Lora Wildenthal does so with erudition and grace, and she shows us how important it is to situate the human rights movement in specific contexts of time and place. Along the way, she brings to light dedicated activists and fledgling organizations that deserve to be restored to history. This is a valuable read for anyone interested in human rights and international justice. Yet the abstract universality of human rights discourse is a problem for historians, who seek to understand language in a particular time and place.
Lora Wildenthal explores the tension between the universal and the historically specific by examining the language of human rights in West Germany between World War II and unification. Educators opposed to the German state-run schools, which emphasized military education, set up their own independent liberal schools, which encouraged individuality and freedom. Artists began experimental art in opposition to Kaiser Wilhelm's support for traditional art, to which Wilhelm responded "art which transgresses the laws and limits laid down by me can no longer be called art". At the same time, a new generation of cultural creators emerged.
From the s onwards, the most effective opposition to the monarchy came from the newly formed Social Democratic Party of Germany SPD , whose radicals advocated Marxism. The threat of the SPD to the German monarchy and industrialists caused the state both to crack down on the party's supporters and to implement its own programme of social reform to soothe discontent. Germany's large industries provided significant social welfare programmes and good care to their employees, as long as they were not identified as socialists or trade-union members.
The larger industrial firms provided pensions, sickness benefits and even housing to their employees. Having learned from the failure of Bismarck's Kulturkampf , Wilhelm II maintained good relations with the Roman Catholic Church and concentrated on opposing socialism. The government remained in the hands of a succession of conservative coalitions supported by right-wing liberals or Catholic clerics and heavily dependent on the Kaiser's favour. Hindenburg took over the role of commander—in—chief from the Kaiser, while Ludendorff became de facto general chief of staff.
By , Germany was effectively a military dictatorship run by Hindenburg and Ludendorff, with the Kaiser reduced to a mere figurehead. Wilhelm II wanted Germany to have her " place in the sun ", like Britain, which he constantly wished to emulate or rival. With the encouragement or at least the acquiescence of Britain, which at this stage saw Germany as a counterweight to her old rival France, Germany acquired German Southwest Africa modern Namibia , German Kamerun modern Cameroon , Togoland modern Togo and German East Africa modern Rwanda , Burundi , and the mainland part of current Tanzania.
Islands were gained in the Pacific through purchase and treaties and also a year lease for the territory of Kiautschou in northeast China. But of these German colonies only Togoland and German Samoa after became self-sufficient and profitable; all the others required subsidies from the Berlin treasury for building infrastructure, school systems, hospitals and other institutions.
Bismarck had originally dismissed the agitation for colonies with contempt; he favoured a Eurocentric foreign policy, as the treaty arrangements made during his tenure in office show. As a latecomer to colonization, Germany repeatedly came into conflict with the established colonial powers and also with the United States, which opposed German attempts at colonial expansion in both the Caribbean and the Pacific. Native insurrections in German territories received prominent coverage in other countries, especially in Britain; the established powers had dealt with such uprisings decades earlier, often brutally, and had secured firm control of their colonies by then.
The Boxer Rising in China, which the Chinese government eventually sponsored, began in the Shandong province, in part because Germany, as colonizer at Kiautschou , was an untested power and had only been active there for two years. Eight western nations, including the United States, mounted a joint relief force to rescue westerners caught up in the rebellion. During the departure ceremonies for the German contingent, Wilhelm II urged them to behave like the Hun invaders of continental Europe — an unfortunate remark that would later be resurrected by British propagandists to paint Germans as barbarians during World War I and World War II.
On two occasions, a French-German conflict over the fate of Morocco seemed inevitable. Upon acquiring Southwest Africa, German settlers were encouraged to cultivate land held by the Herero and Nama.
Herero and Nama tribal lands were used for a variety of exploitative goals much as the British did before in Rhodesia , including farming, ranching, and mining for minerals and diamonds. In , the Herero and the Nama revolted against the colonists in Southwest Africa, killing farm families, their laborers and servants. In response to the attacks, troops were dispatched to quell the uprising which then resulted in the Herero and Namaqua Genocide.
