Communing with the Enemy - Thomas, Merrilyn
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This book examines the secret role of British and German Christians in the Cold War, both as non-governmental envoys and as members of covert intelligence operations. Based on archival sources, including those of the Stasi together with interviews with some of those involved, it demonstrates the way in which religion was used as a tool of psychological warfare. During the 1960s, the concept of Christian-Marxist dialogue was espoused by Church leaders and appropriated by politicians. In the GDR, Ulbricht used Christian-Marxist dialogue to quell opposition to his regime; in the West, politicians…mehr

Produktbeschreibung
This book examines the secret role of British and German Christians in the Cold War, both as non-governmental envoys and as members of covert intelligence operations. Based on archival sources, including those of the Stasi together with interviews with some of those involved, it demonstrates the way in which religion was used as a tool of psychological warfare. During the 1960s, the concept of Christian-Marxist dialogue was espoused by Church leaders and appropriated by politicians. In the GDR, Ulbricht used Christian-Marxist dialogue to quell opposition to his regime; in the West, politicians encouraged a policy of détente which led to the erosion of communist ideology. As the seeds of Ostpolitik were sown, Christians tunnelled their way beneath the ideological barriers of the Cold War in the name of reconciliation while secretly establishing subversive networks. At the same time, they provided political leaders with a hidden channel of communication across the Iron Curtain. This book examines the 1965 Coventry Cathedral project of reconciliation in Dresden, the work of Paul Oestreicher, and the activities of the German Christian organisation Aktion Sühnezeichen . In doing so, it reveals the complexity of the Cold War world in which both sides appeared to hold out the hand of friendship while secretly working to eliminate the enemy.
  • Produktdetails
  • Verlag: Peter Lang Ltd. International Academic Publishers
  • Artikelnr. des Verlages: .10192, 10192
  • Neuausg.
  • Seitenzahl: 293
  • Erscheinungstermin: 15. Dezember 2004
  • Englisch
  • Abmessung: 223mm x 149mm x 20mm
  • Gewicht: 420g
  • ISBN-13: 9783039101924
  • ISBN-10: 3039101927
  • Artikelnr.: 26934618
Autorenporträt
The Author: Merrilyn Thomas received a BA (Hons) in European Studies from the University of East Anglia in 1969 and a Ph.D. in German History from University College London in 2002. She is a Research Fellow in Cold War history at University College London and an occasional teacher of European history at the University of Cambridge. She was an observer of events in the GDR from the 1960s until its demise in 1990 and visited the country on several occasions. She has contributed to volumes on the GDR and Britain.
Inhaltsangabe
Contents: Coventry Cathedral and Cold War Reconciliation - The Intelligence War - Hans-Joachim Seidowsky - Aktion Sühnezeichen and the Seeds of Ostpolitik - Christian-Marxist Dialogue in Britain and the GDR - GDR Church-State Relations - Non-Governmental Diplomacy: the Crossman Connection - Political Propaganda at Grass Roots Level - The Coventry-Dresden Project.
Rezensionen

Perlentaucher-Notiz zur F.A.Z.-Rezension

Erhellende Einsichten in die Dialektik einer gegenseitigen Instrumentalisierung verdankt Rezensent Gottfried Niedhart dieser Studie zu einem Dresdener Wiederaufbauprojekt in den sechziger Jahren. Damals war dem Rezensenten zufolge eine Gruppe von 31 jungen Engländern in die zwanzig Jahre zuvor von britischen Bombern zerstörte Stadt gereist, um beim Wiederaufbau eines unter kirchlicher Leitung stehenden Diakonissenhauses zu helfen. Positiv wirkt sich auf die, seinem Eindruck zufolge auf "ausgedehnte Archivstudien" gestützte Untersuchung aus, dass die Autorin persönlich an dem Friedensprojekt teilgenommen hat. Überzeugend konnte sie dem Rezensenten nun belegen, dass hinter dem oberflächlich "rein kirchlichen" Versöhnungsprojekt auf beiden Seiten auch politisches Kalkül stand und "hinter den Kulissen" britische Regierungsstellen und die Stasi in das Projekt einbezogen waren. Für die Briten habe das Projekt als "Trojanisches Pferd" fungiert, um in den hermetisch abgeschirmten Bereich jenseits des Eisernen Vorhangs einzudringen, die Gesellschaft zu infiltrieren und von innen zu verändern. Der damalige DDR-Regierungschef dagegen habe die Aktion dazu nutzen wollen, "die kirchliche Opposition an den Staat zu binden".

© Perlentaucher Medien GmbH
"The searching light that Dr Thomas sheds so effectively on the political and ideological machinations of the mighty in London, Berlin, Coventry, and Dresden reveals much in the background which had previously been obscure. Her skill in interpreting an immense amount of archival material underlies many shrewd judgements of persons and policies." (John Arnold, The Church Times)
"[Merrilyn Thomas hat] ein wichtiges Buch geschrieben. Es enthält einen weitgehend unbekannten Teil der Geschichte und erinnert daran, was wir den christlichen Kirchen und den Geheimdiensten zu verdanken haben." (Egon Bahr)