[130] GUSTAV SCHMIDT (ed.), Großbritannien und Europa – Großbri-tannien

in Europa. Sicherheitsbelange und Wirtschaftsfragen in der britischen

Europapolitik nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg, Veröffentlichungen Arbeitskreis

Deutsche England-Forschung, 10 (Bochum: Brockmeyer, 1989), 387 pp.

The overall theme of this volume is Britain’s role in defence and eco-nomic

policy within Western Europe. The essays, written predomi-nantly

as a contribution to diplomatic history, cover the period from

1944 to the late 1980s. The ambitious conference theme and the lively

discussions are reflected in this collection of papers, which brings to-gether

a number of eminent authors on the topic, for instance, Gustav

Schmidt, Stuart Croft, Roger Williams, Helmut Reifeld, and Clemens

Wurm. Arranged in loosely chronological order, the essays have a Brit-ish

and Anglo-American perspective in common. Schmidt’s introduc-tion

provides a valuable summary of the main themes of post-war Brit-ish

involvement in European defence policy, ranging from its influ-ence

on national security policy, British global strategy, problems re-garding

nuclear power status, and Britain as outpost of the USA, and

the founding of NATO, to topics like Britain’s interest in European in-tegration

(‘Western Union’ plans), the Schuman Plan, and the collapse

of the European Defence Community. A conclusion to all the essays

assembled in this interesting book, as well as a general index, would

have been desirable, and a more Europe-centred contribution would

have created an interesting balance.

[135] BERT BECKER, Die DDR und Großbritannien 1945/49 bis 1973.

Politische, wirtschaftliche und kulturelle Kontakte im Zeichen der Nichtaner-kennungspolitik

(Bochum: Brockmeyer, 1991), 366 pp.

This dissertation (Bochum University, 1990) traces the relationship be-tween

the GDR and Britain from 1945/49 to 1973. In the period under

consideration, that is, the time of non-recognition, Britain played an

important role in the conceptualization of Cold War non-recognition

policy. Yet the author illustrates that from 1955 Britain assumed a more

passive role within this policy. Although there were certain bilateral

economic contacts, they were never strong enough to alter the tenets

of non-recognition. Apart from these aspects, Becker concentrates

mainly on the failure of GDR foreign policy, which, flexible as it was,

never succeeded in changing the basic parameters of British-GDR dip-lomatic

relations. The diplomatic and international, as well as cultural,

economic, and generally isolationist reasons Becker offers for this fail-ure

do not add to our knowledge of East-West relations in the decades

under analysis. Moreover, it is surprising that Becker seems to ignore

very important interpretations of GDR history from the British point

of view, for instance Mary Fulbrook’s earlier and recent works.

Ulrike Jordan


[136] ADOLF M. BIRKE and GÜNTHER HEYDEMANN (eds), Groß-britannien

und Ostdeutschland seit 1918, Prince Albert Studies, 9 (Mu-nich,

etc.: Saur, 1993), 151 pp.

This volume, published in the excellent Prince Albert Studies Series

and dedicated to Kurt Kluxen on his eightieth birthday, seeks to reap-praise

the history of relations between Britain and the eastern part of128

Germany. John Hiden corrects the popular view of Britain as the me-diator

between Germany and France in the inter-war years. Indeed,

London had very substantial interests in eastern Europe that made any

support for Germany’s position dependent on Britain’s own ideas for

the region. Not least, Britain and Germany were arch-rivals for the vast

market represented by the Soviet Union. Marie-Luise Recker asks

whether Germany’s ‘drive towards the East’ was about creating for-mal

or informal imperial supremacy there. The latter course, thinks

the author, might have had the approval of the British government.

‘The precondition of this kind of strategy of “economic appeasement”

was the calculation that concessions in the economic area [by Britain]

would influence the political behaviour of the opposing party [Ger-many]

and trigger a political transformation there’ (p. 51). As one of

Germany’s principal trading partners, Britain hoped to gain economic

advantages, too. When he marched into Prague at the latest, Hitler com-promised

such a strategy on Britain’s part. From then on, the balance

swung towards who were against Britain tolerating an informal Ger-man

imperium in eastern Europe. The re-opening of hostilities against

Germany went hand in hand with a hardening of Britain’s attitude

towards German interests in the East, as Lothar Kettenacker demon-strates.

