Ernst Klink was a German military historian who specialised in Nazi Germany and World War II. He was a long-term employee at the Military History Research Office; as a contributor to the seminal work Germany and the Second World War from MGFA, Klink was the first to identify the independent planning by the Wehrmacht High Command for Operation Barbarossa. During Klink's career as a historian, he was a member of, worked with the denialist Waffen-SS veteran lobby group HIAG. In recent assessments, some of Klink's work has been questioned due to his support for the ahistorical notions of the "clean Wehrmacht" and that the German attack on the Soviet Union had been "preventative". Born in 1923, Ernst Klink grew up in Nazi Germany. In 1941 Klink joined the SS and was commissioned to the SS Division Leibstandarte, fighting in Joachim Peiper's regiment against the Soviet Union Red Army. Reaching the rank of SS-Unterscharführer, he participated in the Third Battle of Kharkov, he was so wounded on the first day of the Battle of Kursk that he was permanently disabled from military service.
After the war, Klink studied history, the German language and the English language. He submitted his Ph. D. thesis on the Åland Islands dispute 1917 to 1921 at the University of Tübingen in 1957. During the 1950s, Klink joined HIAG, a Waffen-SS veteran's association and lobby group, set up in West Germany in 1951 by former high-ranking Waffen-SS personnel. Klink joined the Military History Research Office at Freiburg in 1958, his tenure at MGFA was controversial in recent assessments, due to his perceived sympathy to the myth of the "clean Wehrmacht". In 1958, Klink became the spokesperson for the Tübingen branch of HIAG, a Waffen-SS lobby group and a revisionist veterans' organisation. Klink's tenure at MGFA was controversial in recent assessments. According to Jens Westemeier in his biography of Joachim Peiper, Klink was "one of the most important lobbyists for the in-house historical falsification" by HIAG, he gave lectures at veterans' meetings, assisted with documentation, in the words of the historian Jörg Echternkamp, "cultivated the image of the clean Wehrmacht".
Klink worked with HIAG and its in-house historian Walter Harzer to screen materials donated to the German Federal Military Archive in Freiburg for any information that may have implicated units and personnel in questionable activity. In the 1960s and 70s, Klink maintained a friendship with Peiper until the latter's death. Klink declined. Nonetheless, in 1990, Klink wrote an article critical of the Malmedy massacre trial and favourable towards the Waffen-SS. According to the researcher Danny Parker, Klink "pretended to be a politically neutral historian at the MGFA", but his bias towards the Waffen-SS, was obvious from the personal papers of Klink that Parker had examined. Klink was a contributor to the fourth volume, The Attack on the Soviet Union, of Germany and the Second World War, produced by historians of the MGFA; the volume appeared in 1983 and focused on Operation Barbarossa, the 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union. In what the historian David Stahel describes as "groundbreaking research", "unsurpassed", Klink was the first to provide a comprehensive account of the military planning for Barbarossa.
Klink was the first to identify the German Army's independent planning for an attack on the Soviet Union in the summer of 1940, known as Operation Otto. Stahel commends Klink on the operations study of the Battle of Smolensk, despite over-reliance on the files of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht and the Oberkommando des Heeres, which were at times at odds with diaries of the combat units and did not reflect the difficulties on the ground. Klink's colleague at the MGFA, Gerd R. Ueberschär, remarks that Klink based his study upon military records and attempted to portray the operations as "apolitical". Ueberschär criticises Klink for portraying Hitler as an excellent military leader, contrasting his decisions favourably to the "poor decisions" by the Chief of General Staff Franz Halder. According to Ueberschär, other researchers denied this notion, it is not supported by the available records. "Klink's narrow military view," Ueberschär writes, "also enticed him into sidling up to the long disproved Nazi claim that this was a preventive war".
