Introduction II Knowledge Enrichment Lecture notes

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Part I:

  1. Students read Sources A and B.

  2. With reference to Source A, students identify the view of the two superpowers about the divided Germany.

Ans.: East Germany and West Germany should be totally detached from one another, and no relation or connection could be drawn between them.

  1. With reference to Source B, the teacher guides students into exploring Germany’s desire for national unity, future integration and European peace which sprouted in the 1960s.

Ans.: Willy Brandt wanted to see all Germans in national unity and integrated to each other, and peace in Europe maintained and East-West connections/integration enhanced.

  1. The teacher can give a debriefing by:

  1. linking the content learnt in this activity with students’ prior knowledge of the Cold War development, and

  2. foretelling the ongoing process of European economic integration which would eventually involve former communist states in eastern Europe

Part II:

Students search for relevant information on the internet and do tasks 1 and 2.

Part I:

Source A

The following cartoon was published in East Germany in 1957.

East is East and West is West (top),

and never the twain shall meet (bottom)”

Source: Deutsches Museum für Karikatur und kritische Grafik

Source B

The following text is adapted from the inaugural speech given by Willy Brandt, then the German Chancellor, to the Bundestag (the parliament of Germany) on 28 October 1969.

The job of practical politics in the years lying ahead of us is to maintain the unity of the nation by easing the current tensions in the relationship between the two parts of Germany… We also have common duties and a common responsibility: to secure peace among ourselves and in Europe… we must prevent a further drifting apart of the German nation; in other words, we must try to progress first by way of orderly coexistence to togetherness. This is not only a German objective, for it also has significance for peace in Europe and for the East-West relationship.

Source: "Two States, One Nation (October 28, 1969) - German History in Documents and Images website" ( (Accessed on 6 August 2014).

Part II:

Part II: To Know More

Task 1. What was the importance of the year 2009 to Germany?
Ans: 2009 marked two important anniversaries in Germany. First, it was the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany (23 May 1949). Second, it was the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall between East Germany and West Germany (9 November 1989).

Task 2. Complete the profile about Willy Brandt below:

Willy Brandt




18 December 1913 – 8 October 1992


Leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SDP)


Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

7 December 1970

Ans: He knelt down at the monument to the victims of the Warsaw Ghetto. It symbolized Germany’s appeal for reconciliation. On the same day, he signed the Treaty of Warsaw between the Federal Republic and Poland. It paved the way for cooperation between West Germany and eastern Europe.


Ans: Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to strengthen cooperation in western Europe through the EEC and to achieve reconciliation between West Germany and the countries of eastern Europe.



Extended Learning Activity 2

Skepticism about peace, cooperation and integration between the two blocs in the 1970s


Historical context:

With the subsidence of the anti-British stance of France after Charles de Gaulle’s presidency, the eventual admission of Britain to the European Community in 1973 signified an important step in the economic integration of Europe. The early 1970s also witnessed the start of the détente between the two blocs. Economic, political, diplomatic and even military dialogues between the two blocs resumed and created a rather optimistic atmosphere. The possibility of economic integration between the two blocs was, however, not necessarily a popular expectation.


After this learning activity, students should be able to:

  • understand the contemporary skepticism about peace, cooperation and integration between the two blocs during the 1970s despite the onset of the détente;

  • realize that economic integration between the capitalist and communist countries of Europe was not yet popularly anticipated in the 1970s.

When to use this learning activity:

  • After teaching the widening membership of the European Community in the 1970s

  • Before moving into the EC’s further admission of new members in the 1980s

How to use this learning activity:

  1. Students study Source C.

  2. Teacher guides students into pondering the following questions:

  1. Which countries do the eagle (left) and the bear (right) represent?

Ans.: The U.S. (the eagle) and the U.S.S.R. (the bear).

  1. How was the relationship between the eagle and the bear when the cartoon was published?

Ans.: Friendly / cooperative relationship.

  1. What does their baby (sitting in the pram) symbolize?

Ans.: Peace in Europe and the world. (Clue: The baby is a dove representing peace.)

  1. What was the cartoonist’s attitude towards the peace resulting from the détente between the two superpowers?

Ans.: Negative / skeptical / doubtful attitude. (Clue: The cartoon was entitled “the ODD couple”, thus showing the cartoonist’s disbelief in such relationship.)

  1. What might the cartoonist think about economic cooperation and integration between the two blocs?

Ans.: When peace resulting from the détente was an “odd” one, economic cooperation and integration between the two blocs would be even more unthinkable and unlikely.

  1. Based on what you have learnt so far (up to the late 1970s), what was the major obstacle towards economic integration between eastern and western Europe?

Free answer, e.g. ideological conflicts, unwillingness to compromise ideological principles, etc.

Source C

The following cartoon appeared in a newspaper in Chicago in 1973.

