy, conservative and formalistic tendencies prevailed in the Federal Republic of Germany.
REFERENCESIstoriia zapadnoevropeiskogo teatra, vols. 1-4. Edited by S. S. Mokul’skii, Moscow, 1956-64.
Dzhivelegov, A., and G. Boiadzhiev. Istoriia zapadnoevropeiskogo teatra ot vozniknoveniia do 1789 g. Moscow-Leningrad, 1941.
Gvozdev, A. A. Zapadnoevropeiskii teatr na rubezhe XIX i XX stoletii. Leningrad-Moscow, 1939.
Latsis, A. E. Revoliutsionny teatr Germanii. Moscow, 1934.
Polonskii, E. “Fashistskii teatr v Germanii.” Teatr i dramaturgiia, 1936, no. 3.
Martersteig, G. Das deutsche Theater im neunzehnten Jahrhundert, 2nd ed. Leipzig, 1924.
Dramaturgische Schriften des 18. Jahrhunderts. Berlin, 1968.
Devrient, E. Geschichte der deutschen Schauspielkunst, vols. 1-2. Berlin, 1967.
Jhering, H. Von Reinhardt bis Brecht, vols. 1-3. Berlin, 1958-61.
Jhering, H. Theater der produktiven Widersprüche, 1945-1949. Berlin-Weimar, 1967.
Circus. In the beginning of the 19th century itinerent circus troupes (French, Italian, Spanish, and later English) appeared in Germany. The founder of the German circus was R. Briloff, whose troupe performed in the Rhineland during the 1830’s and appeared for the first time in Berlin in 1835. He was the teacher of the first generation of famous German circus artists and directors, which included E. Wollschlaeger, W. Carre, C. Hinne, E. Renz, and G. Schumann. The leading circus promoter from the 1850’s to the 1880’s was Renz; he brought circuses to Berlin (1856), Hamburg, Dresden, and other cities. After his death G. Schumann and his son A. Schumann, the great impresario and horse trainer, played an important role in the German circus. Working at the same time was P. Busch, whose pantomimes served the cause of militaristic and chauvinistic propaganda in the period preceding World War I. The Hagenbeck family, and especially C. Hagenbeek, occupied an important place in the German circus. The circus promoters Sarrasani and Krone became famous in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
REFERENCEKuznetsov, E. Tsirk. Moscow-Leningrad, 1931.
In Berlin in 1895 several short films were shown, using the “bioscope,” constructed by the brothers M. and E. Skla-danowsky. Beginning in 1896 they showed short documentary films and shots of vaudeville acts in many German cities. O. Messter was the first to begin film production in Germany, and until World War I his company held the leading place in German cinematography. Here worked many directors and actors who would subsequently gain prominence, including H. Piel, H. Porten, C. Veidt, C. Froelich, and E. Jannings. The development of German cinematography was aided by the participation in film-making of well-known theatrical figures—the actors E. von Winterstein, A. Bassermann, P. Wegener, and M. Pallenberg; the dramatists A. Schnitzler, G. Hauptmann, and H. Sudermann, and the director M. Reinhardt. Among the finest films of the early 20th century were The Student of Prague (1913; director, S. Rye) and The Golem (1914; director, P. Wegener).
During World War I (1914-18), when Germany was cut off from countries that had been the chief importers of its films, such as France and the USA, a large number of films were made, and there were advances in the production of motion-picture film and optical equipment. Documentaries dealing with the German troops’ actions and other films on war themes were released. The majority of these films were imbued with a chauvinistic spirit. Other film productions included melodramas, comedies, detective stories, adventures with fantastic plots, and horror films.
In 1917 the huge film studio Ufa was established. Initially subsidized by the state, it was financed by the German Bank after the war.
In the immediate postwar years the emphasis shifted primarily to monumental historical films, many of which were produced by the director E. Lubitsch, who had begun working in cinema during the war. Some of Lubitsch’s early films included The Eyes of the Mummy Ma (1915), Carmen (1918, based on P. Mérimée’s story; Soviet title, The Cigarette-factory Girl from Seville), Madame Du Barry (1919), and Anne Boleyn (1920).
The most striking phenomenon in the German cinematography of the 1920’s was expressionism, which arose as a limited, basically individualistic protest against official bourgeois art preaching philistine values and against the German social orders, which was tending increasingly toward totalitarianism. The grave economic condition of the country, beset by inflation, hunger and unemployment, imparted a concrete character to the abstract ideas of expressionism. Expressionist films were distinguished by their grotesque acting style, accentuation of form, distorted proportions of scenery and props, and fantastic play of chiaroscuro. The classic expressionist film was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920; director, R. Wiene; major roles played by W. Krauss and C. Veidt). Other expressionist films included Raskolnikov and The Hands of Orlac (1923 and 1924; director, R. Wiene; Soviet title, The Dance of Death) and Waxworks (1925; director, P. Leni). Although expressionism had exhausted its possibilities by the mid-1920’s, it had inspired the widespread use of artistic and technical devices that had been introduced by the masters of expressionist cinematography.
