Holger Nehring
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Creating security from below
Peace movements in East and West Germany in the 1980s
in The 1989 Revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe
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This chapter analyses the peace movements in both parts of Germany during the 1980s from a perspective that transcends the ideological and geopolitical divides of the Cold War. It explores what the debates on the peace movements might tell us about the security relationships within North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the Warsaw Pact. Protests against nuclear weapons reappeared in West German politics in the context of the discussions over the deployment of medium-range and cruise missiles as well as novel 'neutron bomb' weapons in the mid-to-late 1970s. Peace movements in the Federal Republic and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) challenged their governments' 'geopolitical privacy'. Connections between the two movements can be traced back to their origins in the mid-1970s when the dissidents Rudolf Bahro and Wolf Biermann were expelled from the GDR and settled in the Federal Republic.

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