The International and Domestic Perspective of German Re-Unification 1989/90 (Lecture)

From 29.06.2021 13:00 to 29.06.2021 14:30 (your local time)
Alternatively from 29.06.2021 7:00 to 29.06.2021 7:00 (your local time)

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With the looming collapse of the GDR in the autumn of 1989, the German question came back to the political agenda of the four victorious Allied powers. In this context, the USSR had a key position.

It is important to clarify which elements of the political apparatus and actors in the Soviet capital were involved in regard to the policy on Germany. What position did they take with respect to the German Division? What strategies did they develop, as it became evident – at the latest after the fall of the wall – how hopeless had the concept of an independent GDR become? Finally, we need to examine the conditions under which the Soviet leadership acted politically since February 1990, since leaders on the international level now had to find a solution to the German unification that was acceptable to all parties involved. That process only could unfold step by step.

If we consider the inside perspective of the German reunification the political and economic development lines, but also advised the negotiations for the conclusion of the State Treaty (Monetary, Economic and Social Union) and the Unification Treaty come in the view.

In addition, the transformation of the East German economy is discussed with its socio-political consequences, in particular the activities of the “Treuhandanstalt” the enormous transfer payments that should cushion the transition from a planned economy to a social market economy. Thus, an increase in the national debt was simultaneously connected, the long-term deterioration in the conditions of German politics and economy.

Required Literature

Web resources:

Additional Readings:

Heinrich August Winkler: Germany. The long road to the West. Vol. 2: 1933–1990. Oxford 2007pp. 490–538.

Martin Kitchen: A History of Modern Germany. 1800 to the Present. Chichester 2000, pp. 387–390.

William W. Hagen: German History in Modern Times. Four Lives of the Nation. Cambridge 2012, pp. 399 – 410.

Mary Fulbrook: A History of Germany 1918–2008. The Divided Nation. Chichester 2009, pp. 267–289.

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About the lecturer

Prof. Stefan Creuzberger is a professor for contemporary history and since 2013 chair holder of the department of contemporary history at the University of Rostock as well as the head of the state’s research and documentation center Mecklenburg-Vorpommern for the history of dictatorships in Germany. He is working and researching on the German history after 1945, dictatorships, international and transnational relationships in the 20th century and the history of East Europe and the Soviet Union during the 20th century.


Prof. Dierk Hoffmann is working as a professor of recent and latest history. For the past 12 years, he has been working at the University of Potsdam and is currently as well the vice-leader of the Institute of Contemporary History Munich. He is working and researching on the social politics during the 19th and 20th centuries as well as the history of the GDR and post-war German-German history.


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