German-Russian relations – in all their ambivalence, contradictoriness and violence – played a key role in the 20th century. Stefan Creuzberger tells the story of this tense relationship in an era marked by dramatic turning points, interconnections and change.
Is it possible to understand war? To understand Vladimir Putin, or contemporary Russia? – Probably not. But what we can understand, in retrospect, is how events develop and what they lead to. What Stefan Creuzberger describes here is a history of German-Russian relations: the tsarist era, revolution and upheaval, World War I, the Soviet Union, World War II, the Cold War, Willy Brandt’s Moscow and Warsaw Treaties and, finally, the fall of communism and the present. Creuzberger’s brilliant presentation of details is impressive, revealing a wealth of interconnections in our shared history that helps us to better understand our relationship with Russia today. At the same time, his interpretation of the present is also a revelation.
Stefan Creuzberger, born in 1961 in Calw, is professor of Contemporary History at the University of Rostock. He heads the Research and Documentation Centre of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania focusing on the history of dictatorships in Germany. He publishes on German and Russian history in the 20th century and is, among other things, co-editor of the academic anthologies “Akten zur Auswärtigen Politik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland” and a member of the Joint German-Russian History Commission.