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Enemies To AlliesCold War Germany and American Memory$
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Brian C. Etheridge

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813166407

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813166407.001.0001

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“Germany Belongs in the Western World”

“Germany Belongs in the Western World”

Germany and Consensus Politics in America, 1945–1959

(p.55) 2 “Germany Belongs in the Western World”
Enemies To Allies

Brian C. Etheridge

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter shows how coalitions formed around different understandings of Germany in the early postwar period. Once decided upon a policy of rehabilitation toward Germany, the American government promoted a Cold War narrative of Germany that legitimized America's struggle against the Soviet Union. With the prestige and stature that the U.S. government enjoyed after victory in World War II, the dawning of a new ideological struggle with the Soviet Union, and a widespread fear of communist subversion, an era of consensus settled in that discouraged dissent. While some actors, such as the Federal Republic of Germany and the American Council on Germany, promoted the Cold War narrative based on their respective self-interests, major Jewish groups like the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League offered their support, or at least refused to dissent, out of fear of being labeled anti-American or sympathetic to Bolshevism. The only organization that remained faithful to the world war narrative and resolved to stand against the power of the state was the Society for the Prevention of World War III. It was marginalized in the larger society and abandoned by its erstwhile allies.

Keywords:   Federal Republic of Germany, American Jewish Committee, American Council on Germany, Society for the Prevention of World War III, World War II

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