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Louise K. Davidson-Schmich, Matthew Hines, Thomas Klikauer, Norman Simms, Jeffrey Luppes, Stephen Milder, Robert Nyenhuis, and Randall Newnham

John Kampfner, Why the Germans Do it Better: Notes from a Grown-Up Country (London: Atlantic Books, 2020).

Karen Hagemann, Donna Harsch, and Friederike Brühöfener, eds., Gendering Post-1945 German History: Entanglements (New York: Berghahn Books, 2019).

Daniel Marwecki, Germany and Israel: Whitewashing and Statebuilding (London: C. Hurst & Co., 2020).

Robert Gellately, Hitler’s True Believers: How Ordinary People Became Nazis (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020).

Thomas Fleischman, Communist Pigs: An Animal History of East Germany’s Rise and Fall (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2020).

Joanne Miyang Cho, ed., Transnational Encounters between Germany and East Asia since 1900 (New York: Routledge, 2018).

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Lauren Schwartz

How, in the aftermath of National Socialism and World War II, was the memory landscape of Munich and Bavaria denazified under the Office of the Military Government of the United States? Supplementing existing cultural approaches and scholarship on denazification in Bavaria, this article considers the execution of Allied Control Council Directive Number 30 by the American occupation government (omgus) in Bavaria, in conjunction with appropriated native Bavarian bureaucracies and bureaucrats, to inventory and assess the built environment in order to register militaristic or Nazi monuments and prioritize their removal or modification. The limitations of the project to renew or restore the monument landscape confront in turn the limitations on the “bureaucratic manufacture of memory” in the modification of individual memory.

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Sebastian Wolf

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s second grand coalition (2013–2017) was the most successful federal government since 2005 regarding the adoption of anti-corruption measures. This article first gives an overview of recent German anti-corruption reforms. In order to explain the varying policy outputs of Merkel’s coalition governments, an analytical perspective drawing on the multiple streams approach is utilized. This theoretical perspective is then applied to the analysis of three major anti-corruption reforms. Mainly on the basis of these case studies, the article concludes that the SPD was a crucial policy entrepreneur between 2013 and 2017. In former legislative periods, the Social Democrats could not advance their favored anti-corruption policies. But when the CDU and CSU decided not to make full use of their veto power, the spd pushed policy change through. Analyses of anti-corruption reforms should not overlook the constellations of veto players such as coalition parties and their preferred policy options.

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Freed from Sadness and Fear

Politics, COVID-19, and the New Germany

Michael Meng and Adam R. Seipp

This article argues that we are witnessing the possible emergence of a Germany confident in the strength of its rational and democratic approach to governance. Thinking about this development through Baruch Spinoza’s insights into the centrality of reason to democracy, we suggest that Germany has responded to its past in a salutary manner by building a rational and responsible democracy. Few recent events illustrate this transformation more clearly than Germany’s reaction to the covid-19 pandemic.

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Thomas Just

Since reunification in 1990, the German government has taken numerous steps to counter antisemitism and improve its relations with the Jewish community more broadly. Its approach has consisted primarily of two parts: antiradicalization legal measures and public diplomacy. In terms of legal measures, Germany has banned hate speech and incitement, adjusted immigration policy for Jews, and granted Judaism full legal status. In terms of public diplomacy, Germany has created a network of both governmental and non-governmental organizations to counter antisemitic attitudes within domestic society and to demonstrate progress abroad. This article examines these facets of the German approach, evaluates its success through an analysis of extremist group membership and survey data measuring antisemitic attitudes, and discusses some evolving challenges to which the approach must adapt.

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Inside Contested Cultural Memory

The Alternative für Deutschland in Dresden

Bhakti Deodhar

This article explores the role played by the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), a German right-wing political party, in the politics of memory in and of Dresden. Based on ethnographic fieldwork among AfD members and observation of the party’s organization, the article demonstrates that the performative acts of local AfD members bear crucial significance in explaining the party’s attempts to challenge the mainstream memory discourse that is linked to the centrality of the Holocaust. I argue that party members not only draw upon established discursive narratives of Germany’s victimhood, but also find ways to skillfully adapt their messages in their efforts to achieve legitimacy. Their performative contestations have enabled the AfD to be both a beneficiary and an instigator of the shifting boundaries of what is considered admissible in Germany’s official culture of memorialization.

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Behind Closed Doors?

The Private Lives of the Minor Communist Party Activists in Romania, 1945–1960

Cristina Diac

This article explores the relationship between men, spousal violence, and politics in Romania in the 1950s and aims to analyze how the Romanian Communist Party (RCP), as an institution, dealt with spousal violence perpetrated by its officials. The RCP was a significant player within state socialist regime. Thus, the way the Party managed the discussed cases of spousal violence gives an idea about how gender relations functioned in reality, beyond the official discourse and the letter of the law. This article argues that spousal violence was the result of inequality within the family and a manifestation of patriarchy and male dominance. This analysis draws on files from the archive of the Committee of Party Control of the Central Committee of the RCP, which contains cases of Party members with a history of spousal violence.

