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Retrospektive auf das Jahr 1985 und den 8. Mai 1945

Christoph Kleßmann

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Retrospective on the year 1985 and May 8 1945


This text emphasizes that the speech delivered in 1985 by West German President von Weizsäcker about May 8 changed the view of the end of the war significantly. In the face of the long-lasting characterization of the war as a defeat and disaster, the emphasis on liberation has since become a hallmark of debate around the year 1945 in Germany. From today’s perspective it is important to stress the European character of the year 1945: many problems confronted by Germany’s broken society were, at the same time, European problems. An important change since 1985 relates to the fall of communism in Europe, through which it became possible to discuss what until then had been a taboo subject, namely the establishment of new dictatorships after the end of the German occupation.


Bibliographie: Kleßmann, Christoph: Retrospektive auf das Jahr 1985 und den 8. Mai 1945, JB historie, 1-2016, S. 320-323.