The commander of the punitive expedition, General Lothar von Trotha , was eventually relieved and reprimanded for his usurpation of orders and the cruelties he inflicted. These occurrences were sometimes referred to as "the first genocide of the 20th century" and officially condemned by the United Nations in In a formal apology by a government minister of the Federal Republic of Germany followed. Accordingly, they asked to have construction halted, to which Germany and the Ottoman Empire acquiesced.
Wilhelm II and his advisers committed a fatal diplomatic error when they allowed the " Reinsurance Treaty " that Bismarck had negotiated with Tsarist Russia to lapse. Germany was left with no firm ally but Austria-Hungary , and her support for action in annexing Bosnia and Herzegovina in further soured relations with Russia. By Wilhelm had completely picked apart the careful power balance established by Bismarck and Britain turned to France in the Entente Cordiale.
Germany's only other ally besides Austria was the Kingdom of Italy , but it remained an ally only pro forma. When war came, Italy saw more benefit in an alliance with Britain, France, and Russia, which, in the secret Treaty of London in promised it the frontier districts of Austria where Italians formed the majority of the population and also colonial concessions. Germany did acquire a second ally that same year when the Ottoman Empire entered the war on its side, but in the long run supporting the Ottoman war effort only drained away German resources from the main fronts.
This unconditional support for Austria-Hungary was called a "blank cheque" by historians, including German Fritz Fischer. Subsequent interpretation — for example at the Versailles Peace Conference — was that this "blank cheque" licensed Austro-Hungarian aggression regardless of the diplomatic consequences, and thus Germany bore responsibility for starting the war , or at least provoking a wider conflict. Germany began the war by targeting its chief rival, France. Germany saw France as its principal danger on the European continent as it could mobilize much faster than Russia and bordered Germany's industrial core in the Rhineland.
Unlike Britain and Russia, the French entered the war mainly for revenge against Germany, in particular for France's loss of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany in The German high command knew that France would muster its forces to go into Alsace-Lorraine. Aside from the very unofficial Septemberprogramm , the Germans never stated a clear list of goals that they wanted out of the war.
Germany did not want to risk lengthy battles along the Franco-German border and instead adopted the Schlieffen Plan , a military strategy designed to cripple France by invading Belgium and Luxembourg , sweeping down to encircle and crush both Paris and the French forces along the Franco-German border in a quick victory. After defeating France, Germany would turn to attack Russia. The plan required violating the official neutrality of Belgium and Luxembourg, which Britain had guaranteed by treaty.
However, the Germans had calculated that Britain would enter the war regardless of whether they had formal justification to do so. However, the evolution of weapons over the last century heavily favored defense over offense, especially thanks to the machine gun, so that it took proportionally more offensive force to overcome a defensive position. This resulted in the German lines on the offense contracting to keep up the offensive time table while correspondingly the French lines were extending. In addition, some German units that were originally slotted for the German far right were transferred to the Eastern Front in reaction to Russia mobilizing far faster than anticipated.
The combined affect had the German right flank sweeping down in front of Paris instead of behind it exposing the German Right flank to the extending French lines and attack from strategic French reserves stationed in Paris. Attacking the exposed German right flank, the French Army and the British Army put up a strong resistance to the defense of Paris at the First Battle of the Marne , resulting in the German Army retreating.
The aftermath of the First Battle of the Marne was a long-held stalemate between the German Army and the Allies in dug-in trench warfare. German Chief of Staff Erich von Falkenhayn decided to break away from the Schlieffen Plan and instead focus on a war of attrition against France. Falkenhayn targeted the ancient city of Verdun because it had been one of the last cities to hold out against the German Army in , and Falkenhayn knew that as a matter of national pride the French would do anything to ensure that it was not taken.
He expected that with proper tactics, French losses would be greater than those of the Germans and that continued French commitment of troops to Verdun would "bleed the French Army white" and then allow the German army to take France easily. In , the Battle of Verdun began, with the French positions under constant shelling and poison gas attack and taking large casualties under the assault of overwhelmingly large German forces. However, Falkenhayn's prediction of a greater ratio of French killed proved to be wrong.