Almost at the same time that expressionist films were being made, others were produced stressing man’s helplessness in the face of fate’s inscrutable laws. Two of F. Lang’s films were of this type, Tired Death (1921; with B. Götzke in the leading role; Soviet title, Four Lives) and Nibelungen (1923-24; two parts). Similar to these films were those portraying man’s struggle against the menacing world of nature, such as Mountain of Fate (1923; director, A. Fanck; Soviet title, Cliff of Death) and The White Hell of Pitz Palü (1929; directors, A. Fanck and G. W. Pabst; Soviet title, Prisoners of the White Mountain).
Realistic cinema was represented by a series of films in the genre of so-called domestic drama (Kammerspiele) depicting the everyday life of the petite and middle bourgeoisie. The directors L. Pick and L. Jessner produced films of this sort. Kammerspiele found its most complete realization in The Last Man (1925; directed by F. W. Murnau; with E. Jannings in the lead role; Soviet title, Man and Livery). Concerned with the tragic dependence of the “little man” on the laws of capitalist society, this film marked an important stage in the history of cinematic art. Another realistic film with a social message, The Joyless Street (1925; director, Pabst; based on H. Bettauer’s novel; Soviet title, The Joyless Street), was an important event in German cinematography.
In the mid-1920’s, German cinematography found itself at a point of crisis—a limited domestic film market, financial dependence on American film companies, and so forth. Progressive film-makers saw a way out of the crisis in the creation of a proletarian cinema, free of bourgeois ideological influence. It was at this time that Battleship Potemkin, Mother, October, and other Soviet films were shown. Several films were produced in collaboration with Soviet studios and other motion pictures were made reflecting the influence of advanced Soviet cinema.
By the late 1920’s a number of progressive films exposing social inequality and the evils of war were released. Mother Krausen’s Journey to Happiness (1929; director, P. Jutzi) was the first German film to deal with the pressing problems of the life of the working class. Kuhle Wampe (1932; director, S. Dudow) was a call for proletarian solidarity. The best of the antiwar films was No-man’s-land (1930; director, V. Trivas). Film versions of the works of some contemporary realist writers were made, including The Blue Angel (1930; director, J. von Sternberg; based on H. Mann’s novel), Potassium Cyanide (1930; director, H. Tintner; based on F. Wolf’s play), and Berlin, Alexanderplatz (1931; director, Jutzi; based on A. Döblin’s novel).
After the establishment of the fascist dictatorship (1933), German cinematography fell completely under state control. Refusing to collaborate with the Nazis, a large number of outstanding film figures emigrated. In the years just prior to and during World War II, films were made proclaiming fascist ideas of law and order, and many films were produced for mere light entertainment. A few films of high artistic quality were produced, including Romance in a Minor Key (1943) and No. 7 Great Liberty Street (1944), directed by H. Käutner.
After the war cinematography entered upon a new stage of development in East Germany. Motion-picture studios destroyed during the war were reestablished, and in 1946 the studio DEFA was set up in Babelsberg, near Berlin. That same year the first narrative film, The Murderers Among Us, (director, W. Staudte; Soviet title, They Won’t Be Able to Hide), was released. Production methods were improved, and the number of films released increased. Films of the second half of the 1940’s included Marriage in the Shade and Colored and Checked (1947 and 1949; director, K. Maetzig), The Blum Affair (1948; director, E. Engel), Our Daily Bread (1949; director, S. Dudow), Rotation (1949; director, W. Staudte; Soviet title, The Brown Spider’s Web), and The Beaver Coat (1949; director, Engel; based on G. Hauptmann’s play).
In West Germany films made in the first years after the war dealt with fascism, including In Those Days (1947; director, H. Käutner), Between Yesterday and Tomorrow (1947; director, H. Braun), and The Road Is Long (1948; director, H. B. Fredersdorf). However, the close ties between West German imperialism and American finance capital exerted a pernicious influence on the further development of the cinema in West Germany.
REFERENCESKurtz, R. Expressionismus und Film. Berlin, 1926.
Kracauer, S. From Caligari to Hitler. New York, 1959.
Lebendige Leinwand. Berlin, 1958.
Official name: Federal Republic of Germany
Capital city: Berlin
Internet country code: .de
Flag description: Three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and gold
National anthem: Third verse of “Das Lied der Deutschen” by August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben, sung to Joseph Haydn’s “Kaiserhymne”
Geographical description: Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland, south of Denmark
Total area: 137,821 sq. mi. (357,000 sq. km.)
Climate: Temperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm mountain (foehn) wind Nationality: noun: German(s); adjective: German Population: 82,400,996 (July 2007 CIA est.)
Ethnic groups: German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other (including Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish) 6.1%
Languages spoken: German
Religions: Protestant 34%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 3.7%, unaffiliated or other 28.3%