Source: “Cold War Foreign Policy – Oswego City School District Regents Exam Prep Centre website” ( (Accessed on 6 August 2014).


Extended Learning Activity 3

How would the end of the Cold War affect European economic cooperation?


Historical context:

The outbreak of revolutions in eastern European states not only brought about the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the end of the Cold War. It also sped up the breakdown of the economic cooperation efforts made by the communist states as well as the possibility of east-west economic integration. An examination of how the communist model of economic development and integration ended would help students prepare themselves for the more inclusive study of economic unity and integration in the period 1992-2000.


After this learning activity, students should be able to:

  • narrate the characteristics of Soviet economic coordination and control of the former communist countries of eastern Europe;

  • describe how these pre-1991 characteristics would be re-shaped after the Cold War ended.

When to use this learning activity:

  • After teaching the widening membership and functions of the European Community in the 1980s

  • Before moving into economic cooperation across the whole Europe prior to the period 1992-2000

How to use this learning activity:

  1. First of all, students recall the characteristics of Soviet control over eastern European communist states in the early decades of the Cold War (1940s-60s).

Ans.: Absence of democracy; planned/command economy; tight restriction on human rights, and freedom; prohibition of contact/visit to capitalist countries; strictly following Soviet leadership, etc.

  1. Then, students read Source D and highlight the new political and social situations of eastern Europe in 1989 that went contrary to the early characteristics of Soviet control.

Ans.: multiparty system and competitive elections; demonstrations calling for reform; relaxation of Soviet military control over satellite states; opening of border.

  1. Next, using the knowledge learnt in previous lessons and in association with Source D, students outline the major characteristics of economic cooperation/coordination in the Communist bloc.

Ans.: practice of planned/command economy; strict prohibition of free market and trade unions; closed borders and restriction of freedom to travel/migrate.

  1. Teacher guides students into inferring what new economic pattern the breakup of the Communist bloc would bring about in eastern Europe after 1989. Students may make such inference based on the characteristics named in (3) above.

Ans.: Dissolution of communist economic control over eastern European countries; free markets in individual countries replacing Soviet economic model; opportunities of voluntary investment; increase in trade between eastern and western European countries.

  1. Based on the new economic pattern named in (4) above, students read Source E, and infer why Marx, Lenin and Stalin would say “I can’t believe my eyes”. Students may consider the following prompts?

  1. What were the economic ideals of Marx, Lenin and Stalin?

Ans.: sustaining communist economic system; forbidding capitalist economic system; insisting on state control of the economy; refusal to trade with capitalist countries.

  1. Could these economic ideals be realized/sustained in the new reality of eastern Europe as shown in Source D and inferred in (4) above?

Ans.: No.

Source D

The following text about the democratic revolutions that took place in eastern Europe in the late 1980s is an extract from an article published by the U.S. Department of State.

In Hungary, the communist government initiated reforms in 1989 that led to the sanctioning of a multiparty system and competitive elections. In Poland, the communists entered into round-table talks with a reinvigorated Solidarity. As a result, Poland held its first competitive elections since before World War II. Inspired by their neighbors' reforms, East Germans took to the streets in the summer and fall of 1989 to call for reforms, including freedom to visit West Berlin and West Germany. Moscow's refusal to use military force to buoy the regime of East German leader Erich Honecker led to his replacement and the initiation of political reforms, leading up to the fateful decision to open the border crossings on the night of November 9, 1989.

Source: “Fall of Communism – U.S. Department of State website” ( (Accessed on 6 August 2014).
Source E

The following cartoon was published in an American newspaper in 1991.



Karl Marx


Source: “Communist Paradise: I can’t believe my eyes! – Library of Congress (U.S.) website” ( (Accessed on 6 August 2014).


Extended Learning Activity 4

Germany’s road to monetary unity after her political reunification in 1989


Historical context:

Although there had been attempts in the late 1960s and early 1970s at forging an economic and monetary union by the EC members, various factors halted the plan and no actual action was taken to unite any European currencies. In the late 1980s, while the discussions and planning work for such a union were revived, the forthcoming German reunification created the first actual experience of monetary union. In other words, the unity of the German currencies foreshadowed the eventual steps leading to the creation of a single European currency.


After this learning activity, students should be able to:

  • infer the political background leading to monetary union;

  • extend the above cause-and-effect relationship to the wider experience of Europe in the creation of the Euro currency.

When to use this learning activity:

  • After teaching the widening membership and functions of the European Community in the 1980s

  • Before proceeding to the Treaty of Maastricht, establishment of the European Union and the preparation of the Euro currency

How to use this learning activity:

  1. Students read Source F and explore the following basic facts:

    • What had been happening before Helmut Kohl made the Ten-Point Plan for German Unity?