Horst Boog, Joachim Hoffmann, Rolf-Dieter Müller and Gerd R. Ueberschär et.al. Germany and the Second World War, Vol. IV: The Attack on the Soviet Union. Oxford University Press, 1998, ISBN 0-19-822886-4. Das Gesetz des Handelns. Die Operation »Zitadelle« 1943, 1966, MGFA Jörg Echternkamp. "Die Bundeswehr, das Verteidigungsministerium und die Aufarbeitung der NS-Vergangenheit im Systemkonflikt ". Potsdam: Zeitgeschichte-online. Müller, Rolf-Dieter. Hitler's War in the East 1941–1945: A Critical Assessment. New York: Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-1-57181-293-3. Parker, Danny S.. Hitler's Warrior: The Life and Wars of SS Colonel Jochen Peiper. Boston: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-82154-7. Stahel, David. Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-76847-4. Westemeier, Jens. Himmlers Krieger: Joachim Peiper und die Waffen-SS in K
Historiography is the study of the methods of historians in developing history as an academic discipline, by extension is any body of historical work on a particular subject. The historiography of a specific topic covers how historians have studied that topic using particular sources and theoretical approaches. Scholars discuss historiography by topic—such as the historiography of the United Kingdom, that of Canada, the British Empire, early Islam, China—and different approaches and genres, such as political history and social history. Beginning in the nineteenth century, with the development of academic history, there developed a body of historiographic literature; the extent to which historians are influenced by their own groups and loyalties—such as to their nation state—remains a debated question. The research interests of historians change over time, there has been a shift away from traditional diplomatic and political history toward newer approaches social and cultural studies. From 1975 to 1995 the proportion of professors of history in American universities identifying with social history increased from 31 to 41 percent, while the proportion of political historians decreased from 40 to 30 percent.
In 2007, of 5,723 faculty in the departments of history at British universities, 1,644 identified themselves with social history and 1,425 identified themselves with political history. In the early modern period, the term historiography meant "the writing of history", historiographer meant "historian". In that sense certain official historians were given the title "Historiographer Royal" in Sweden and Scotland; the Scottish post is still in existence. Historiography was more defined as "the study of the way history has been and is written – the history of historical writing", which means that, "When you study'historiography' you do not study the events of the past directly, but the changing interpretations of those events in the works of individual historians." Understanding the past appears to be a universal human need, the "telling of history" has emerged independently in civilizations around the world. What constitutes history is a philosophical question; the earliest chronologies date back to Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt, though no historical writers in these early civilizations were known by name.
By contrast, the term "historiography" is taken to refer to written history recorded in a narrative format for the purpose of informing future generations about events. In this limited sense, "ancient history" begins with the early historiography of Classical Antiquity, in about the 5th century BCE. One of the Confucian Five Classics, the Shang Shu 尚書, has conventionally been given the English title Classic of History; this terminology is misleading as the book is a collection of speeches and anecdotes about ancient worthies, which while arranged in rough chronological order lacks any attempt to integrate them into a coherent narrative or indicate how much time has passed between two incidents. The purpose of the book is more about imparting moral lessons; the first true history of China is therefore the Spring and Autumn Annals, the official chronicle of the State of Lu covering the period from 722 to 481 BCE. It is among the earliest surviving historical texts to be arranged on annalistic principles in the world, was traditionally attributed to Confucius.
A "commentary" on the Spring and Autumn, the Zuo Zhuan attributed to Zuo Qiuming in the 5th century BCE, is considered the earliest work of narrative history in the world, covering the period from 722 to 468 BCE. It is many times longer and much more detailed and vivid than the laconic text it is purportedly commenting on, so that it is regarded as a work of history in its own right. Just as the Spring and Autumn annals has lent their name to the Spring and Autumn period they cover, the following Warring States period is named after the book Intrigues of the Warring States, compiled between the 3rd and 1st centuries BCE. Unlike the Annals, the Intrigues lack any chronological apparatus and is more of a return to the editorial style of the Classic of History; the purpose of the work is to teach the reader useful diplomatic and strategic skills rather than provide a coherent narrative of the period. The Han dynasty eunuch Sima Qian was the first in China to lay the groundwork for professional historical writing.
