This year the Jewish Museum in Berlin plans to finally open its doors to a curious world. This empty building has already achieved cult status as a Holocaust Memorial so that one almost has to wonder what more can be achieved by the addition of an exhibition, With it being the focus of ongoing worldwide attention, it is perhaps appropriate to glance at what is happening with other buildings of Jewish interest in Germany.
Rainer Münz and Ralf Ulrich
In Germany, as in many other European democracies, immigration
and citizenship are contested and contentious issues. In the German
case it was both the magnitude of postwar and recent immigration as
well as its interference with questions of identity that created political
and social conflict. As a result of World War II, the coexistence
of two German states, and the persistence of ethnic German minorities
in central and eastern Europe, (West) Germany’s migration and
naturalization policy was inclusive toward expellees, GDR citizens,
and co-ethnics. At the same time, the Federal Republic of Germany,
despite the recruitment of several million foreign labor migrants
and—until 1992—a relatively liberal asylum practice, did not develop
similar mechanisms and policies of absorption and integration of its
legal foreign residents.
For a long period Australia was a British colonial offshoot and its Jewish community followed the dictates of the Chief Rabbi of Britain, Nathan Marcus Adler, who, with his son and successor Hermann Adler, brought the German rabbinic outlook to his religious leadership. Over the decades many Australian ministers (not all were fully qualified rabbis) were German or trained in the German rabbinic style, though there was often an anti-German reaction on the part of Eastern European rabbis and laymen. Though many of the ministers were quintessentially British, they were mostly trained under German Jewish scholars at Jews' College in London and displayed the German synthesis of Jewish and Western culture. Since the Second World War Australian Jewry has changed radically both as a result of post-Holocaust immigration and because of the growing diversity of the community. There is a strong Eastern European flavour and the British chief rabbinate is no longer the community's automatic authority.
Brian C. Rathbun
Germany's behavior during the lead-up to the United States' invasion of Iraq in 2003 seemed to confirm that the country is marked by a strategic culture of pacifism and multilateralism. However, a closer look at German actions and pattern of participation in military operations reveals that German pacifism is a myth. There was no cross party consensus on German foreign policy in the 1990s around a principled opposition to the use of force. Even in the early years after the Cold War, the Christian Democrats began very quickly, albeit deliberatively and often secretively, to break down legal and psychological barriers to the deployment of German forces abroad. Pacifism persisted on the left of the political spectrum but gave way following a genuine ideological transformation brought about by the experience of the Yugoslav wars. The nature of Germany's objection to the Iraq invasion, which unlike previous debates did not make ubiquitous references to German history, revealed how much it has changed since the end of the Cold War. Had the election in 2002 gone differently, Germany might even have supported the actions of the U.S. and there would be little talk today of a transatlantic crisis. It is now possible to treat Germany as a "normal" European power.
Stephen F. Szabo
Simon Bulmer and WIliam Paterson, Germany and the European Union: Europe’s Reluctant Hegemon (London: Red Globe Press, 2018)
Paul Lever, Berlin Rules: Europe and the German Way (London: IB Tauris, 2017)
Christoph von Marschall, Wir Verstehen die Welt nicht Mehr: Deutschlands Entfremdung von seinen Freunden (Freiberg: Herder, 2018)
Paul Roland, Life in the Third Reich: Daily Life in Nazi Germany, 1933-1945 (London: Arcturus Publishing, 2015)
Eric Kurlander, Hitler’s Monsters: A supernatural history of the Third Reich (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017)
Shelley Baranowski, Armin Nolzen, and Claus-Christian W. Szejnmann, A Companion to Nazi Germany (Hoboken: Wiley, 2018)
Joshua Feinstein, The Triumph of the Ordinary: Depictions of Daily Life in the East German Cinema, 1949-1989 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2002)
Leonie Naughton, Film Culture, Unification, and the “New” Germany (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002)
Is Multiperspectivity an Adequate Response?
This article raises the question of how German textbooks should deal with issues of migration as one of the main challenges in a globalizing age. In order to prepare the ground for a well-founded answer it follows a twofold agenda. In a rst step, previous attempts at analyzing textbook representations of migration are critically scrutinized and read against the background of current debates on methodological approaches to textbook research. In a second step, anthropological research on the structure of public German discourses on migration is cited as a key to developing a truly multiperspectival mode of representing it. Ultimately, the article demonstrates that education alone cannot be given the responsibility of clarifying questions that politics have failed to articulate and that pupils must be taught to participate competently in the discourse on migration policy. They should be familiarized with the various positions advocated in the political sphere, and simultaneously equipped with the necessary tools for critical re ection.
Ethics and Aesthetics of a Humanist
This text was inspired by a personal perplexity occasioned by the Argentinian miniseries on TV Pública, Germán, últimas viñetas [Germán's Last Panels] with actor Miguel Ángel Solá in the leading role. (The series aired from 30 April to 23 May 2013.) I mean perplexity because why would a TV channel devote a whole series to a comics scriptwriter? I ask because in many countries and moments in history the comics scriptwriter was not even credited. On the other hand, the series implies another question: what happens to a great creator when he finds himself, because of his life's circumstances, in the situation of practising his trade in a primarily conservative and commercial environment? I'll try to answer those questions, but since Oesterheld's achievements are still too unknown in Europe I hope to also give here my humble contribution to help correct the situation.
Post-Wall Memory Politics Surrounding the Neo-Nazi Riots in Rostock and Hoyerswerda
This paper examines antiforeigner violence in the former East German towns of Hoyerswerda (1991) and Rostock-Lichtenhagen (1992) as a case study for both the heightened presence of neo-Nazi/skinhead groups in Germany following 1989/in the Wende period, and the memory politics employed by German politicians in the Bundestag, as well as in media discourse, with regards to the problems entailed in uniting two Germanys which had experienced entirely difference processes of Vergangenheitsbewältigung. My analysis of the riots focuses mainly on the mnemonic discourses surrounding them, in particular the work that the image of “the East German skinhead” does within the broader context of German memory politics. This paper is also situated within the context of present-day German politics with regards to shifting cultures of memory and the electoral success of Alternative for Germany.