chapter  9
Federal Germany: re-tracing a path to democracy
Pages 25

In 1945, following defeat in the Second World War and unconditional surrender, the Allied victors – America, Britain, France and the Soviet Union – engaged in the occupation of the whole of Germany. In contrast to the pattern after defeat in the First World War, when Ebert was handed power and a new German government was quickly established under a new constitution, the totally defeated Nazi government was replaced not by a new German government but by a government of occupying forces, the Control Council, situated in Berlin.1 In this, postNazi Germany differed not only from Germany after the First World War but also from France after the Second World War. After the German invasion of France in 1940, the Communist Party together with the socialist parties, the SFIO, the radical-socialists and others, had formed the Resistance. Outside France, the occupation was opposed by the Free French Movement, headed by de Gaulle and based first in London and then in Algiers. In 1943, the Free French Movement and the Resistance together formed a provisional government, the Consultative Assembly, in Algiers, with de Gaulle as its head. In June 1944, the Resistance fighters and the French Army joined forces; the liberation of Paris came in August 1944.2 In Germany there was nothing resembling a government-inwaiting to step into the vacuum left by the collapse of the Third Reich (Ginsberg 1996: 100; Roseman 2000: 148).