As early as October 1943, the British Cabinet approved the cession

of East Prussia, Danzig, and at least the whole of Upper Silesia to Po-land.

This included the ‘transfer of German populations’. As the war

dragged on, this attitude hardened even further. According to

Kettenacker Britain’s refusal to recognize the annexation of Germa-ny’s

Ostgebiete under international law did not reflect any real reser-vations

on London’s part about Polish actions. Britain was merely seiz-ing

a final ‘pledge’ vis-à-vis a country that was now dependent on

Moscow and was not governed in accordance with Western democratic

ideals. In total opposition to the Americans, the Foreign Office was

prepared to abandon these reservations in the spring of 1947. But ‘the

British could not afford to upset their American allies; they had to bow

to the new leading power in the West’ (p. 78). As Günter Heydemann

shows on the basis of new British sources on the Soviet-occupied zone

of Germany, this made little difference to Britain’s de facto recognition

of the status quo. As early as autumn 1946, the British were assuming a

future partition of Germany. This view dictated policy in their zone.

The repercussions of this early British de facto recognition of the statusquo are examined by David Childs and Colin Munro. These included

an idealized image of the GDR among supporters and representatives

of the Labour Party on the one hand, and international recognition of

East Germany at the earliest possible moment on the other (‘SED propa-ganda

and West German support led Britain on occasion to overesti-mate

the durability of the GDR’, p. 129). A similar view is taken by

Gordon Smith, whose account of Germany’s reunification process is

somewhat dressed up with positive reactions and ‘heart-felt and im-mediate’

sympathy in Britain. That is really going too far, as the author

himself eloquently illustrates in his essay. Also, to attribute British ‘un-preparedness

and lack of sensitivity’ vis-à-vis Germany to Margaret

Thatcher alone is dubious to say the least. Finally, the paradoxical am-bivalence

(‘multivalence’) of Allied responsibility for Gesamtdeutsch-land

is described by Werner Link.

Hermann J. Hiery


[138] ANGELIKA VOLLE, Großbritannien und der europäische Einigungs-prozeß,

Arbeitspapiere zur internationalen Politik, 51 (Bonn: Europa

Union, 1989), 77 pp.

Angelika Volle has been a keen observer of Anglo-German relations

ever since her post-graduate days. She is a fellow and editor at the

Research Institute of the German Foreign Policy Council (DeutscheGesellschaft für auswärtige Politik e .V.). This booklet, published by

the Institute, covers British relations with the European Community

from the early 1950s to the end of 1988. It is a highly informative, pains-taking

survey, with summaries in German, English, and French. What

is most astonishing (or perhaps not) is that so much has changed in the

world since 1989, except for British attitudes towards Europe. These

seem to be more or less the same as those expressed by Clement Attlee

as long ago as 1951: ‘We are willing to play an active part in all forms of

European co-operation on the inter-governmental basis, but cannot

surrender our freedom of decision and action to any supra-national

authority.’ Attlee’s brief to the Foreign Office could have been sub-scribed

to by all his successors and constitutes a kind of leitmotif in

Volle’s survey. It is therefore by no means out of date. Volle makes it

quite clear that Britain is very co-operative as far as the extension of

the foreign market is concerned. In spite of all her reservations about

European integration, Margaret Thatcher was an unequivocal supporter

of the Single European Act, which served that very purpose. Sover-eignty

of Parliament and inter-governmental co-operation seem to be

the two principles that are not negotiable, as though they constitute

the essence of British national identity. The author puts it very suc-cinctly

on page one: union, yes, unity, no. However, the survey also

shows that Britain always adopted a fairly pragmatic attitude towards

Europe, which has drawn it closer and closer to the Continent over the

last forty years. The speed of this process may change from time to

time, but not the direction.

Lothar Kettenacker


[139] HANS-HEINRICH JANSEN, Großbritannien, das Scheitern der EVG

und der NATO-Beitritt der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Bochum: Brock-meyer,

1992), 297 pp.

