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The 1950s in Germany. General information. A PERIOD OF RECONSTRUCTION AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY

The 1950s in GERMANY* General information A PERIOD OF RECONSTRUCTION AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY** *Focused on the Federal Republic of Germany. The special situation of the eastern part of Germany, the former German Democratic Republic is not reflected. **Also called “economic miracle”. This topic is well documented in an exhibition in Augsburg in 2012 with the title “RECONSTRUCTION AND ECONOMIC MIRACLE” providing detailed information about the post war period and the 1950s in Germany. More info see: www.timbayern.de The Bavarian example is quite typical for other regions in the western parts of Germany. Agentur Kultur  e.V.    München  –  Innova6ves  in  Bildung  &  Kultur    


The 1950s in Germany. General information. A PERIOD OF RECONSTRUCTION AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY

From austerity to prosperity The time of reconstruction and economic boom awakens many memories about the 1950s. The travelling exhibition "Reconstruction and economic miracle" made this time alive: from the deprivation and austerity of the post war period to the new prosperity of the fifties, from politics to popular culture. •  Women working in the destroyed cities •  Care packages •  Kidney-shaped table •  Petticoat   Agentur  Kultur  e.V.    München  –  Innova6ves  in  Bildung  &  Kultur    


The 1950s in Germany. General information. A PERIOD OF RECONSTRUCTION AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY

Destroyed cities After 1945 many cities in Bavaria lay in ruins e.g.: •  München lay in ruins after more than 60 bombings •  Downtown Nürnberg was heavily destroyed •  The inner city of Würzburg was almost completely burned down Agentur Kultur  e.V.    München  –  Innova6ves  in  Bildung  &  Kultur    


The 1950s in Germany. General information. A PERIOD OF RECONSTRUCTION AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY

War and destruction By May 1945 the full extent of the consequences of war were visible: •  Countless families had missing members or were separated •  Hundreds of thousands were homeless •  Millions starved or were refugees The struggle for daily life was the only thing of importance. •  And yet many people find creative ways •  Improvisation was the order of the day. •  Black Market and bartering flourished. Agentur Kultur  e.V.    München  –  Innova6ves  in  Bildung  &  Kultur    


The 1950s in Germany. General information. A PERIOD OF RECONSTRUCTION AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY

Life in ruins How should the ruined cities be rebuilt was a controversial issue: Reconstruct in accordance with the original as much as possible, or reconstruct with a modern design, or combine both strategy. The Bavarian state like most other states of the Federal Republic of Germany followed a combined strategy. The decision was almost always in the middle. Important buildings like the Würzburg Residence were reconstructed, but also many buildings were erected in modern style. Glass and steel make it look easy and transparent - a symbol of the new era. Agentur Kultur  e.V.    München  –  Innova6ves  in  Bildung  &  Kultur    


The 1950s in Germany. General information. A PERIOD OF RECONSTRUCTION AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY

Reconstruction West German economy was booming again only few years after the war. It seemed like a miracle. This "economic miracle" gave to many people the feeling being safe and protected for the first time in their lives. But the fifties also brought unwanted change and uncertainty: not only for refugees but for example for farmers that had to give up their farms and look for new work in factories and new industries. Agentur Kultur  e.V.    München  –  Innova6ves  in  Bildung  &  Kultur    


The 1950s in Germany. General information. A PERIOD OF RECONSTRUCTION AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY

Economic miracle For many people the daily life in the fifties changed very much. The dynamics of this time was immense. •  Many housewives had access to new electrical equipment like the washing machine •  They started to serve exotic dishes as the “Hawaiian toast” •  Many living rooms were already furnished by TV •  Many small cars were already parked outside the front door ready to transport the family for holidays in Italy Agentur Kultur  e.V.    München  –  Innova6ves  in  Bildung  &  Kultur    


The 1950s in Germany. General information. A PERIOD OF RECONSTRUCTION AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY

Choosing relevant examples Within the framework of the five topics of the website we chose not to give a general overview or a survey. Instead we decided in a participatory process to focus on the following topics that are typical for the spirit of the 1950s and at the same time of special interest for the participants of Germany. •  Christmas: a postcard sent to the partners •  Fashion - a special mixture in the 1950s: e.g. Wedding, Families on Sunday tours, Feeling the new way of life •  Banking: Bausparkasse Wüstenrot as a specific German example •  Healthcare: Müttergenesungswerk and health education in the 50s. •  Arts: Architectural design - exploring Munich and Stuttgart including some „Urban Sketcher“ documentations. Agentur Kultur  e.V.    München  –  Innova6ves  in  Bildung  &  Kultur    

50s in Germany  

General information about 5os in Germany