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GERMANY DIVIDED by Terence Prittie Kirkus Star



Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1960
Publisher: Little, Brown-A.M.P.

This is an excellent examination of modern Germany, its state of mind, economic health and moral condition. Prittie leaves no doubt that the serious damage done to German moral character during the Nazi era has not yet been repaired- nor will it be soon. The economic miracle, as great as it is, is also a symptom of the escape-into-materialism which is the way in which the Germans can forget the past- ""a German occupational disease"". As for the German problem, Prittie analyzes every aspect of it to conclude that the West must work for a reunified Germany strongly attached to Western Europe. Yet he does not underestimate the obstacles. The longer divided Germany remains divided the more final becomes the reality of two German states with separate loyalties and ways of life. For example, he notes the increasing pride among Eastern Germans as the important industrial workshop of the Eastern bloc. Then there is still the mistrust which exists among Germany's neighbors vis a vis her future ambitions. Vast refugee organizations in West Germany agitate for the return of Silesia, East Prussia, etc. ignoring how hated the Germans are by the Poles and Czechs. Ex-Nazis still retain positions of importance and exert an unhealthy influence.... Yet all is not without hope, implies Prittie, and he cites some more encouraging aspects. Nevertheless the overall impression is that Germany is still a great potential danger. By keeping her divided, the Russians have been able to immobilize the danger temporarily. But while the West has committed itself to the policy of German reunification, it must consider with anxiety its realization. No one knows what to expect of this people busily forgetting the past and not learning many new lessons. The virtue of this book is that it defines the German problem thoroughly and shows why it will remain one for years to come.