This study attempts to assess the role played by Britain in the autumn

of 1954 when Germany joined NATO, the successor to the European

Defence Community of 1952. The author also takes the US perspective

into account. Unlike the British, the Americans remained steadfast in

their conception of the European Defence Community as a

supranational body. Eden, on the other hand, had from an early stage

advocated an alternative solution on the basis of NATO. The outcome

of British strategy under Eden vis-à-vis European defence policy wassomewhat ambivalent. Britain emerged from the controversy over the

European Defence Community as neither its saviour nor its destroyer,

thereby keeping British options open for increased influence on the

French in this question and for playing an active role in working out a

new formula. Eden worked successfully towards Germany’s national

rearmament and membership of NATO and the Brussels Pact, thereby

anchoring Germany firmly in the West despite objections voiced by

France under Mèndes. In this respect, Adenauer’s views were very

close to Eden’s own, which must also be evaluated in the light of his

controversy with Churchill. This study is an exceptionally clear out-line

of the development towards the NATO solution, conceived and

written as a contribution to diplomatic history.

Ulrike Jordan

[145] ROLAND STURM (ed.), Thatcherismus – Eine Bilanz nach zehn

Jahren, Arbeitskreis Deutsche England-Forschung, 15 (Bochum: Brock-meyer,

1991), 414 pp.

After a decade of the Thatcher government many felt inclined to take

stock of its impact on Britain. In 1988 the annual conference of the

Arbeitskreis Deutsche England-Forschung was on ‘Thatcherism – An

Assessment after Ten Years’, and the present volume is a collection of

the papers given at this conference. The essays throw light on funda-mental

aspects of political, social, and economic life during the Thatcher

era. The editor gives an introduction to current research on the phe-nomenon

of Thatcherism and sums up the main characteristics of the

Thatcher government and her reform politics. In the first part the au-thors

tackle the relationship between government and parliamentary

party, the ambivalence and contradictions at grass-roots level, and the

impact of Conservative politics on the changing image of the Labour

Party. Part two looks at a number of economic and social sectors, ana-lysing

the effects of Thatcher’s economic policy, especially privatiza-tion,

on all of them, for example, nuclear power, telecommunications,

the National Health Service, and housing. Two of the essays in this

section take a more general stand by looking at the trade unions, rela-tions

between employers and employees, and economic policy as a

whole. Part three is devoted to the question of ‘authoritarian populism’,

state intervention, and the most recent developments in Britain under

the influence of Thatcherism. In the light of three cabinet reshuffles

within five months, the editor and one of the contributors reflect on

the ‘end of Thatcherism?’ in a postscript, thus joining the public de-bate

in Britain on the future fate of the then Prime Minister. The essays

are well informed, often presenting facets of daily politics and public

opinion through newspaper articles and statistics, and the book, along

with its selective bibliography, gives readers an insight into the main

features and debates of ten years of Thatcher government.

Dagmar Freist


[149] CHRISTIANE KRUSE, Der Nordirlandkonflikt im Focus journali-stischer

Schemata. Eine Analyse der Berichterstattung ausländischer Tages-zeitungungen

unterschiedlicher Distanz, Beiträge zur Kommunikations-theorie,

1 (Münster and Hamburg: LIT, 1993), 249 pp.

Kruse’s study deals with foreign reporting of the Northern Ireland con-flict.

She selects the following five ‘quality newspapers’, as she puts it:

the Irish Times, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the New York Times, the Times

of India, and The Hindu. The author does not provide a particularly

plausible justification of this somewhat curious choice (notably as re-gards

the dominance of the Indian press). The Irish Times, the principal

paper of Ireland’s Protestants (the author sees no bias in the fact of its

Protestantism), was chosen because Eire is the ‘nearest foreign coun-try’,

as she says, to Northern Ireland. As to why no British newspaper

was included, the author is silent. The period of the investigation (20

August to 23 November 1988) is a very narrow one, but for the author

it encompasses ‘both extremely violent events and significant political

changes’ (p. 98). Her overall purpose is to demonstrate, among other

things, that ‘the farther a foreign newspaper is away from the North-ern

Ireland conflict, the less the extent and depth of its reporting on the

conflict’ (p. 11).

In evaluating her ‘sources’, the author then reaches the astonishing

conclusion that the Northern Ireland conflict does indeed receive most

attention in the Irish newspaper studied and least in the Indian press.

However, she sees her ‘initial lead hypothesis’ as only ‘broadly’ con-firmed,

since the data from the New York Times and the Neue Zürcher

Zeitung ‘in part’ contradict it. She goes on to suppose ‘that a newspa-per‘

s concept is a key factor in shaping its foreign section’ (p. 161),

which she sees as confirming the ideas of Josef Trappel. However, she

adds cautiously: ‘How far this assumption turns out to be justified will

need to be tested in further investigations – ranging beyond the frame-work

of the present work’ (ibid.).