Falkenhayn was replaced by Erich Ludendorff , and with no success in sight, the German Army pulled out of Verdun in December and the battle ended. While the Western Front was a stalemate for the German Army, the Eastern Front eventually proved to be a great success. Despite initial setbacks due to the unexpectedly rapid mobilisation of the Russian army, which resulted in a Russian invasion of East Prussia and Austrian Galicia , the badly organised and supplied Russian Army faltered and the German and Austro-Hungarian armies thereafter steadily advanced eastward.
The Germans benefited from political instability in Russia and its population's desire to end the war. Germany believed that if Lenin could create further political unrest, Russia would no longer be able to continue its war with Germany, allowing the German Army to focus on the Western Front. In March , the Tsar was ousted from the Russian throne, and in November a Bolshevik government came to power under the leadership of Lenin.
How German women obtained the right to vote 100 years ago
Facing political opposition from the Bolsheviks, he decided to end Russia's campaign against Germany, Austria-Hungary , the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria in order to redirect Bolshevik energy to eliminating internal dissent. In March , by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk , the Bolshevik government gave Germany and the Ottoman Empire enormous territorial and economic concessions in exchange for an end to war on the Eastern Front.
Thus Germany had at last achieved its long-wanted dominance of "Mitteleuropa" Central Europe and could now focus fully on defeating the Allies on the Western Front. In practice, however, the forces that were needed to garrison and secure the new territories were a drain on the German war effort. Germany quickly lost almost all its colonies. He also invaded Portuguese Mozambique to gain his forces supplies and to pick up more Askari recruits.
His force was still active at war's end. The defeat of Russia in enabled Germany to transfer hundreds of thousands of troops from the Eastern to the Western Front, giving it a numerical advantage over the Allies. By retraining the soldiers in new stormtrooper tactics, the Germans expected to unfreeze the battlefield and win a decisive victory before the army of the United States , which had now entered the war on the side of the Allies, arrived in strength. Meanwhile, soldiers had become radicalised by the Russian Revolution and were less willing to continue fighting.
The war effort sparked civil unrest in Germany, while the troops, who had been constantly in the field without relief, grew exhausted and lost all hope of victory. In the summer of , with the Americans arriving at the rate of 10, a day and the German reserves spent, it was only a matter of time before multiple Allied offensives destroyed the German army. The concept of " total war " meant that supplies had to be redirected towards the armed forces and, with German commerce being stopped by the Allied naval blockade , German civilians were forced to live in increasingly meagre conditions.
First food prices were controlled, then rationing was introduced. During the war about , German civilians died from malnutrition. Towards the end of the war conditions deteriorated rapidly on the home front, with severe food shortages reported in all urban areas. The causes included the transfer of many farmers and food workers into the military, combined with the overburdened railway system, shortages of coal, and the British blockade.
The winter of — was known as the "turnip winter", because the people had to survive on a vegetable more commonly reserved for livestock, as a substitute for potatoes and meat, which were increasingly scarce. Thousands of soup kitchens were opened to feed the hungry, who grumbled that the farmers were keeping the food for themselves.
Even the army had to cut the soldiers' rations. Many Germans wanted an end to the war and increasing numbers began to associate with the political left, such as the Social Democratic Party and the more radical Independent Social Democratic Party , which demanded an end to the war.
German women for empire, - Lora Wildenthal - Google книги
The entry of the U. The end of October , in Kiel , in northern Germany, saw the beginning of the German Revolution of — Units of the German Navy refused to set sail for a last, large-scale operation in a war which they saw as good as lost, initiating the uprising. On 3 November, the revolt spread to other cities and states of the country, in many of which workers' and soldiers' councils were established. Meanwhile, Hindenburg and the senior generals lost confidence in the Kaiser and his government. Bulgaria signed the Armistice of Solun on 29 September So, in November , with internal revolution, the Allies advancing toward Germany on the Western Front , Austria-Hungary falling apart from multiple ethnic tensions, its other allies out of the war and pressure from the German high command, the Kaiser and all German ruling kings, dukes, and princes abdicated, and German nobility was abolished.
