West German Leaders Dealt Successfully Essay

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West German leaders dealt successfully with their domestic problems in the years of 1969-89?

During the period of 1969 to 1989, West Germany suffered from a range of internal problems such as dissident groups, ranging from left wing student radicals accumulating to entities such as The Red Army Faction, to reanimated right wing nationals in the form of NPD party. Other areas which offered possible opposition and issues to the Government was the issue of religion, specifically the churches place in the West Germany and the reactionary elites who had been rehabilitated into society.

One area the Government was partially successful in dealing with were radical left wing groups, with the extremists committing a Guerilla war against the Government through bombings, assassinations and plane hijackings. Groups like the RAF grew from the FRG’s increasing appearance as a totalitarian state, with implementation of emergency laws from 1968, the failures of de-nazification with Kurt Georg Kiesinger (an ex-nazi) as Chancellor of West Germany from 1966-69 and police crackdowns such as the shooting of student Benno Ohnesorg; it was not inconceivable to see why students radicalized themselves. The Government reacted to this new threat of terrorism by enforcing decrees and laws in order to curd such actions like the 1972 decree concerning radicals, which restricted freedom of speech and association with radical groups, such as the loss to work in the public sector. Other laws entailed general treatment of terrorist, with no allowance for a common defense council, solitary confinement and isolation and sometimes the denial completely of a defense council. Although these judicial and legislation actions as well as a police clamp down and formation of special anti terror groups such as g force 9 were created; terrorist actions still persisted throughout Germany, until its reunification in 1989. The government’s actions also raise the question of its democratic nature, with restriction on freedom of speech and thought and emergence of emergency powers enabling the government to act with out consent; damaging and discrediting the political and social atmosphere.

Another area that the government succeeded in quelling was the rise in radical right winged groups. Although Nazism had been defeat during ww2, its spirit had lingered on and was presence with in West Germany. The failure of denazification meant that vast portions of the German government were ex-Nazis such Kurt Georg Kiesinger and this lead to simpathy towards the right wing from many. Socially, SS reunions were still ocurring till 1985 in Hazburg, gangs began to form of unemployed, unskilled and uneducated young citizens who merly adopted the Nazi style rather than ideology, dressing up in uniform and Swastikas; rejecting a society which had rejected them. Economically powerful figures were able to influence political figures such as Prime Minister of Bavaria and the leader of the CSU, Franz Josef Strauss and Helmut Kohl; both excepting support from dubius quarters, which would later discrdit Kohl. Politically the Right wing was still active in many forms; the NPD (German Nationalist party) gained momentumn during late 1960s, winning considerable protion of Lannder elections, such as winning 15 seats in Bavaria and 8 seats in Hesse as well as local elections in Baden-Wuttenburg where it accumulated 10% of the vote. Various other parties were form, such as Deuthe Volksunion who targeted migrant workers or Gastarbeiter, this hostility to foreign workers manifested itself into the Republican right winged party who managed to gain momentum in Berlin and Hesse state elections and in the Euro elections in 1989. However many of these groups were islocated and lay on the frindges of scoiety, without a ceteral focus point such as a unanimous leader as Adolf Hitler was and the success of the economy, they were lagrely forgotten until economic woes such as in the late 60s and 80s did they…