Astrid M. Eckert, "West Germany and the Iron Curtain: Environment, Economy, and Culture in the Borderlands" (Oxford UP, 2019)


How did the Iron Curtain shape the Federal Republic of Germany? How did the internal border become a proving ground for rival ideologies? West Germany and the Iron Curtain: Environment, Economy, and Culture in the Borderlands (Oxford University Press 2019) explores these battles in the most sensitive geographic spaces of the Federal Republic. Join us for a conversation with Astrid M. Eckert illuminating how the border reflected Cold War debates back to society in ways that continue to shape German history. In a fascinating exploration of economic dislocation, border tourism, and the first environmental history of the wall, Eckert shows how borders become actors in their own right.

Astrid M. Eckert is an Associate Professor of History at Emory University in Atlanta where she teaches 19th- and 20th-century German and European history. Her research has contributed to the Historical Commission on the History of the German Foreign Office, while her book on The Struggle for the Files: The Western Allies and the Return of German Archives after the Second World War received the Waldo Gifford Leland Award. You can listen to an interview with Eckert about The Struggle for the Files here.

Ryan Stackhouse is a historian of Europe specializing in modern Germany and political policing under dictatorship. His forthcoming book Enemies of the People: Hitler's Critics and the Gestapo explores enforcement practices toward different social groups under Nazism. He also cohosts the Third Reich History Podcast and can be reached at or @Staxomatix.

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