The new government led by the German Social Democrats called for and received an armistice on 11 November. It was succeeded by the Weimar Republic.
The Empire's legislation was based on two organs, the Bundesrat and the Reichstag parliament. There was universal male suffrage for the Reichstag, however legislation would have to pass both houses. The Bundesrat contained representatives of the states. Before unification, German territory excluding Austria and Switzerland was made up of 27 constituent states. These states consisted of kingdoms, grand duchies, duchies, principalities, free Hanseatic cities and one imperial territory.
The free cities had a republican form of government on the state level, even though the Empire at large was constituted as a monarchy , and so were most of the states. The Kingdom of Prussia was the largest of the constituent states, covering two-thirds of the empire's territory.
Several of these states had gained sovereignty following the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire , and had been de facto sovereign from the mids onward. Others were created as sovereign states after the Congress of Vienna in Territories were not necessarily contiguous—many existed in several parts, as a result of historical acquisitions, or, in several cases, divisions of the ruling families. Some of the initially existing states, in particular Hanover, were abolished and annexed by Prussia as a result of the war of Each component of the German Empire sent representatives to the Federal Council Bundesrat and, via single-member districts, the Imperial Diet Reichstag.
Relations between the Imperial centre and the Empire's components were somewhat fluid and were developed on an ongoing basis. The extent to which the German Emperor could, for example, intervene on occasions of disputed or unclear succession was much debated on occasion—for example in the inheritance crisis of the Lippe-Detmold. Shortly after the Empire was proclaimed, Bismarck implemented a convention in which his sovereign would only send and receive envoys to and from other German states as the King of Prussia, while envoys from Berlin sent to foreign nations always received credentials from the monarch in his capacity as German Emperor.
In this way, the Prussian foreign ministry was largely tasked with managing relations with the other German states while the Imperial foreign ministry managed Germany's external relations. Colonies and protectorates in Reichstag election results, The only minority language with a significant number of speakers 5. The non-German Germanic languages 0. Low German was spoken throughout northern Germany and, though linguistically as distinct from High German Hochdeutsch as from Dutch and English, is considered "German", hence also its name. Danish and Frisian were spoken predominantly in the north of the Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein and Dutch in the western border areas of Prussia Hanover , Westphalia , and the Rhine Province.
Polish and other Slavic languages 6. A few 0. Czech and Moravian. Generally, religious demographics of the early modern period hardly changed. Confessional prejudices, especially towards mixed marriages, were still common. Bit by bit, through internal migration, religious blending was more and more common. In areas affected by immigration in the Ruhr area and Westphalia, as well as in some large cities, religious landscape changed substantially. This was especially true in largely Catholic areas of Westphalia, which changed through Protestant immigration from the eastern provinces.
Politically, the confessional division of Germany had considerable consequences. In Catholic areas, the Centre Party had a big electorate. This began to change with the secularization arising in the last decades of the German Empire. The defeat and aftermath of the First World War and the penalties imposed by the Treaty of Versailles shaped the positive memory of the Empire, especially among Germans who distrusted and despised the Weimar Republic.
Conservatives, liberals, socialists, nationalists, Catholics and Protestants all had their own interpretations, which led to a fractious political and social climate in Germany in the aftermath of the empire's collapse. Under Bismarck, a united German state had finally been achieved, but it remained a Prussian-dominated state and did not include German Austria as Pan-German nationalists had desired.
The influence of Prussian militarism , the Empire's colonial efforts and its vigorous, competitive industrial prowess all gained it the dislike and envy of other nations. The German Empire enacted a number of progressive reforms, such as Europe's first social welfare system and freedom of press. There was also a modern system for electing the federal parliament, the Reichstag, in which every adult man had one vote.
