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Type: Journal article
Title: Schwarzenberg 1945 : antifascists and the 'third way' in German poltics
Author: Pritchard, G.
Citation: European History Quarterly, 2005; 35(4):499-522
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd
Issue Date: 2005
ISSN: 0265-6914
Statement of
Gareth Pritchard
Abstract: One ongoing debate in the historiography of post-war German history focuses on the so-called ‘antifascist committees’, which sprang up in great numbers in 1945, but which were almost immediately suppressed by all four of the occupying powers. Some historians have seen in the antifas a potential for grass-roots, citizens’ democracy that was ruthlessly snuffed out by military governments. This article aims to shed fresh light on the debate by exploring events in the district of Schwarzenberg, which remained unoccupied for several weeks after the end of the Second World War, and where, uniquely in Germany, the antifas were able to develop free of outside intervention. By exploring in some detail events in Schwarzenberg in the context of the underlying political dynamic of German politics in 1945, the author concludes that, whilst the Schwarzenberg episode reveals the vigour and potential of the antifascist movement, it also demonstrates its anti-democratic character. The differing responses of both the Soviets and the western powers to the anti-democratic potential of the antifascist Left established the two halves of Germany on differing political trajectories from the very beginning of the occupation.
Rights: Copyright © 2005 SAGE Publications
DOI: 10.1177/0265691405056874
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Orthopaedics and Trauma publications

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