His written work was a monumental lifelong achievement in literature. Its scope extends as far back as the 16th century BCE, it includes many treatises on specific subjects and individual biographies of prominent people, explores the lives and deeds of commoners, both contemporary and those of previous eras, his work pioneered the "Annals-biography" format, which would become the standard for prestige history writing in China. In this genre a history opens with a chronological outline of court affairs, continues with detailed biographies of prominent people who lived during the period in question. Whereas Sima's had been a universal history from the beginning of time down to the time of writing, his successor Ban Gu wrote an annals-biography history limiting its coverage to only the Western Han dynasty, the Book of Han; this established the notion of using dynastic boundaries as start- and end-points, most Chinese histories would focus on a single dynasty or group of dynasties. The Records of the Grand Historian and Book of Han were joined by the Book of the Later Han and the Records of the Three Kingdom
The Bundeswehr is the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities. The States of Germany are not allowed to maintain armed forces of their own, since the German Constitution states that matters of defense fall into the sole responsibility of the federal government; the Bundeswehr is divided into a military part and a civil part with the armed forces administration. The military part of the federal defense force consists of the German Army, the German Navy, the German Air Force, the Joint Support Service, the Joint Medical Service, the Cyber and Information Space Command; as of 28 February 2019, the Bundeswehr has a strength of 182,055 active soldiers, placing it among the 30 largest military forces in the world and making it the second largest in the European Union behind France in terms of personnel. In addition the Bundeswehr has 28,250 reserve personnel. With German military expenditures at €43.2 billion, the Bundeswehr is among the top ten best-funded forces in the world if in terms of share of German GDP, military expenditures remain average at 1.23% and below the NATO target of 2%.
Germany aims to expand the Bundeswehr to around 203,000 soldiers by 2025 to better cope with increasing responsibilities. The name Bundeswehr was first proposed by the former Wehrmacht general and Liberal politician Hasso von Manteuffel; the Iron Cross is its official emblem. It is a symbol; the Schwarzes Kreuz is derived from the black cross insignia of the medieval Teutonic knights. When the Bundeswehr was established in 1955, its founding principles were based on developing a new military force for the defence of West Germany. In this respect the Bundeswehr did not consider itself to be a successor to either the Reichswehr of the Weimar Republic or Hitler's Wehrmacht. Neither does it adhere to the traditions of any former German military organization, its official ethos is based on three major themes: the aims of the military reformers at the beginning of the 19th century such as Scharnhorst and Clausewitz the conduct displayed by members of the military resistance against Adolf Hitler the attempt of Claus von Stauffenberg and Henning von Tresckow to assassinate him.
Its own tradition since 1955. One of the most visible traditions of the modern Bundeswehr is the Großer Zapfenstreich; the FRG reinstated this formal military ceremony in 1952, three years before the foundation of the Bundeswehr. Today it is performed by a military band with 4 fanfare trumpeters and timpani, a corps of drums, up to two escort companies of the Bundeswehr's Wachbataillon and Torchbearers; the Zapfenstreich is only performed during solemn public commemorations. It can honour distinguished persons present such as the German federal president or provide the conclusion to large military exercises. Another important tradition in the modern German armed forces is the Gelöbnis. There are two kinds of oath: for conscripts/recruits it is a pledge but it's a solemn vow for full-time personnel; the pledge is made annually on 20 July, the date on which a group of Wehrmacht officers attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1944. Recruits from the Bundeswehr's Wachbataillon make their vow at the Bendlerblock in Berlin.
This was the headquarters of the resistance but where the officers were summarily executed following its failure. National commemorations are held nearby within the grounds of the Reichstag. Similar events take place across the German Republic. Since 2011, the wording of the ceremonial vow for full-time recruits and volunteer personnel is: "Ich gelobe, der Bundesrepublik Deutschland treu zu dienen und das Recht und die Freiheit des deutschen Volkes tapfer zu verteidigen." "I pledge to serve the Federal Republic of Germany loyally and to defend the right and the freedom of the German people bravely."Serving Bundeswehr personnel replace "Ich gelobe..." with "Ich schwöre...". After World War II the responsibility for the security of Germany as a whole rested with the four Allied Powers: the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. Germany had been without armed forces since the Wehrmacht was dissolved following World War II; when the Federal Republic of Germany was founded in 1949, it was without a military.
Germany remained demilitarized and any plans for a German military were forbidden by Allied regulations. Only some naval mine-sweeping units continued to exist, but they remained unarmed and under Allied control and did not serve as a national defence force; the Federal Border Protection Force, a mobile armed police force of 10,000 men, was only formed in 1951. A proposal to integrate West German troops with soldiers of France, the Netherlands and Italy in a European Defence Community was proposed but never implemented. There was a discussion among the United States, the United Kingdom and France over the issue of a revived German military. In particular, France was reluctant to allow Germany to rearm in light of recent history (Germany had invaded France twice in living memory, in World War I and World War II, defeated France in the Franco-German War of 1870/71.
