In light and shade : British views of Germany since 1945.
Since 1945 the state now known as the Federal Republic of Germany has
• quadripartite military occupation
• . division into two states organised in line with Cold War polarity
• the construction and fortification of a brutal border and (following an unforeseen
chain of events)
• a spectacular dismantling of that order and the subsequent re-joining of the
previously divided parts.
Following that, there has been an alignment and absorption of the newly created
single state into the framework of Western democracy in its broadest sense.
The process of the British accommodation to these changing German identities
represents the main themes of these collected publications. Together, they seek to portray
the complexity of the role Britain has played in constructing, managing and accepting this
accommodation. Individually, they chart steps along the way. Though attention has rightly
been paid elsewhere to the variety of roles and policy positions adopted by the two German
states and by the new single one via-A-vis relations with other European states, the impact of
these on relations with Germany's former victors from World War Two and subsequent
allies, East or West, represents a more recently identified area for research.
These collected publications seek to highlight, from a post-unification perspective,
major milestones in the development of relations between Britain and Germany since 1945.
They deal with the two major problematics of the Cold War period and its dramatic end with
the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9/10 November 1989, namely the questions of British attitudes
to German (re-)unification and the appropriate way to deal with the GDR, both before and
after diplomatic recognition. Also covered are the themes of the British contribution to the
construction of German democracy in the immediate post-war period and the benefits,
tensions and conflicts deriving from more recent developments in bilateral business
relationships. Further themes relate to the role of the print media in representing these topic
areas, and to new insights derived from archive research into GDR policy towards the West.