Legacies of Divided Memory for German Debates about the Holocaust in the 1990s

in German Politics and Society
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  • 1 Ohio University
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The legacies of almost a half-century of divided memory continue to

influence commemoration of the Holocaust in unified Germany.

Because these practices were decisively shaped by the multiple

restorations of past political traditions in the early postwar period, I

will comment on the commemorations of the first two postwar

decades in East and West Germany and conclude with brief remarks

about how past legacies influence recent practices. I will examine

the significance of the Holocaust in these events compared to the

attention given to the suffering of Nazi Germany’s non-Jewish victims.

I will also consider the extent to which distinctions were made

among the various victims of Nazi Germany, the kind of hierarchies

that were established among them, and the use of commemoration

for political purposes.