Within the span of a generation, Nazi Germany’s former capital, Berlin, found a new role as a symbol of freedom and resilient democracy in the Cold War. This book unearths how this remarkable transformation resulted from a network of liberal American occupation officials, and returned émigrés, or remigrés, of the Marxist Social Democratic Party (SPD).
This network derived from lengthy physical and political journeys. After fleeing Hitler, German-speaking self-professed "revolutionary socialists" emphasized "anti-totalitarianism" in New Deal America and contributed to its intelligence apparatus. These experiences made these remigrés especially adept at cultural translation in postwar Berlin against Stalinism.
This book provides a new explanation for the alignment of Germany’s principal left-wing party with the Western camp. While the Cold War has traditionally been analyzed from the perspective of decision makers in Moscow or Washington, this study demonstrates the agency of hitherto marginalized on the conflict’s first battlefield. Examining local political culture and social networks underscores how both Berliners and émigrés understood the East-West competition over the rubble that the Nazis left behind as a chance to reinvent themselves as democrats and cultural mediators, respectively. As this network popularized an anti-Communist, pro-Western Left, this book identifies how often ostracized émigrés made a crucial contribution to the Federal Republic of Germany’s democratization.
Table of Contents
Contents; Acknowledgments; A note on naming conventions and language; Introduction; Literature; An epistemic community crafting political narratives for democratization; Sources; Organization of the book; Notes; Bibliography; Chapter 1: Berlin, capital of ruins, 1945−1948; I. Decisions made and deferred at Potsdam, July 1945; II. Berlin, Soviet prize of war; III. Competing narratives in interpreting postwar Berlin; IV. The contested meaning of democracy; V. Escalation, 1947‒1948; Notes; Bibliography; Chapter 2: Origins of the Outpost network, 1933‒1949; I. Political fragmentation of the German Left, 1932‒1941; II. Wartime Exile in New York City, 1941‒1949; III. Support for "freedom" and origin of the Outpost network; IV. Reconstitution of the Outpost network in West Berlin; Notes; Bibliography; Chapter 3: Rise of the Outpost narrative in the wake of the Berlin airlift, 1948‒1953; I. The Berlin airlift as embodiment of the Outpost narrative; II. Berlin activities of Shepard Stone’s Public Affairs Division; III. RIAS, the network’s principal media outlet; IV. Campaigns to institute Cold War democracy in West Berlin; V. Campaigns to remake postwar social democracy; Notes; Bibliography; Chapter 4: Triple crisis, 1953; I. Background: waging the Cultural Cold War; II. Uprising in East Berlin; III. The GDR’s obsession with RIAS; III. McCarthyism reaches West Berlin; IV. Reuter’s death and the network’s resilience; V. 1953 as watershed; Notes; Bibliography; Chapter 5: Ascent to leadership, 1954–1961; I. The emergence of Willy Brandt as new figurehead of the network; II. Brandt as new SPD candidate for a new West Berlin; III. Coordinated activities of the network; IV. Fashioning West Berlin as the Cold War democracy; Notes; Bibliography; Chapter 6: Public acceptance and reinterpretation, 1961–1972; I. Construction of the Wall as a turning point for network and narrative; II. Broad acceptance of the narrative and creeping disillusionment of the Network; III. Marginalization of the past in exile for national leadership in Bonn; IV. Holdouts in Berlin facing a new generation of leftwing activists; V. Berlin as laboratory of Chancellor Brandt’s Neue Ostpolitik; Notes; Bibliography; Conclusion: Excavating the Outpost of Freedom on the Spree; I. The city; II. The narrative; III. The network; IV. The legacies; Bibliography; Glossary
Scott H. Krause is Max Kade Postdoctoral Fellow in the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies at the Free University Berlin.