Potsdam is the capital and largest city of the German federal state of Brandenburg. It directly borders the German capital, is part of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, it is situated on the River Havel 24 kilometres southwest of Berlin's city centre. Potsdam was a residence of the Prussian kings and the German Kaiser until 1918, its planning embodied ideas of the Age of Enlightenment: through a careful balance of architecture and landscape, Potsdam was intended as "a picturesque, pastoral dream" which would remind its residents of their relationship with nature and reason. Around the city there are a series of interconnected lakes and cultural landmarks, in particular the parks and palaces of Sanssouci, the largest World Heritage Site in Germany; the Potsdam Conference in 1945 was held at the palace Cecilienhof. Babelsberg, in the south-eastern part of Potsdam, was a major film production studio before the 1930s and has enjoyed success as a major center of European film production since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The Filmstudio Babelsberg is the oldest large-scale film studio in the world. Potsdam developed into a centre of science in Germany in the 19th century. Today, there are three public colleges, the University of Potsdam, more than 30 research institutes in the city; the area was formed from a series of large moraines left after the last glacial period. Today, the city is three-quarters green space, with just a quarter as urban area. There are about 20 lakes and rivers in and around Potsdam, such as the Havel, the Griebnitzsee, Templiner See, Tiefer See, Teltowkanal, Heiliger See and the Sacrower See; the highest point is the 114-metre high Kleiner Ravensberg. Potsdam is divided into seven historic city Bezirke and nine new Stadtteile, which joined the city in 2003; the appearance of the city quarters is quite different. Those in the north and in the centre consist of historical buildings, the south of the city is dominated by larger areas of newer buildings; the city of Potsdam is divided into 34 Stadtteile, which are divided further into 84 statistical Bezirke.
Today one distinguishes between the older parts of the city - these are the city center, the western and northern suburbs, Bornstedt, Potsdam South, Drewitz and Kirchsteigfeld - and those communities incorporated after 1990 which have since 2003 become Stadtteile - these are Eiche, Golm, Groß Glienicke, Marquardt, Neu Fahrland and Uetz-Paaren. The new Stadtteile are located in the north of the city. For the history of all incorporations, see the relevant section on incorporation and spin-offs. Structure with statistical numbering: Officially the climate is oceanic - more degraded by being far from the coast and to the east, but using the 1961-1990 normal and the 0 °C isotherm the city has a humid continental climate, which shows a slight influence of the continent different from the climates predominantly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. Low averages below freezing for all winter causing snows that are frequent and winters are cold, but not as stringent as inland locations or with greater influence from the same.
Summer is relatively warm with temperatures between 23 to 24 ° C, the heat waves being influenced by the UHI of Potsdam. The average winter high temperature is 3.5 °C, with a low of −1.7 °C. Snow is common in the winter. Spring and autumn are short. Summers are mild, with a high of 23.6 °C and a low of 12.7 °C. The name "Potsdam" seems to have been Poztupimi. A common theory is that it derives from an old West Slavonic term meaning "beneath the oaks", i.e. the corrupted pod dubmi/dubimi. However some question this explanation; the area around Potsdam shows signs of occupancy since the Bronze Age and was part of Magna Germania as described by Tacitus. After the great migrations of the Germanic peoples, Slavs moved in and Potsdam was founded after the 7th century as a settlement of the Hevelli tribe centred on a castle, it was first mentioned in a document in 993 as Poztupimi, when Emperor Otto III gifted the territory to the Quedlinburg Abbey led by his aunt Matilda. By 1317, it was mentioned as a small town.
It gained its town charter in 1345. In 1573, it was still a small market town of 2,000 inhabitants. Potsdam lost nearly half of its population due to the Thirty Years' War. A continuous Hohenzollern possession since 1415, Potsdam became prominent, when it was chosen in 1660 as the hunting residence of Frederick William I, Elector of Brandenburg, the core of the powerful state that became the Kingdom of Prussia, it housed Prussian barracks. After the Edict of Potsdam in 1685, Potsdam became a centre of European immigration, its religious freedom attracted people from France, the Netherlands and Bohemia. The edict accelerated economic recovery; the city became a full residence of the Prussian royal family. The buildings of the royal residences were built during the reign of Frederick the Great. One of these is the Sanssouci Palace, famed for Rococo interiors. Other royal residences include the Orangery. In 1815, at the formation of the Province of Brandenburg, Potsdam became the provincial capital until 1918, except for a period between 1827 and 1843 when Berlin was the provincial capital.