Possibly it is an advantage for specialists in German studies and

communications that historians are not involved in assessing the aca-demic

merits of their projects. A historian is also likely to be less im-pressed

by the fact that the New York Times ‘to some extent’ reports the

Northern Ireland conflict in greater detail than the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

How about the author adding one more to her many proportional ta-bles?

A comparison of the number of Irish emigrants in Switzerlandwith the number in the United States might prompt further astonish-ing


Hermann J. Hiery

Literatur (Kennziffern beziehen sich auf Werke, die in

IN THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY 1989-1994 An Annotated Bibliography verzeichnet sind, vgl. http://www.ghil.co.uk/res_no3.pdf

Adolf M. Birke, ‘Großbritannien und die deutsche Einheit’, in

Hartmut Boockmann and Kurt Jürgensen (eds), Nachdenken über

die Geschichte. Beiträge aus der Ökumene der Historiker in memoriam.

Gedenkschrift für Karl Dietrich Erdmann (Neumünster, 1991), pp.


Blasius, Rainer A., ‘Weder “gute” noch “böse” Deutsche. Zur

politischen Kriegführung Großbritanniens in den Jahren 1939-

1943’, in Jost Dülffer (ed.), Deutschland und Europa. Kontinuität

und Bruch. Gedenkschrift für Andreas Hillgruber (Berlin, 1990), pp.


Bluth, Christoph, ‘New Thinking in Soviet Foreign Policy under

Gorbachev: British and German Perspectives on a Changing Eu-ropean

Security Environment’, in [80], pp. 157-88

Croft, Stuart, ‘The British Security Outlook: European or North

Atlantic?’, in [130], pp. 347-66

Dockrill, Saki, ‘Großbritannien und die Wiederbewaffnung

Deutschlands 1950-1955’, in Rolf Steininger, Jürgen Weber, and

Günter Bischof (eds), Die doppelte Eindämmung. Europäische Sicherheit

und deutsche Frage in den Fünfzigern (Munich, 1993), pp. 63-74

Falcon, Richard, ‘Images of Germany and the Germans in Brit-ish

Film and Television Fictions’, in [8], pp. 7-27

Forsyth, Murray, ‘British Suspicions of a Federal Europe. A Con-sideration

of the Long-Term and Short-Term Factors’, in [73],

pp. 105-15

Head, David, ‘“Made in Germany”: the British Perspective as

Revealed by Advertising’, in [8], pp. 99-105

Heydemann, Günther, ‘Partner or Rival? The British Perception

of Germany during the Process of Unification 1989-1991’, in [8],

pp. 123-47

Kaiser, Wolfram, ‘Selbstisolierung in Europa – Die britische Re-gierung

und die Gründung der EWG’, in [99], pp. 125-53

Kettenacker, Lothar, ‘Erziehung zum Frieden. Ein Hauptziel der

britischen Deutschlandplanung im Zweiten Weltkrieg’, in [4],

pp. 207-23

[444] Kettenacker, Lothar, ‘Großbritannien und der deutsche Angriff

auf die Sowjetunion’, in Bernd Wegner (ed.), Zwei Wege nach

Moskau. Vom Hitler-Stalin-Pakt zum “Unternehmen Barbarossa”

(Munich, 1991), pp. 605-19

[445] Kettenacker, Lothar, ‘Britische Besatzungspolitik im Spannungs-verhältnis

von Planung und Realität’, in [127], pp. 17-33

[446] Kettenacker, Lothar, ‘Planung und Realität der britischen Besat-zungsherrschaft

in Deutschland (1942-1946), in [75], pp. 135-48

Mallaby, Sir Christopher, ‘Great Britain’s relations with the New

Länder of Germany’, in [136], pp. 23-6

Munro, Colin, ‘Britain and German “Ostpolitik”’, in [80], pp. 145-


Niedhart, Gottfried, ‘Das ökonomische Interesse am Frieden und

das außenpolitische Konflliktverhalten Großbritanniens in der

Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts (1931-1961), in [99], pp. 77-89

