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6. How accurate is it to say that Helmut Kohl was the main driver of reunification?
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the role played by Helmut Kohl and West Germany in the reunification of Germany on 3 October 1990, focusing in particular on: (i) the rapid shift in power between 14 November and 3 December; (ii) the establishment of round tables at regional and national levels, including the Central Round Table talks between 7 December and 12 March; (iii) the (further) erosion of SED credibility as a result of the state of the economy and a series of political scandals; (iv) the beginning of calls for unification, and the divergent views on what the relationship between East and West Germany should be; (v) the figure of Helmut Kohl and his strong preference for unification; (vi) international opinion on reunification, especially that of the four 'occupying' powers – UK, USA, France, Soviet Union; (viii) the elections of 18 March 1990 and the landslide victory of the pro-reunification 'Allianz für Deutschland’; (ix) the final stages of reunification: currency union, the legal technicalities, the signing of the Unification Treaty, and the general election of 2 December 1990.
In this course, Professor Anna Saunders (University of Liverpool) explores the final decade of communist rule in East Germany, through six key questions: (1) To what extent did economic factors accelerate the demise of the GDR?; (2) To what extent were Gorbachev’s policies responsible for the collapse of communist rule in East Germany?; (3) To what extent was the Protestant church significant in the collapse of communism in the GDR?; (4) To what extent did external influences contribute to the collapse of the GDR?; (5) How important was popular dissent in bringing about the demise of the GDR?; and (6) How accurate is it to say that Helmut Kohl was the main driver of reunification?
Anna Saunders is Professor of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Liverpool. She specialises in the history and memory of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), and in questions of memorialisation and the performance of memory in the built environment. Her recent publications include Memorializing the GDR: Monuments and Memory after 1989 (2018) and Honecker's Children: Youth and Patriotism in East(ern) Germany, 1979-2002 (2007).
Cite this Lecture
Saunders, A. (2021, February 22). Germany – The Decline of the GDR, 1980-90 - How accurate is it to say that Helmut Kohl was the main driver of reunification? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/germany-the-decline-of-the-gdr-1980-90/how-accurate-is-it-to-say-that-helmut-kohl-was-the-main-driver-of-reunification
Saunders, Anna. "Germany – The Decline of the GDR, 1980-90 – How accurate is it to say that Helmut Kohl was the main driver of reunification?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 22 Feb 2021, https://massolit.io/courses/germany-the-decline-of-the-gdr-1980-90/how-accurate-is-it-to-say-that-helmut-kohl-was-the-main-driver-of-reunification