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Kristen Ghodsee, Hülya Adak, Elsa Stéphan, Chiara Bonfiglioli, Ivan Stankov, Rumiana Stoilova, Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild, Mara Lazda, Adrienne Harris, Ayşe Durakbaşa, Lex Heerma van Voss, Lejila Mušić, Zdeňka Kalnická, Sylwia Kuźma-Markowska, Evguenia Davidova, Tsoneva Tsoneva, Georgi Medarov, and Irina Genova

Anna Artwinska and Agnieszka Mrozik, eds., Gender, Generations, and Communism in Central and Eastern Europe and Beyond, New York: Routledge, 2020, 352 pp., £120.00 (hardback), ISBN: 978-0-36742-323-0.

Clio: Femmes, Genre, Histoire, 48, no. 2 (2018)

Lisa Greenwald, Daughters of 1968: Redefining French Feminism and the Women’s Liberation Movement

Gal Kirn, The Partisan Counter-Archive: Retracing the Ruptures of Art and Memory in the Yugoslav People’s Liberation Struggle

Milena Kirova, Performing Masculinity in the Hebrew Bible

Andrea Krizsan and Conny Roggeband, eds., Gendering Democratic Backsliding in Central and Eastern Europe: A Comparative Agenda

Ludmila Miklashevskaya, Gender and Survival in Soviet Russia: A Life in the Shadow of Stalin’s Terror

Barbara Molony and Jennifer Nelson, eds., Women’s Activism and “Second Wave” Feminism: Transnational Histories

N. K. Petrova, Zhenskie sud’by voiny (Women’s war fates)

Feryal Saygılıgil and Nacide Berber, eds. Feminizm: Modern Türkiye’de Siyasi Düşünce, Cilt 10 (Feminism: Thought in modern Turkey, vol. 10)

Marsha Siefert, ed., Labor in State-Socialist Europe, 1945–1989: Contributions to a History of Work

Zilka Šiljak Spahić, Sociologija roda: Feministička kritika (Sociology of gender: Feminist critique)

Věra Sokolová and Ľubica Kobová, eds., Odvaha nesouhlasit: Feministické myšlení Hany Havelkové a jeho reflexe (The courage to disagree: Hana Havelková’s feminist thought and its reflections)

Katarzyna Stańczak-Wiślicz, Piotr Perkowski, Małgorzata Fidelis, Barbara Klich-Kluczewska, Kobiety w Polsce, 1945–1989: Nowoczesność – równouprawnienie – komunizmp (Women in Poland, 1945–1989: Modernity, equality, communism)

Vassiliki Theodorou and Despina Karakatsani, Strengthening Young Bodies, Building the Nation: A Social History of Children’s Health and Welfare in Greece (1890–1940)

Maria Todorova, The Lost World of Socialists at Europe’s Margins: Imagining Utopia, 1870s–1920s

Jessica Zychowicz, Superfluous Women: Art, Feminism and Revolution in Twenty-First-Century Ukraine

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Comment: Socialism’s Mal(e)contents

Masculinity as Performance Art in Postwar and Late Socialism

Marko Dumančić

This article reflects on how the authors in this Special Forum collectively advance the work in the subfield of critical masculinity studies. The several significant themes emerging in this collection of articles include: persistent state intervention in gender relations, the impact of longstanding patriarchal norms, the rapidly changing postwar gender equilibrium, and the continuing significance of war and martial masculinity. Furthermore, the Special Forum illuminates the importance of micro-histories and ego-documents to the study of masculinities in Central and East Europe. Finally, by framing agency as a relational process affected by a variety of constraints, these authors’ work marks a productive forward movement for the future study of critical masculinity studies more generally.

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Cosmonaut Gossip

Socialist Masculinity as Private-Public Performance in the Kamanin Diaries

Erica L. Fraser and Kateryna Tonkykh

The diaries of Nikolai P. Kamanin, a well-placed official in the early Soviet space program in charge of cosmonaut selection and chaperoning, have been an important source for historians since their publication in the 1990s. This article reevaluates the diary entries from 1961 to 1965, using the framework of gossip. The diaries’ salacious tales of infidelity, drinking, and other violations of communist morality provide cultural historians with as much insightful material as the parallel technological entries have done for historians of science and space engineering. The cosmonaut gossip that Kamanin records comprised a mix of knowledge production and moralizing that built and reinforced his self-fashioning among the Soviet elite. Furthermore, reading the diaries (a private text) through the lens of gossip (a public act) helps us see how socialist masculinity was forged in part through the specific hybridized private-public performances required of elite men.