This enabled the Socialists and the Catholic Centre Party to play considerable roles in the empire's political life despite the continued hostility of Prussian aristocrats. The era of the German Empire is well remembered in Germany as one of great cultural and intellectual vigour. Thomas Mann published his novel Buddenbrooks in Theodor Mommsen received the Nobel prize for literature a year later for his Roman history. The AEG turbine factory in Berlin by Peter Behrens from can be regarded as a milestone in classic modern architecture and an outstanding example of emerging functionalism.
In the field of economics, the " Kaiserzeit " laid the foundation of Germany's status as one of the world's leading economic powers. The iron and coal industries of the Ruhr , the Saar and Upper Silesia especially contributed to that process. The first motorcar was built by Karl Benz in The enormous growth of industrial production and industrial potential also led to a rapid urbanisation of Germany, which turned the Germans into a nation of city dwellers.
More than 5 million people left Germany for the United States during the 19th century. Many historians have emphasized the central importance of a German Sonderweg or "special path" or "exceptionalism" as the root of Nazism and the German catastrophe in the 20th century. According to the historiography by Kocka , the process of nation-building from above had very grievous long-term implications. In terms of parliamentary democracy, Parliament was kept weak, the parties were fragmented, and there was a high level of mutual distrust.
The Nazis built on the illiberal, anti-pluralist elements of Weimar's political culture. The Junker elites the large landowners in the east and senior civil servants used their great power and influence well into the twentieth century to frustrate any movement toward democracy. They played an especially negative role in the crisis of — Bismarck's emphasis on military force amplified the voice of the officer corps, which combined advanced modernisation of military technology with reactionary politics.
The rising upper-middle class elites, in the business, financial and professional worlds, tended to accept the values of the old traditional elites. The German Empire was for Hans-Ulrich Wehler a strange mixture of highly successful capitalist industrialisation and socio-economic modernisation on the one hand, and of surviving pre-industrial institutions, power relations and traditional cultures on the other. Wehler argues that it produced a high degree of internal tension, which led on the one hand to the suppression of socialists, Catholics and reformers, and on the other hand to a highly aggressive foreign policy.
Hans-Ulrich Wehler , a leader of the Bielefeld School of social history, places the origins of Germany's path to disaster in the s—s, when economic modernisation took place, but political modernisation did not happen and the old Prussian rural elite remained in firm control of the army, diplomacy and the civil service. Traditional, aristocratic, premodern society battled an emerging capitalist, bourgeois, modernising society. Recognising the importance of modernising forces in industry and the economy and in the cultural realm, Wehler argues that reactionary traditionalism dominated the political hierarchy of power in Germany, as well as social mentalities and in class relations Klassenhabitus.
The catastrophic German politics between and are interpreted in terms of a delayed modernisation of its political structures. At the core of Wehler's interpretation is his treatment of "the middle class" and "revolution", each of which was instrumental in shaping the 20th century.
Wehler's examination of Nazi rule is shaped by his concept of "charismatic domination", which focuses heavily on Adolf Hitler.
The historiographical concept of a German Sonderweg has had a turbulent history. They stressed the strong bureaucratic state, reforms initiated by Bismarck and other strong leaders, the Prussian service ethos, the high culture of philosophy and music, and Germany's pioneering of a social welfare state.
In the s, historians in West Germany argued that the Sonderweg led Germany to the disaster of — The special circumstances of German historical structures and experiences, were interpreted as preconditions that, while not directly causing National Socialism, did hamper the development of a liberal democracy and facilitate the rise of fascism. The Sonderweg paradigm has provided the impetus for at least three strands of research in German historiography: the " long 19th century ", the history of the bourgeoisie, and comparisons with the West.
