The Death of the KPD: Communism and Anti-Communism in West Germany, 1945-1956

Hardcover | January 1, 1998

byPatrick Major

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Why was the West German Communist Party banned in 1956, only 11 years after it had emerged from Nazi persecution? Although politically weak, the postwar party was in fact larger than its Weimar predecessor and initially dominated works councils at the Ruhr pits and Hamburg docks, as well asthe steel giant, Krupp. Under the control of East Berlin, however, the KPD was sent off on a series of overambitious and flawed campaigns to promote national unification and prevent West German rearmament. At the same time, the party was steadily criminalized by the Anglo-American occupiers, andostracized by a heavily anti-communist society. Patrick Major has used material available only since the end of the Cold War, from both Communist archives in the former GDR as well as western intelligence, to trace the final decline and fall of the once-powerful KPD.

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Why was the West German Communist Party banned in 1956, only 11 years after it had emerged from Nazi persecution? Although politically weak, the postwar party was in fact larger than its Weimar predecessor and initially dominated works councils at the Ruhr pits and Hamburg docks, as well asthe steel giant, Krupp. Under the control of E...

Patrick Major is a Lecturer in History at Warwick University.

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Behind the Berlin Wall: East Germany and the Frontiers of Power
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Paperback|Feb 27 2011

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:370 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 1.02 inPublished:January 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198206933

ISBN - 13:9780198206934

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`Patrick Major's book is one of very few scholarly studies of the KPD in the Federal Republic, certainly the first that uses to full advantage the archives opened since 1989... Major has produced an intelligent study not just of a small communist party, but of the formation of German politicsand society in the aftermath of total war and in the context of the cold war.'Eric D. Weitz, Journal of Modern History