Team A – Ruin & Reconstruction

1. Describe the extent of economic damage caused by war in Europe. Why did the damage pose a danger to European economic recovery? How did governments attempt to control and prevent greater economic woes?

The Reconstruction of Europe after the Second World War.

Chris Knowles, “Germany 1945-1949: a case study in post-conflict reconstruction,” 29 January 2014. (Accessed April 23, 2020).

Vonyo, Tamas, “Recovery and reconstruction: Europe after WWII,”
21 November 2019 – (Accessed April 21, 2020).


Cienciala, Anna M. EASTERN EUROPE 1945-1956: Population Shifts; The Cold War and Stalinization; the Balkans; Poland and Hungary in 1956; Czechoslovakia 1968.

2. Discuss the psychological damage that World War II caused in Europe. In particular, pay special attention to the fate of DP’s, displaced persons, and not only Germans. Be sure to include Gypsies (Roma), Magyars, POW’s, Ukrainians, Russians, as well as peoples who had worked in German labor camps and factories.

DP Camps in Euro Intro:

Wasserstein, Bernard. “European Refugee Movements After World War Two.” BBC. January 1, 2014. Accessed March 12, 2015.

Army film on DP camps:

Ukrainian DPs:

3. Explain the Beneš Decrees? Do you think they should be abolished? Explain.

See Marty Mullins article “Kicked Out” which is in Course Content supplementary readings for Week 6, and attached here.

See primary sources on the expulsion of Germans:

For info on the expulsion of Magyars (Hungarians) from Czechoslovakia under Beneš:

“The “Beneš decrees” – a historian’s point of view,” Česky rozhlas (Czech Broadcasting), August 18, 2003:

Andrew Stroehlein, “Czechs and the Czech-German Declaration,” Britské listy (September 1997): Professor Stroehlein is a colleague I worked closely with for several years on the online journal Central European Review. He is now Communications Director of the International Crisis Group in Brussels, Belgium. See also “Putting the Past to Rest,” Time (March 11, 2002):,9171,216394,00.html

Kicked Out article.Marty Mullins_Slovakia 2017.pdf

4. Explain the systems of government and the new political regimes that emerged in Western Europe after World War II. Pay special attention to the establishment of the welfare state. Read the Beveridge Report:

5. Compare and contrast the economic growth of Britain, the Soviet Union, Germany, France and Italy after World War II. Which country was most successful and why? Read Learning Resources & the Marshall Plan:

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