[489] Niedhart, Gottfried, ‘Die Bundesrepulik Deutschland in der

britischen Politik der fünfziger Jahre’, Historische Mitteilungen

der Ranke-Gesellschaft, 3 (1990), p. 181-92

[490] Niedhart, Gottfried, ‘Tor zum Westen und Konkurrent im

Westen. Zur Wahrnehmung Großbritanniens in Westdeutschland

nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg und zu Beginn der Adenauer-Ära’,

in [9], pp. 205-13

Reifeld, Helmut, ‘Die Europapolitk des Foreign Office im Spiegel

der Berlin-Blockade’, in [130], pp. 89-110

[510] Reifeld, Helmut, ‘Retter wider Willen? Die britische Berlinpolitik

1945-89, in [75], pp. 149-75

Richthofen, Hermann von, ‘Die neuen Bundesländer – Eine

Einladung an Großbritannien und Europa’, in [136], pp. 17-22

Schmidt, Gustav, ‘Die Labour-Regierung, die Bundesrepublik

und Europa – “The American Connection”, 1964-1967’, in [130],

pp. 253-314

[524] Schmidt, Gustav, ‘Die politischen und sicherheitspolitischen Di-mensionen

der britischen Europa-Politik 1955/56-1963/64’, in

[130], pp. 169-252

[525] Schmidt, Gustav, ‘Einleitung: Britain and Europe – Britain in

Europe’. Das Spannungsverhältnis zwischen wirtschaftlicher

Eigenentwicklung, europäischer Verteidigungsgemeinschaft und

atlantischer Sicherheitspartnerschaft nach dem Zweiten Welt-krieg’,

in [130], pp. 1-41

Schröter, Harm G., ‘Sonderweg und (un)aufhaltsame Hinwen-dung

zu Europa: Zur Entwicklung der britische Außenwirt-schaftsstrukturen

im 20. Jahrhundert’, in [99], pp. 155-70

Smith, Gordon, ‘The process of unification and Germany’s role

in Europe’, in [136], pp. 131-40

Steininger, Rolf, ‘Zwischen Pariser Verträgen und Genfer Gipfel-konferenz.

Großbritannien und die deutsche Frage 1955’, in Rolf

Steininger, Jürgen Weber and Günter Bischof (eds), Die doppelte

Eindämmung. Europäische Sicherheit und deutsche Frage in den

Fünfzigern (Munich, 1993), pp. 177-211

Volle, Angelika, ‘Großbritannien in der Europäischen Gemein-schaft.

Vom zögernden Außenseiter zum widerspenstigen Part-ner’,

in [130], pp. 315-46

Wurm, Clemens A., ‘Großbritannien, Westeuropa und die An-fänge

der europäischen Integration 1945-1951’, in [130], pp. 57-


[569] Wurm, Clemens, ‘Großbritannien und die westeuropäische In-tegration

seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg’, in [4], pp. 225-42

[570] Wurm, Clemens, ‘Großbritanniens Weg nach Europa: Einleitung’, in [99], pp. 1-16

Conference Report in: (http://www.ghil.co.uk/bul/bu1998_no2.pdf)


Britain and Germany in Europe 1949-1990. Joint Conference of the

German Historical Institute London and the University of Exeter, held

in Exeter on 26-28 March 1998.

Anglo-German relations over the last hundred years are marked by

rivalry, for the first half of the century of a predominantly hostile

nature, in the second half of a more amicable kind. After all, the two

countries are allies and partners, since 1955 – at the suggestion of

Britain – in NATO, and, since the early 1970s, within the European

Community. The relationship, which evolved within a framework of

overall stability, has not been given anything like the attention paid by

historians to the period of war and turbulence. Therefore the GHIL

responded favourably to the idea suggested by the University of

Exeter of a joint conference on Anglo-German relations between 1949

and 1990. One further consideration was that the conference was to be

the fourth symposium in a series established in 1985 to honour the

memory of Professor W. N. Medlicott, Head of the History Department

at Exeter during the late 1940s. The conference topic was very much

within the range of his interests. Moreover it was felt that, nearly ten

years after German unification, and in this no-man’s-land between the

Bonn and Berlin republics, this was not a bad time for stocktaking. The

topic was to be covered in five sessions – European Integration,

European Security, German Unification, Elite Perceptions, and Cul-tural

Transfer. While the first three topics followed a more traditional

line of enquiry, the last two were meant to emphasize the fact that

relations between these two countries in Europe are by no means

confined to the political dimension. No doubt, seen retrospectively,

Europe has provided the main stage for the Anglo-German agenda

over the last forty years.