      1. The Berlin Wall had just fallen.

      2. Refugees had been rushing from East Germany to West Germany.

      3. West Germany had already agreed to offer financial aid to East Germany.

      4. West Germany had wanted to see fundamental transformation in the East German political and economic system.

    • What was West Germany ready to do when Helmut Kohl made the Ten-Point Plan?

West Germany was ready to build a federation with East Germany, i.e. a single Germany.

  1. Students read Source G and explore the following basic facts:

    • What did the West German government (under Chancellor Helmut Kohl) do after the fall of the Berlin Wall?

Against the advice of experts and foreseen mistakes, the West German government unified the two Germany currencies.

    • How were the two German currencies united?

They were united at the rate of 1:1.

    • What happened in Europe after the German currencies were united?

      1. The German currency union experience became a trend of currency union for Europe.

      2. People were thinking about uniting the European currencies to foster the unification of Europe.

  1. Teacher guides students to think and realize the following cause-and-effect relationship:

    • Political re-unification of the two Germany  monetary union between the two Germany  trend of monetary union in Europe  the long term goal of the unification of Europe


The following are the first five points of Helmut Kohl's Ten-Point Plan for German Unity presented November 28, 1989. Helmut Kohl was then the Chancellor of West Germany (the Federal Republic of Germany).

  1. To begin with, immediate measures are required as a result of the events of recent weeks, particularly the tide of refugees and the new scale of tourist traffic.

  2. The federal government will continue, now as before, to cooperate with the GDR [i.e. the German Democratic Republic] in all areas that directly benefit people on both sides.

  3. I have offered to expand extensively our assistance and cooperation, if a fundamental transformation in the political and economic system of the GDR is definitively accepted and irreversibly set in motion.

  4. (East German) Prime Minister Modrow has spoken in his policy statement of a contractual community.

  5. We are also prepared to take yet another decisive step, namely, to develop confederative structures between both states in Germany, with the aim of creating a federation, that is, a federal order, in Germany.

Source: “Helmut Kohl's Ten-Point Plan for German Unity (November 28, 1989) - German History in Documents and Images website” ( (Accessed on 6 August 2014).


The following is about monetary union in Europe.

The case for monetary union in Europe is primarily political. Chancellor Kohl certainly thinks of the day on which he overrode the views of all experts and pushed through the theoretically mistaken yet in practice inevitable decision to create German monetary union on the basis of a 1:1 exchange rate between East and West Germany. This fear, he believes, can be repeated in Europe and lead to instant reunification.

Source: Ralf Dahrendorf, After 1989: Morals, Revolution and Civil Society (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997), p.165.

Extended Learning Activity 5

Diplomatic role expected of the European Union by 2000


Historical context:

The Treaty of Maastricht was signed in early 1992 and became effective in late 1993, thus creating the European Union and endowing it with power in many aspects. The European Union had not merely political and economic functions, but also diplomatic ones, since one of its three important pillars upon creation in 1993 was the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) pillar. The European Union was, therefore, supposed to play substantive role in international affairs and provide its member states a key tone in diplomatic affairs.


After this learning activity, students should be able to:

  • identify the diplomatic role expected of the European Union by 2000, and

  • judge whether the EU had sufficiently performed this role.

When to use this learning activity:

  • After teaching the economic functions of, and the economic integration inside, the European Union

  • Before summing up the history of European integration over the whole post-WWII period

How to use this learning activity:

  1. Students read Source H.

  2. Students answer the following questions by citing clues from Source H. Less able students may highlight the clues in different colours directly in the source.

    • How was the existing position of Europe in the world up to 1998? (highlighted in RED)

      • With substantial economic influence

      • Had important strategic interests in the world

    • How much influence has Europe exercised in international affairs till 1998? (highlighted in YELLOW)

      • Weak in making rapid decisions

      • Incapable of putting decisions into actions

      • Way too low-profile and ineffective in voicing out its foreign policy

    • What were the speaker’s expectations of EU in 1998? (highlighted in GREEN)

      • Speak with a single authoritative voice on key international issues

      • Intervene promptly and effectively

      • Take actions independently without following the stance of the U.S.

  1. With reference to Source H and using their own knowledge, students comment on the validity of the following statement:

Once economic integration was achieved in the 1990s, the European Union had no more room for further enhancing its influence in Europe and the world.”

    • The statement is valid.

  • Implied interpretation of the statement: Europe’s economic integration in the 1990s was ultimate; Europe needed no further influence in other aspects.

  • Students holding this stance have to supply evidence from outside Source H.

    • The statement is invalid.

      • Implied interpretation of the statement: Economic integration in the 1990s was not the final stage of integration; Europe should further enhance its influence in other aspects.

      • Students holding this stance can take Source H as the basis and add further evidence from their own knowledge.

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