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German unification

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Ten years after German unification, this historiographical review discusses how the cascade of published material reflects on two questions vital for contemporary history on this subject: first, why and how did unification happen, and second, what kind of sources and evidence are used by authors to justify their particular interpretation of events? In answering these questions, this review will not only give an overview of published accounts – official, scholarly, and autobiographical – but go beyond the immediate confines of the 1990s to shed light on the question of why Chancellor Helmut Kohl was able to win a prize that had eluded all of his predecessors since Konrad Adenauer.

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