Description: In 1955, barely ten years after the end of the most devastating war in Modern German history, a new German military was established in the Federal Republic, the Bundeswehr. In order properly fill the ranks of this new military the government, under the leadership of Konrad Adenauer, believed that it would have to draft men from the West German population into military service. For the government in Bonn conscription was a double-edged sword, it would not only ensure that the Bundeswehr would receive the required number of recruits but it was also believed that conscription would guarantee that the Bundeswehr would be more democratic and therefore in tune with the policies of the new West German state. What this study seeks to explore is what the West German population thought of conscription. It will investigate who was for or against the draft and seek to determine the various socioeconomic factors that contributed to these decisions. Furthermore this study will examine the effect that the public opinion had on federal policy.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Donnelly, Jared