Bringing together East and West Germany's past is one of the most intriguing tasks of contemporary German historiography. This is especially true for the intellectual development in East and West. Nevertheless, there are many diffi culties facing one common German history, which covers both parts of the once divided country alike. While West German intellectual history could easily be interpreted in terms of an increasing liberalization, the issue of governmental repression is far more important for studies of East German intellectual life. The structure of the public sphere also shows vast dissimilarities. Finally, the question arises, whether intellectual history should be narrated as a «national» history at all or if it would not be better to focus on a broader international context from the onset. Considering such complexities, this essay advocates a pragmatic approach to a mutual German intellectual history after 1945, which accepts dissimilarities and possible shortcomings of a common perspective and at the same time is open to the shared dimensions of intellectual history in East and West Germany.