After , increased attention to cultural dimensions and to comparative and relational history moved German historiography to different topics, with much less attention paid to the Sonderweg. While some historians have abandoned the Sonderweg thesis, they have not provided a generally accepted alternative interpretation. In addition to present-day Germany, large parts of what comprised the German Empire now belong to several other modern European countries.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the German nation-state existing from to For other uses, see German Empire disambiguation. Coat of arms. Federal parliamentary semi-constitutional monarchy until August Federal parliamentary semi-constitutional monarchy under a military dictatorship August — November No one knows how much she may have contributed to the first theory of relativity, but she was definitely Albert Einstein's most important intellectual partner at that time, and they founded a family together.
Her essay was part of a increasingly louder movement protesting discrimination against women. Some visionaries demanded equality for women very early on, and Olympe de Gouges was one of them, says legal historian Anna Katharina Mangold, adding however that the women's movement only developed as a political movement in the midth century.
It wasn't even about the vote at the beginning, Mangold says, but about basic legal rights. Women in Germany were fed up with that situation. Women stood side by side with men in many wartime situations. They also took on men's jobs in factories, "so it had become much more difficult to explain why they still couldn't vote," the historian says.
Just before the war ended, women's suffrage supporters thought they had finally reached their goal. But he didn't mention women's suffrage at all, which angered the activists. The women movement's different wings — including bourgeois middle-class and leftist activists — joined forces and moved into the spotlight with petitions, assemblies and other joint actions.
By November 12, , the legal basis for women's right to vote was in place. On that day, the Council of People's Deputies — the government at the time — announced that all elections for public office would be conducted according to the same secret, direct and general right to vote for men and women of at least 20 years of age.
The new electoral law came into effect on November 30 that same year. The Germans weren't trailblazers, however, as the right to vote for women had been introduced in several Scandinavian countries a few years earlier. While Germany's law of was a milestone in the struggle of women for equality, the wording of Article , paragraph 2 of the Weimar Constitution still left room for interpretation. Female suffrage was for instance restricted under the Nazis. In the early s, a second sentence was added to that article, declaring, "The state shall promote the actual implementation of equal rights for women and men and take steps to eliminate disadvantages that now exist.
That is the phase in which we currently are," says Mangold. Author Louise Otto-Peters is a pioneer of Germany's women's movements. At the age of 24, she called for more female participation in decision-making and co-founded with other suffragists the General German Women's Association Allgemeiner Deutscher Frauenverein in The activist also wrote poetry and novels, earning her the "songbird" nickname. Girls didn't have easy access to education in Germany at the end of the 19th century.
The women's movement of the late s aimed to emancipate girls and women through schooling. Teacher and feminist Helene Lange was a leading figure in this movement; she also founded different women's suffrage groups. Activist Clara Zetkin fought for stronger representation of women in trade unions, women's suffrage and abortion rights — already aiming to abolish the controversial Paragraph of German criminal law, which remained an activists' issue well into the s.
And finally, she also contributed to establishing International Women's Day. Anita Augspurg left and her associates didn't care much about social conventions. Augspurg lived together with her girlfriend, and they both wore men's cloths and short hair. As a lawyer, she fought for women's suffrage granted in Germany in and the rights of prostitutes. Augspurg's association participated in forming international women's networks.
The Nazis rejected emancipatory movements. Women were expected to stick to their traditional role as wives and mothers; the Nazi party promoted an image of women that had previously been dispelled by activists. In the eyes of the Nazis, women's rights groups had been created by Jews or Communists and needed to be suppressed.
For several years under Hitler, German women's fundamental role was to bear as many children as possible and raise them with Nazi values, in order to help maintain the "Aryan race. However, this changed once the war started, as women were needed in the workforce. With the end of World War II in , German women came to play an important role in the reconstruction of the war-torn country. They not only helped remove debris, but also made their voices heard in politics. New women's associations picked up the work that had been stalled in , aiming to achieve equal rights for women.
In , birth control pills became available in Germany. At first, they were only prescribed to married women — officially against menstruation pains. But the pill quickly became widespread, and strongly contributed to the sexual emancipation of women in the late s. The West German student movement fought not only to reform universities, but also against authoritarian structures and for sexual emancipation.
However, the leadership of the movement was male-dominated; feminist activists went their own way. In Germany, abortion was a criminal offence until the s.