1950s: Protect Germany from itself

How do you solve a problem like Germania? This question was at the heart of international politics throughout the 1950s. Germany needed reliable, democratic institutions and a new economic order.

The World Today Published 12 June 2015 Updated 4 January 2021 3 minute READ

John F Jungclaussen

London correspondent, Die Zeit

Both had to be integrated into a wider, pan-European framework designed to provide exactly the kind of stability the Versailles settlement in the aftermath of the Great War had failed to provide.

As nation-building goes, the transformation of Germany was as complex a task as any; not least because its success was crucial to the stability of the West in the new Cold War era. Given these challenges, the decade which came to symbolize the economic miracle was one of extraordinary achievements. By the time the Beatles played their first gigs in Hamburg in 1962, Germany was safely ensconced in a new political order dominated by European integration and transatlantic military cooperation.

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