European Cold War And German Reunification Studies Post World War II To Present
Seminar - UHON 301

Instructor(s): Tim Goloversic

Course Description

Throughout history the borders of countries have changed like the tides of the oceans, countries have been forcibly formed by war and forcibly divided by external powers. Many times, this has happened against the will of the people populating the territories of these countries. Germany was one of these countries. German unification was initially achieved with the formation of the German Empire in 1871 under the leadership of Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck only to be divided less than 100 years later in 1945 by the victorious allies following WW II.

Why is this important? Because, what followed the end of WW II was a major break in political and economic philosophies that led to the division of Europe into two factions. This was the beginning of the Cold War between the United States and The Soviet Union, who were the two great superpowers of the era. The effects of the Cold War were felt around the world until the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. A period of relative peace and prosperity in Europe followed only to be broken by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the beginning of a new Cold War stance.

In this course we will research and analyze how the end of WW II led to the division of Germany and Europe and to the present situation in Ukraine. We will also focus on the focal point of the Cold War which was Germany. This entails studying the economic, military, political, legal, and social/cultural effects that resulted from 45 years of division to identify the difficulties associated with reunifying a country. We will use critical thinking to aid us in understanding why these events took place and why after 30 years plus, there are still unresolved issues.

The final step in our studies will be using your research to identify solutions to the current unresolved issues. Students are expected to formulate their own thesis on the best course for resolving the conflict and its lingering effects in Ukraine. The focus of the research will be to make recommendations to a government organization such as the State Department about the courses of action necessary to resolve the unresolved issues. Students will research and write about topics such as war reparations, refugees, international organizations, the economy to include income disparity, social/cultural differences, political equality, the environment, and civil rights.


A History of Germany 1918-2020: The Divided Nation, Mary Fulbrook; 5th Edition, ISBN-13: 978-1119574170

The Cold War: A World History, Odd Arne Westad: ISBN 13: 978-0465054930

The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine, Serhii Plokhy: ISBN 13: 978-1541675643


Students will research and present on an assigned topic related to the Cold War. 

There is a student group (two students) presentation on an assigned topic. 

Analytical Group Paper and Presentation. For the capstone event students will be divided into groups and assigned one of the following specific topics to research: The war in Ukraine. German Reunification. The conflict between Russia and the West. 

No Video

About the Instructor(s): Tim Goloversic

As a soldier, Tim was assigned to Germany during the Cold War and was there when the Berlin Wall fell. He worked as a partnership officer with German military units and understands the Cold War. Tim spent eight years in Germany and thoroughly traveled East and West Germany and researched the Cold War. His Master’s Thesis focused on the effects German Reunification had on the country and its citizens ten years after the fact.