The province comprised two governorates named after their capitals Potsdam and Frankfurt (O
Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London; the city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, contiguous with its capital, Potsdam; the two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions. Berlin straddles the banks of the River Spree, which flows into the River Havel in the western borough of Spandau. Among the city's main topographical features are the many lakes in the western and southeastern boroughs formed by the Spree and Dahme rivers. Due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. About one-third of the city's area is composed of forests, gardens, rivers and lakes; the city lies in the Central German dialect area, the Berlin dialect being a variant of the Lusatian-New Marchian dialects.
First documented in the 13th century and situated at the crossing of two important historic trade routes, Berlin became the capital of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich. Berlin in the 1920s was the third largest municipality in the world. After World War II and its subsequent occupation by the victorious countries, the city was divided. East Berlin was declared capital of East Germany. Following German reunification in 1990, Berlin once again became the capital of all of Germany. Berlin is a world city of culture, politics and science, its economy is based on high-tech firms and the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, research facilities, media corporations and convention venues. Berlin serves as a continental hub for air and rail traffic and has a complex public transportation network; the metropolis is a popular tourist destination. Significant industries include IT, biomedical engineering, clean tech, biotechnology and electronics.
Berlin is home to world-renowned universities, orchestras and entertainment venues, is host to many sporting events. Its Zoological Garden is one of the most popular worldwide. With the world's oldest large-scale movie studio complex, Berlin is an popular location for international film productions; the city is well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, contemporary arts and a high quality of living. Since the 2000s Berlin has seen the emergence of a cosmopolitan entrepreneurial scene. Berlin lies in northeastern Germany, east of the River Saale, that once constituted, together with the River Elbe, the eastern border of the Frankish Realm. While the Frankish Realm was inhabited by Germanic tribes like the Franks and the Saxons, the regions east of the border rivers were inhabited by Slavic tribes; this is why most of the villages in northeastern Germany bear Slavic-derived names. Typical Germanised place name suffixes of Slavic origin are -ow, -itz, -vitz, -witz, -itzsch and -in, prefixes are Windisch and Wendisch.
The name Berlin has its roots in the language of West Slavic inhabitants of the area of today's Berlin, may be related to the Old Polabian stem berl-/birl-. Since the Ber- at the beginning sounds like the German word Bär, a bear appears in the coat of arms of the city, it is therefore a canting arm. Of Berlin's twelve boroughs, five bear a Slavic-derived name: Pankow, Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Treptow-Köpenick and Spandau. Of its ninety-six neighborhoods, twenty-two bear a Slavic-derived name: Altglienicke, Alt-Treptow, Buch, Gatow, Kladow, Köpenick, Lankwitz, Lübars, Marzahn, Prenzlauer Berg, Schmöckwitz, Stadtrandsiedlung Malchow, Steglitz and Zehlendorf; the neighborhood of Moabit bears a French-derived name, Französisch Buchholz is named after the Huguenots. The earliest evidence of settlements in the area of today's Berlin are a wooden beam dated from 1192, remnants of a house foundation dated to 1174, found in excavations in Berlin Mitte; the first written records of towns in the area of present-day Berlin date from the late 12th century.
Spandau is first mentioned in 1197 and Köpenick in 1209, although these areas did not join Berlin until 1920. The central part of Berlin can be traced back to two towns. Cölln on the Fischerinsel is first mentioned in a 1237 document, Berlin, across the Spree in what is now called the Nikolaiviertel, is referenced in a document from 1244. 1237 is considered the founding date of the city. The two towns over time formed close economic and social ties, profited from the staple right on the two important trade routes Via Imperii and from Bruges to Novgorod. In 1307, they formed an alliance with a common external policy, their internal administrations still being separated. In 1415, Frederick I became the elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, which he ruled until 1440. During the 15th century, his successors established Berlin-Cölln as capital of the margraviate, subsequent members of the Hohenzol
Wolfram Wette is a German military historian and peace researcher. He is an author or editor of over 40 books on the history of Nazi Germany, including the seminal Germany and the Second World War series from the German Military History Research Office. Wette's published book, The Wehrmacht: History, Reality has been translated into five languages and deals with the issue of Wehrmacht criminality during World War II and the legend of its "clean hands". In 2015, Wette was a recipient of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the only federal honour awarded to German citizens for exceptional achievements. From 1971 to 1995 Wette worked at the Military History Research Office. Afterwards, he was a professor of history at the University of Freiburg. Wette was a co-founder of the Historical Peace Research Working Group, he was a member of the municipal council of Freiburg from 1980 to 1989 as a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, was the chairman of the SPD parliamentary group and the SPD city association chairman.