The first session, however, focused mainly on Britain’s reluctant

and tortured approach to the European Community in the 1950s and

1960s. Clemens Wurm (Berlin) gave a concise analysis of the prevalent

attitudes in Britain towards Europe up to 1955. The mental barriers vis-à-

vis the Continent were still insurmountable. Britain saw itself at the

centre of three interlocking circles: the North Atlantic Alliance, the

Commonwealth (Sterling area), and Europe. Informal arrangements

such as OECD, WEU, or EPU were acceptable, but any loss of sover-eignty

as a result of European integration was not. Martin Schaad

(Berlin) examined British responses to the challenge posed by the EEC 110

in general and de Gaulle in particular. The internal debate in Germany

between Atlanticists and Gaullists raised false hopes in London, which

sought to use Bonn as a pawn in its endeavours either to scupper the

EEC or to join it. Schaad emphasized that Anglo-German relations

were always a means rather than an end in themselves. Piers Ludlow

(Oxford) elaborated on the same theme covering the 1960s: on the one

hand ensuring Britain’s membership as a key foreign policy objective

of the Federal Republic, and on the other the constantly changing

tactics of the British government in pursuit of the same goal. While

British membership was clearly in Germany’s national, not least eco-nomic,

interests, this was not the case for France. However, for the

German government the desire to preserve good relations with France

and not to endanger the development of the EEC clearly had priority.

Ludlow believes that emphasis should be placed on Germany’s role as

a Community power and not on its relationship with the United

Kingdom in this period. Alan Milward (London) was concerned with

Macmillan’s apparent U-turn: his drastic change of direction due to his

decision to enter the Community. Milward’s careful analysis of all the

sources pertaining to this issue reveals that this was, after all, only a

tactical shift. Macmillan, the representative of middle England, was no

convert to the policies of integration and power-sharing. Confedera-tion

rather than federation seemed to ensure British leadership in

Europe, provided the balance between Germany and France could be


The second session was devoted to security matters within NATO.

Germany was, after all, the frontline state in the Cold War, secure only

under the nuclear umbrella provided by the United States. Gustav

Schmidt (Bochum) presented ample evidence to show that Anglo-German

relations were completely overshadowed by the predominant

position of the USA. Both Bonn and London were vying for influence

among US decision-makers who, however, avoided giving the impres-sion

of favouring one or the other.

In many ways Berlin was the most endangered outpost of the West

during the Cold War. It was at the same time the only place where four-power

control, once meant to apply to the whole of Germany, was still

exercised, even if only in a ritualistic way. Lothar Kettenacker (Lon-don)

examined Britain’s role in Berlin as one of the four powers which

had devised plans for a separate zone as the seat of the Control

Commission. Though always tempted to abandon the Western posi- 111

tion in any of the subsequent crises, Britain always toed the line and,

in the end, that is, in 1989-90, turned out to be the most status-minded

of the four powers in Berlin. As viewed from Bonn, Britain appeared

to be somewhat less confidence-inspiring than the other two protect-ing

powers in Berlin.

One of the greatest problems was to reconcile Bonn to Western

strategic planning. Beatrice Heuser (London) gave a masterly over-view

of Anglo-German relations in NATO from 1955 onwards. Through

its readiness to commit British forces to the defence of Europe Britain

helped to overcome existing reservations on the part of the other

European powers about the full integration of the FRG in NATO.

Relations became more strained when Bonn strove for a European

nuclear force independent of a US veto. Britain jealously guarded its

own nuclear independence. But out of this rivalry grew the increased

awareness of European strategic interests vis-à-vis the USA. In the

resultant mechanisms such as the Nuclear Planning Group Anglo-German

co-operation blossomed into what was termed a ‘silent alli-ance’.

The third session dealt with the British approach to the German

question, as it was dubbed before unification emerged as a real possi-bility.

Klaus Larres (Belfast) examined British attitudes towards the

GDR before recognition became official. The Foreign Office made sure

that the British position was not undermined by fellow-travellers. Nor

was it swayed by economic arguments. Even after relaxation, the

volume of trade remained limited. Larres made the point that Bonn did

not sufficiently appreciate Britain’s loyalty in this sensitive area. Michael

Clark (London) viewed Germany’s Ostpolitik as perceived by the

British government. He stated that the Cold War had once more

enhanced Britain’s otherwise weakened influence as a global power.

