The post-war occupation had a formative influence on both the Federal Republic and the GDR. How did the occupying forces handle their victory, what were their plans and how many of them did they manage to put into action? How did the German population and the millions of displaced persons cope with the chaos? And what effects did all this have on the national psyche on either side of the Iron Curtain?
Hardship, starvation and the constant lack of winter fuel: such privations raised the German nation’s tolerance level in social and economic terms, giving them the strength to shoulder the economic miracle. This was indeed a unique era for Germany—a time whose effects are still evident to this day.
• an exceptional period in German history
• a skilfully crafted fusion of individual destiny and larger-scale political developments