West Germany 2

West Germany Part II

Surprising the total integration of millions of refugees from the East and the practical absorption of unemployment; and also the rapid and impressive progress of the material reconstruction which in every field of industry, construction and communications has recomposed, according to a technical-organizational and also aesthetic norm inspired by the North American model, the scarcely frighteningly disfigured face of the country.

According to APARENTINGBLOG.COM, the nineteenth and the first decades of this century had given impetus to the rise, even that time from initial zero, to the economic “miracle” of the United States of America. The triumph of the system had as a politically important consequence the “denazification” of the masses; more than from the success – in line of law and in fact problematic – of the trials against crimes committed by members of the NSDP, from the “re-education” pursued by the Allies in the occupation regime (shown to be susceptible, as imposed by the winner, to provoke the negative reactions of national self-love), the sentimental detachment from Nazism has in fact been determining in the minds for the observation – by its nature certainly more interesting the sphere of individual and family interest,

Obviously even less importance and danger assumes in the positive general picture, at least as long as new circumstances do not intervene to change the upward curve of its productive factors, the certain relevant social and perhaps even ethical-political cost of the large operation. Thus the selfish disinterest in the common welfare, often manifested by those who have drawn very high profits from the system, only scarcely affected by the tax burden – even though the overall tax burden in the federal republic is greater than in other countries -; the ever increasing pressure in the economic and also political life of the large industrial groups, whose tampering with free competition is badly opposed by the law on cartels, which came into force on 1 January 1958; the low interest of the state for welfare purposes, for categories on the fringes of the production process (widows, war victims); the worrying spread, despite the complaints of the parties and the press, of administrative corruption and the very high rates of juvenile delinquency; the weakened prestige of the trade union organizations (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund and Industrie-Gewerkschaft-Metall), after the defeat they suffered in parliament in 1952 regarding the co-management of companies, and the consequent feared detachment, in the democratic circles of the country, of the working masses from liberal political institutions: all the more so since a sort of welfare paternalism still binds the worker to his company in a relationship of active dependence, which carries out social security tasks in all fields by ancient tradition,

In the cultural field, the balance of this period offers positive symptoms of recovery, as regards the organizational and social aspects of the problem: the reconstitution of universities (where the high scientific level achieved for the technical and economic-social faculties is testified by the growing influx of foreign students, totaling the conspicuous figure of 13,834 in 1958) and of the middle school entrusted entirely, didactically and organizationally, to the administration of the Land (but the shortage of classrooms and teachers is still serious as a result of the war); the flourishing theatrical activity, with state subsidy, carried out today by 175 large stable complexes; the very active work of cultural diffusion carried out among the masses, even in the smaller centers, by the popular universities (Volkshochschulen). Less encouraging indices are those of the book market, but more for the quantity than for the quality of purchases. These mostly in the literary sector are oriented towards avant-garde foreign production; with a preference that to be common also to other fields of culture (with the exception of the academic one, especially the historical-literary one, largely still anchored to the sterile methodological positions of traditional positivism) appears to be a significant aspect of custom, which can be evaluated here as a desire for renewal relationships, including moral ones, since it is at the same time a repudiation of any nationalistic closure. The abandonment of the traditional reference to the values ​​of “Germanism” (Deutschtum) is confirmed by the periodical press (from the weekly Der Spiegel, to the most popular newspapers: the social democrats Neue Rhein – Zeitung and Frankfurter Rundschau, the liberals Die Welt and Süddeutsche Zeitung, the pro-government Frankfurter Allgemeine), where an anti-fascist editorial body formed by the will of the Allies during the occupation, is usually favorable to the prospects of peace and international detente, agrees in the condemnation of the recurring manifestations of neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism, and clearly lukewarm supporter of government policy of rearmament. But above all remarkable, even if politically not susceptible in itself to positive qualifications, is the almost total indifference of the youngest towards the justifications of militarism, sometimes still emerging from a ghostly past.

West Germany 2

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