Therefore Britain maintained a businesslike scepticism as regards

what détente could achieve. Nor was a super-power condominium in

its interests. London saw the various negotiations from the Berlin

settlement to the Helsinki process as one package deal which should

not be allowed to unravel. Altogether Britain was one of the staunchest

supporters of NATO.

Sir Julian Bullard, former British Ambassador to Bonn, described in

vivid detail how London responded to the unexpected cataclysm of

1989-90. He addressed three pertinent issues: that Britain failed to

foresee German unification, that it tried to prevent this, and that its role 112

in the whole business was insignificant. He elaborated on the FCO’s

endeavour to limit the damage caused by Margaret Thatcher’s nega-tive

stance and concluded: ‘We were neither so short-sighted, nor so

hostile, nor so ineffective, as has sometimes been supposed.’

The following session deviated from the straight and narrow path

of political relations in that it was devoted to ‘Elite Perceptions’.

Charlie Jeffery (Birmingham) showed how the concepts of federalism

and subsidiarity as practised in Germany on the domestic scene were

applied to the EEC. He compared the German experience with Brit-ain’s

centralized systems as exhibited in Parliament and a more

adversarial style in the political arena. Benedikt Koehler (London),

representing the German banking community in the City, described

the return of German banks on to the international scene following the

London debt settlement of 1951. German bankers were well aware of

how they had been materially bankrupted and morally discredited by

the preceding catastrophe. He then outlined the many attractions

which the City holds for German banks, especially in the age of global


Anthony Nicholls (Oxford), in his capacity as both a practising

historian and chief host of a stream of German Visiting Professors at St

Antony’s College, is perhaps the most qualified person to elaborate on

‘The German Historical Profession and its British Counterpart’. The

Fischer controversy and new research into the rise of Nazism sparked

off British interest in German history and historiography, culminating

in the foundation of the German History Society. British historians

helped to put the perspective right by qualifying the dominant concept

of a ‘German Sonderweg’. Harald Husemann (Osnabrück), a specialist

on the formation of national stereotypes and in possession of the

largest collections of cartoons on Anglo-German relations, gave a vivid

illustration of the manner in which the alleged German national

character has been portrayed by British tabloids. The sinister iconog-raphy

of the Nazi past, in particular the last war, and poking fun at

German economic prowess serve to compensate the British public for

the shifted balance of power in Europe.

West Germany might be supplying a great many more consumer

goods to Britain, from cars to pencils, than vice versa. But when it

comes to ‘cultural transfer’ the picture looks very different. The period

of political re-education after the war was only the beginning. The

impact of the English language and Anglo-Saxon pop culture has proved to be a never-ending process. Peter Alter (Duisburg) looked at

the ‘institutional framework’ which was to facilitate understanding

between the two societies. He paid particular attention to a new

institution set up after the war and unique to Anglo-German relations:

the regular Königswinter Conferences which bring together politi-cians,

journalists, academics, and businessmen of the two countries for

an informal exchange of views.

Klaus Reichert (Frankfurt/M.), renowned linguist and literary

historian, examined ‘The Impact of English on the German Language’.

He put the influx of English words and phrases, noticeable above all in

the German retail trade, into a historical perspective by showing how

much the German vocabulary owed to foreign imports in the past. As

a kind of living organism language must be able to adapt to a changing

environment: artificial barriers against foreign words make no sense.

Nor is the command of English as a second language a bad thing.

However, this development, welcome as it is, should not be to the

detriment of the German language, which remains indispensable on

the level of intellectual communication. Klaus Schönbach (Hanover)

described the arrival of English pop music and the inroads it made into

German youth culture in the early 1960s, demonstrating how the

Beatles left their mark on the charts of popular songs. Radio stations

were reluctant to give due credit to the new phenomenon. For some

time English texts still constituted an impediment.

As a popular sport football had arrived from England much earlier

than modern pop music. In conclusion Andreas Helle (Frankfurt/M.)

reflected on ‘Football Rivalry as Ersatzkrieg’ by analysing the language

used in commentaries. Whenever national teams meet, especially in

the course of World Cup competitions, soccer appears to be the ideal

furnace for casting national stereotypes. Helle detects a reversal of

roles, not dissimilar to the modernization paradigm: the Germans took

over the sport from England, along with the idea of fair play, only to

professionalize it and to divest it of its playful character. In this sense

football is certainly not meant to be war by other means.