Wette is an author or editor of forty books on the history of Nazi Germany, including the Wehrmacht, its leadership and its relationship with Nazism. Wette's works explored topics that at the time of their publication were considered taboo or not discussed in Germany, such as desertion and aid to victims of the Nazi regime from military personnel. Despite thousands of executions for "undermining of military morale", Wette's research has shown that only three Wehrmacht servicemen were executed for helping Jews. Wette explored the topic in his book Feldwebel Anton Schmid: Ein Held der Humanität; the book told the story of Anton Schmid. He was sentenced to death by his military superiors and executed in 1942; because of the controversial nature of Wette's work, he has received death threats. Wette's 2002 book Die Wehrmacht. Feindbilder, Vernichtungskrieg, Legenden was published in 2006 in English as The Wehrmacht: History, Reality by Harvard University Press. Building on Omer Bartov's 1985 study The Eastern Front, 1941–1945: German Troops and the Barbarisation of Warfare, the book deconstructs the myth of the clean Wehrmacht.
According to The Atlantic, it shows that "the Wehrmacht—and not, as postwar accounts by German generals would have it the SS—freely and eagerly joined in murder and genocide, which were central, rather than incidental, features of its effort". The book complements the earlier studies that focused on the average Landser and discusses the complicity of the highest levels of the Wehrmacht. Reviewing the work, the historian Geoffrey P. Megargee notes that "until Wette's work, there was no concise, general survey on the Wehrmacht's crimes, at least for an English-speaking audience. Thus, his work fills a significant gap in the literature"; the review goes on to criticize the book for omitting key areas, according to Megargee, for assessing the Wehrmacht's criminality, including the murder of more than 3 million Soviet prisoners of war, the Bandenbekämpfung doctrine of carrying out counter-insurgency warfare with maximum brutality, criminal orders, such as the Commissar Order. 2015: Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Germany and the Second World War, Volume I: The Build-up of German Aggression, with Wilhelm Deist, Manfred Messerschmidt, Hans-Erich Volkmann.
Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-822866-X Wette, Wolfram. The Wehrmacht: History, Reality. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674025776. Kriegstheorien deutscher Sozialisten. Marx, Lassalle, Kautsky, Luxemburg. Ein Beitrag zur Friedensforschung. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart u. a. 1971, ISBN 3-17-094150-X. With Wilhelm Deist, Manfred Messerschmidt, Hans-Erich Volkmann: Ursachen und Voraussetzungen der deutschen Kriegspolitik. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1979. Fischer Taschenbuch, Frankfurt am Main 1989, ISBN 3-596-24432-3 With Gerd R. Ueberschär: Bomben und Legenden. Die schrittweise Aufklärung des Luftangriffs auf Freiburg am 10. Mai 1940. Ein dokumentarischer Bericht. Rombach, Freiburg im Breisgau 1981, ISBN 3-7930-0292-6. Gustav Noske. Eine politische Biographie. Droste, Düsseldorf 1987, ISBN 3-7700-0728-X. Militarismus und Pazifismus. Auseinandersetzung mit den deutschen Kriegen. Donat, Bremen 1991, ISBN 3-924444-50-1. Die Wehrmacht. Feindbilder, Vernichtungskrieg, Legenden. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am ISBN 3-10-091208-X Militarismus in Deutschland.
