The Early Post-war History of the Ministries of the Interior in West and East Germany

Research project in cooperation with IfZ
Direction: Professor Frank Bösch (ZZF) and  Professor Andreas Wirsching (IfZ)
Researcher at the ZZF: Martin Diebel, Franziska Kuschel, Stefanie Palm, Domunik Rigoll

In the former Federal Republic and the GDR, the Departments of the Interior were responsible for key areas of politics and administration. This research project systematically explores the post-war era of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) and the Ministry of the Interior of the GDR (MdI) and concentrates particularly on personnel and political continuities as well as processes of transformation in respect to the Nazi era. The project was initiated by Interior Minister Dr Thomas de Maizière in December 2014 and has been conducted by the Institute of Contemporary History Munich-Berlin and the ZZF Potsdam under the administration of the respective directors Professor Andreas Wirsching and Professor Frank Bösch. The research group consists of six postdocs and two postgraduates – alongside the project managers. A board of supervisors consisting of academics from both institutes advises and supports the project.

First results were published in a pilot study in October 2015 and presented to the public at the conference ‘NS-Belastung und politischer Neuanfang’ in November  2015. In June 2017, the research group presented further results at the conference „Getrennte Wege nach dem Nationalsozialismus? Vergleichende Perspektiven auf die Innenministerien in Bonn und Ost-Berlin“ in Berlin. The members of the research group also discussed their findings with experts and an interested public in workshops, panel discussions and conferences. Accompanying the research project was the virtual exhibition „Kontinuitäten, Brüche, Neuanfang. Umgang mit dem Nationalsozialismus in den beiden deutschen Innenministerien 1949 bis 1970“, designed by students of the Public History degree program at Freie Universität Berlin/ZZF Potsdam.

The major study goes into more detail in respect to the political actions of senior employees. The main book „Hüter der Ordnung – Die Innenministerien in Bonn und Ost-Berlin nach dem Nationalsozialismus“ was published in June 2018, several monograph will follow in 2019.

Website research project ‘Die Nachkriegsgeschichte des BMI und des MdI

Forschung

Projekte

Acceptance of a tractor by the traffic police in Worbis County, February 1956. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-35751-0001 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, Bundesarchiv Bild 183-35751-0001, Dingelstedt, MTS, Abnahme durch Verkehrspolizei, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

The Administration of Security: The East German Ministry of the Interior

Research project

The Interior Ministry of the GDR assumed a central role in the wake of the enforcement of dictatorship and the consolidation of power.  It was responsible for safeguarding public order and domestic security. To this end, its armed forces provided the...

Under Interior Minister Schroeder different versions for an emergency law were drafted between 1958 and 1960, which failed however because of the resistance of the SPD. Photo: Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F008145-0002 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F008145-0002, Gerhard Schröder, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

Security within a State of Emergency: The Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Struggle for a Federal Emergency Legislation, 1949–1968

Compleated Research project

Research on the emergency legislation in the Federal Republic so far has concentrated on the critics of the Emergency Laws. In contrast to this, this project focused on the perspective of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) as the...

The Media Politics of the Federal Ministry of the Interior after National Socialism

Stefanie Palm

Associated PhD project

The media politics of the Federal Ministry of the Interior were in many respects overshadowed by National Socialism: the debate on ‘smut and trash’, the initiatives for a federal press act or ‘Soraya’s Law’, as well as the establishment of a...

Anti-Nazi Security Policy
The West German Ministry of the Interior and the danger from the right, 1940-1970

Dominik Rigoll

Research project

Tracing the careers and political practices of high government officials in the late Third Reich, during the period of Allied occupation after the war, and in the early Federal Republic of Germany as well as selected American actors, this study analyzes...

The Early Post-war History of the Ministries of the Interior in West and East Germany

Research project in cooperation with IfZ
Direction: Professor Frank Bösch (ZZF) and  Professor Andreas Wirsching (IfZ)
Researcher at the ZZF: Martin Diebel, Franziska Kuschel, Stefanie Palm, Domunik Rigoll

In the former Federal Republic and the GDR, the Departments of the Interior were responsible for key areas of politics and administration. This research project systematically explores the post-war era of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) and the Ministry of the Interior of the GDR (MdI) and concentrates particularly on personnel and political continuities as well as processes of transformation in respect to the Nazi era. The project was initiated by Interior Minister Dr Thomas de Maizière in December 2014 and has been conducted by the Institute of Contemporary History Munich-Berlin and the ZZF Potsdam under the administration of the respective directors Professor Andreas Wirsching and Professor Frank Bösch. The research group consists of six postdocs and two postgraduates – alongside the project managers. A board of supervisors consisting of academics from both institutes advises and supports the project.

First results were published in a pilot study in October 2015 and presented to the public at the conference ‘NS-Belastung und politischer Neuanfang’ in November  2015. In June 2017, the research group presented further results at the conference „Getrennte Wege nach dem Nationalsozialismus? Vergleichende Perspektiven auf die Innenministerien in Bonn und Ost-Berlin“ in Berlin. The members of the research group also discussed their findings with experts and an interested public in workshops, panel discussions and conferences. Accompanying the research project was the virtual exhibition „Kontinuitäten, Brüche, Neuanfang. Umgang mit dem Nationalsozialismus in den beiden deutschen Innenministerien 1949 bis 1970“, designed by students of the Public History degree program at Freie Universität Berlin/ZZF Potsdam.

The major study goes into more detail in respect to the political actions of senior employees. The main book „Hüter der Ordnung – Die Innenministerien in Bonn und Ost-Berlin nach dem Nationalsozialismus“ was published in June 2018, several monograph will follow in 2019.

Website research project ‘Die Nachkriegsgeschichte des BMI und des MdI

Forschung

Projekte

Acceptance of a tractor by the traffic police in Worbis County, February 1956. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-35751-0001 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, Bundesarchiv Bild 183-35751-0001, Dingelstedt, MTS, Abnahme durch Verkehrspolizei, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

The Administration of Security: The East German Ministry of the Interior

Research project

The Interior Ministry of the GDR assumed a central role in the wake of the enforcement of dictatorship and the consolidation of power.  It was responsible for safeguarding public order and domestic security. To this end, its armed forces provided the...

Under Interior Minister Schroeder different versions for an emergency law were drafted between 1958 and 1960, which failed however because of the resistance of the SPD. Photo: Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F008145-0002 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F008145-0002, Gerhard Schröder, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

Security within a State of Emergency: The Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Struggle for a Federal Emergency Legislation, 1949–1968

Compleated Research project

Research on the emergency legislation in the Federal Republic so far has concentrated on the critics of the Emergency Laws. In contrast to this, this project focused on the perspective of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) as the...

The Media Politics of the Federal Ministry of the Interior after National Socialism

Stefanie Palm

Associated PhD project

The media politics of the Federal Ministry of the Interior were in many respects overshadowed by National Socialism: the debate on ‘smut and trash’, the initiatives for a federal press act or ‘Soraya’s Law’, as well as the establishment of a...

Anti-Nazi Security Policy
The West German Ministry of the Interior and the danger from the right, 1940-1970

Dominik Rigoll

Research project

Tracing the careers and political practices of high government officials in the late Third Reich, during the period of Allied occupation after the war, and in the early Federal Republic of Germany as well as selected American actors, this study analyzes...