Skip to content

Tag: Cold War

Reckonings: Legacies of Nazi Persecution and the Quest for Justice

Reviewed by Kate Docking.

Reckonings, authored by Mary Fulbrook, analyses the various implications of Nazi atrocities on both an individual and state level. A key aspect of the book explores how the judicial punishment of those involved in National Socialist persecution in the decades following the war could vary vastly between states. The stories of Rudolf Zimmerman and Walter Thormeyer provide a particularly poignant example of this. Zimmerman lived a seemingly innocuous life before the German invasion of Poland in September 1939. Residing in a village near the city of Mielec in Poland, Zimmerman helped his father’s farming business. When the SS came to Mielec, Zimmerman soon became involved in Nazi atrocities; he murdered Jews, and was later also involved in selections and deportations. After the war, Zimmerman became a ‘model’ socialist citizen in East Germany; he even acquired awards for his work. However, Zimmerman’s dark past soon caught up with him. He was arrested by East German authorities in 1966, put on trial, and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1967. Walter Thormeyer, who was Zimmerman’s superior during the war, was tried in West Germany, and received a lesser sentence; he was condemned to twelve years in prison, in spite of the copious amount of evidence pertaining to his participation in murderous crimes. The cases of Thormeyer and Zimmerman are reflective of how East and West Germany often adopted different approaches to the handling of those involved in Nazi crimes; harsher punishments were (generally) dealt out in the GDR, whereas the Federal Republic embodied a more lenient approach.

Leave a Comment

Some Conclusions on Foreign Office Attitudes towards European Integration, 1957-73

Written by Adam Rolewicz.

The history of Britain’s relationship with Europe is one which has received significant attention from scholars and laypeople alike, especially in recent times. It has been explored from a wide range of angles and perspectives, all of which offer unique insights into what has often been characterized as an awkward or reluctant relationship. My thesis employed a specific focus on the attitudes of Foreign Office officials towards European integration in the years 1957-73 and the ways in which these attitudes shaped the foreign policymaking process. The role which Foreign Office officials played in Britain’s approach to membership of the European Economic Community (EEC) was extremely significant, and their attitudes had a profound impact on the policymaking process.

Leave a Comment

Chronicling Trust in the Cold War

Written by Mark Hurst.

In a contemporary climate dominated by fake news, political spin and online legions of anonymous figures fighting information wars, it is apparent that a question repeatedly posed may come to define the era: What information do we trust? This was at the forefront of the campaigns conducted by human rights activists during the Cold War, who sought to support persecuted prisoners of conscience by obtaining reliable and trusted information on human rights violations and using this material to petition positions of power to put pressure on oppressive governments.

Leave a Comment