Geschichte einer kriegerischen Kultur. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt a. M. 2011, ISBN 978-3-596-18149-0. Gustav Noske und die Revolution in Kiel 1918 Boyens, Heide 2010, ISBN 978-3-8042-1322-7. Karl Jäger. Mörder der litauischen Juden. Fischer Taschenbuch, Frankfurt am Main 2011, ISBN 978-3-596-19064-5. Feldwebel Anton Schmid: Ein Held der Humanität. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2013, ISBN 978-3-10-091209-1. Ehre, wem Ehre gebührt! Täter, Widerständler und Retter. Donat, Bremen 2014, ISBN 978-3-943425-30-7; the Wehrmacht: History, Reality: official page at the Harvard University Press web site. "Will Germany Finally Rehabilitate Nazi-Era'Traitors'?", review of The Last Taboo by Wolfram Wette and Detlef Vogel, Stern Online
Bundeswehr Military History Museum
The Bundeswehr Military History Museum is the military museum of the German Armed Forces, the Bundeswehr, one of the major military history museums in Germany. It is located in a former military arsenal in the Albertstadt, part of Dresden. After a long history of switching titles and approaches to military history, the museum was re-opened in 2011 with a new internal and external concept; the museum focuses on the human aspects of war, while showcasing the evolution of German military technology. The original building, the armory, was built between 1873-1876 and became a museum in 1897; the Saxon armory and museum, the building has served as a Nazi museum, a Soviet museum and an East German museum which reflected the region's shifting social and political positions over the last 135 years. In 1989, the museum was closed because the newly unified German state was unsure how the museum would fit into the history being created. By 2001, feelings regarding the museum had shifted and an architectural competition was held for an extension which would cause visitors to reconsider the way they think about war.
Before opening in October 2011 as the Bundeswehr Military History Museum, the building underwent six years of extensive construction. Using the design of architect Daniel Libeskind, the Neo-Classicist facade on the historic arsenal has been interrupted. Libeskind added a transparent arrowhead to the façade of the building, creating an outwardly visible expression of innovation; this striking element is reflected in the logo of the museum. The architect wanted to penetrate the historic arsenal and create a new experience with the addition; the openness and transparency of the new façade, representing the openness of democratic society, contrasts with the rigidity of the existing building, which represents the severity of the authoritarian past. The silver arrowhead protrudes from the center of the traditional Neo-Classical building and provides a five story, 98 foot high viewing platform which overlooks the evolving city; the platform provides views of modern Dresden while pointing towards the area where the fire bombings of Dresden began.
The redesigned Dresden Museum of Military history has become the main museum of the German Armed Forces. The building itself is 14,000 square meters and has an inside and outside exhibition area of about 20,000 square meters, making it Germany's largest museum. In every aspect, the museum is designed to alter the public's perception of war; the original armory building was completed in 1876 as an armory for Kaiser Wilhelm I. The Arsenal main building in the center of Dresden's Albert City served as an armory for twenty years, until it was transformed into a museum in 1897. Since the main building of the arsenal has housed the Royal Arsenal Collection, the Royal Saxon Army Museum, in 1923 became the Saxon Army Museum. After 1938, the museum became the Army Museum of the Wehrmacht, in 1972 the Army Museum of the GDR. Seven months before the reunification of Germany, the museum was renamed the Military History Museum in Dresden. On February 13 and 14, 1945, British bomber planes commenced an air attack against Dresden, creating a vast firestorm below.
During the first phase, 244 Lancaster bombers dropped high explosive and incendiary bombs aimed at the center of the city. American B-17 bombers followed the next morning. While much of the city was in ruins, the Bundeswehr's main military museum and most of the other military buildings in the Albertstadt survived the bombing of Dresden because of its location on the city's outskirts; the building withstood World War II attacks on Germany and continued to be used as a military museum until it was closed in 1989. It provided a new way of presenting military history; the exhibition concept and design was developed by HG Merz. The museum has made an effort to distance itself from the usual presentations of military history. Instead of glorifying war and armies, the museum tries to present the causes and consequences of war and violence; the focus is placed on the human component of war, on the hopes, passion, courage and aspirations of those involved. The museum seeks to inform visitors about the military history while encouraging them to ask questions and seek new answers.
Visitors can go through the museum through two approaches: thematic sections, a chronological tour. Additionally, the museum showcases the history of Military Technology, Handguns and Insignia, Art, an Image Archive, a Library; the museum houses a vast collection of military history, from technology and handguns to artistic renderings of war. Traditionally, military museums focus on weapons technology and the glamorous representation of national armed forces; the Bundeswehr Military History Museum has made an effort to be a different kind of military museum. It displays war and the military as being interwoven in the general history of a nation, showcases the ramifications of war in the political and social history; the focus, instead of being on the greater good or the military whole, is always on the individual who exercises violence or suffers from it. Eleven themed tours are offered and three chronologies: 1300-1914, 1914-1945 and 1945-today. Among significant items displayed is the ship's bell from SMS Schleswig-Holstein, a pre-dreadnought battleship that fired what are regarded as the first shots of World War II when on Sept. 1, 1939, it shelled Polish positions at Westerplatte in the then- Free City of Danzig.