Forschungsarbeit: Versöhnungskurs statt Volkstumskampf: Das Deutsche Büro für Friedensfragen und das Saarland (1947–1950)

Versöhnungskurs statt Volkstumskampf: Das Deutsche Büro für Friedensfragen und das Saarland (1947–1950)

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Studien zur Zeitgeschichte, volume 114

Hamburg , 800 pages

ISBN 978-3-339-11182-1 (print) |ISBN 978-3-339-11183-8 (eBook)

About this book deutschenglish

The German Office for the Preparation of a Peace Treaty (DBfF) in Stuttgart worked by the authority of the American Zone of Occupation. The mere collecting of documents did not satisfy its representatives such as the Saarland-expert Gustav Strohm: They conceived plans for the future of Germany. Strohm advocated a compromise for the Saar Dispute: France should be allowed to continue the Economic Union with the Saarland, but politically it should form a part of Germany. The inhabitants speak German and are irrefutably German by tradition and culture.

The DBfF observed attentively the inconclusive negotiations between the Allied Foreign Ministers regarding the Saar Dispute and the ideas of Paris how to separate the Saar Region from Germany. The new Constitution was of special importance, because it underlined in its Preamble that the Saar had to divorce from Germany. France kept its control over coal and steel of the Saarland by introducing an Economic Union. Strohm thought that multilateral intermeshing might replace this one-sided solution. It soon became clear that the trade interests of the Saarland did not fit in with the French. The internal policy of the Government in Saarbrücken was often criticized due to the intimidation of opponents; it did not shrink from expulsions if deemed necessary. Strohm constructed a network of informants to learn what occurred in all respects of live in the Saarland and to counter intrigues. The experienced politician and economist Fritz Hellwig, born in Saarbrücken, was the most important assistant of Strohm. The influential Saarland steel company Röchling was helpful not only by paying money to the DBfF. Strohm presented his materials to German offices, but worked also together with renowned media or institutions like the “Europa-Archiv” or the Hamburg Institute for International Law. He invited lawyers to scrutinize the Constitution of the Saarland and to compare it with other extraordinary regulations. In some cases he initiated articles in the Press to enforce his projects. The Social Democrats of the Saarland – torn between German and French minded members – maintained relations with Strohm in the hope of finding a common line. Other factors that might foster the Saarland policy of the DBfF were the French Consul General of Stuttgart, the industrialist Günter Henle, and the German Council of the European Movement. Living in Chicago, the German emigrant and historian Helmut Hirsch tried with the approval of Strohm to arrange American mediation in the Saar Dispute. The former diplomat Bernard Baruch should lend his hand with this plan.

Based on unpublished papers from the Federal Archives in Koblenz, this study treats for the first time exhaustively the Saarland policy of the DBfF which aimed at French-German reconciliation.

Ihr Werk im Verlag Dr. Kovač

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