Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
British Academy Lectures 2014-15$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Janet Carsten and Simon Frith

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265987

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265987.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Out of the ashes: Europe’s rebirth after the Second World War, 1945–1949

Out of the ashes: Europe’s rebirth after the Second World War, 1945–1949

Raleigh Lecture on History read 2 July 2015

Chapter:
(p.167) Out of the ashes: Europe’s rebirth after the Second World War, 1945–1949
Source:
British Academy Lectures 2014-15
Author(s):

Ian Kershaw

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265987.003.0006

This lecture seeks to explain why the Second World War, the most destructive conflict in history, produced such a contrasting outcome to the First. It suggests that the Second World War’s maelstrom of destruction replaced a catastrophic matrix left by the First — of heightened ethnic, border and class conflict underpinned by a deep and prolonged crisis of capitalism — by a completely different matrix: the end of Germany’s great-power ambitions, the purging of the radical Right and widescale ethnic cleansing, the crystallisation of Europe’s division, unprecedented rates of economic growth and the threat of nuclear war. Together, these self-reinforcing components, all rooted in what soon emerged as the Cold War, conditioned what in 1945 had seemed highly improbable: Europe’s rise out of the ashes of the ruined continent to lasting stability, peace and prosperity.

Keywords:   Cold War, Germany, ethnic cleansing, economic growth, matrix, Europe’s division, radical Right, nuclear war

British Academy Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.