For the Formation of a Peaceful Future: Humanitarianism, Occupation, and a defeated Germany, 1945-1949

  • The adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 was a landmark event, encoding the lessons learned from five years of total war on the European continent. The debates over the universality and inalienability of rights that dominated the writing of the document brought together statesmen and -women from across the world. But, one state was conspicuously left out of this discussion: Germany. The defeated state’s exclusion was understandable given the violence, destruction, death, and genocide the Nazi regime had unleashed on the European continent from 1939 to 1945. In many ways, it was Germany’s waging of the Second World War and their perpetration of genocide that created the urgency for a document that codified the most basic rights of men and women in the immediate postwar years.

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Author:Ryan Heyden
Parent Title (German):Dossier: Utopien im Wandel. Zur Geschichte der Menschenrechte und des Humanitarismus im 20. Jahrhundert
Publisher:ZZF - Centre for Contemporary History: Zeitgeschichte online
Place of publication:Potsdam
Document Type:Online Publication
Date of first Publication:2018/12/07
Release Date:2023/07/30
ZZF Topic-Classification:Nationalsozialismus
Internationale Organisationen
Internationale Beziehungen
ZZF Chronological-Classification:1940er
ZZF Regional-Classification:Europa / Westeuropa / Deutschland / Bundesrepublik
Web-Publications:Zeitgeschichte online
Licence (German):License LogoZZF - Clio Lizenz