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Eva Hahn and Hans Henning Hahn, Die Vertreibung im deutschen Erinnern: Legenden, Mythos, Geschichte (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2010)

Reviewed by Michael Ennis

Katherine Pratt Ewing, Stolen Honor: Stigmatizing Muslim Men in Berlin (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008)

Reviewed by Julia Woesthoff

Shelley Baranowski, Nazi Empire: German Colonialism and Imperialism from Bismarck to Hitler (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)

Reviewed by Daniel J. Walther

Andrew Beckford, Fallen Elites: The Military Other in Post-Unification Germany (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011)

Reviewed by Dale Herspring

Annemarie H. Sammartino, The Impossible Border: Germany and the East, 1914-1922 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010)

Reviewed by Catherine Epstein

Charles Lansing, From Nazism to Communism: German Schoolteacher under Two Dictatorships (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010)

Reviewed by Catherine Plum

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Alexandra Ludewig

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, unification, and the subsequent reinvention

of the nation, German filmmakers have revisited their

country’s cinematic traditions with a view to placing themselves creatively

in the tradition of its intellectual and artistic heritage. One of

the legacies that has served as a point of a new departure has been

the Heimatfilm, or homeland film. As a genre it is renowned for its

restorative stance, as it often features dialect and the renunciation of

current topicality, advocates traditional gender roles, has antimodern

overtones of rural, pastoral, often alpine, images, and expresses

a longing for premodern times, for “the good old days” that supposedly

still exist away from the urban centres. The Nazis used Heimat

films in an effort “to idealize ‘Bauerntum’ as the site of desirable traditions

and stereotyped the foreign (most often the urban) as the

breeding ground for moral decay.”

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Louise K. Davidson-Schmich

In Germany, the Bundestag and the Landtage (state parliaments) in the old Länder (states) have such consistently high levels of party discipline that there is not enough variance to determine the cause of this behavior. The creation of five new democratic state legislatures after the fall of the German Democratic Republic, however, provides a unique opportunity to investigate the origins of party voting. I test which of three hypothesized institutional mechanisms for this practice—the need to keep an executive in office, efficiency incentives, or electoral concerns—was primarily responsible for the emergence of party discipline in the new Länder. The evidence indicates that the need to support the executive branch is the primary cause of party voting. This finding helps explain both the unexpected rise of western German-style party discipline in the eastern states following unification, well as the persistence of the seemingly outdated practice of party discipline in contemporary Germany as a whole.

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Walter Bruyère-Ostells

Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte theorized Napoleonic Caesarism between 1832 and 1844, although he was only a child at the fall of the First Empire. He took into account the embedding of Napoleonic supporters in the broad-ranging Liberal party during the Restoration. Through personal relationships, he was particularly influenced by officers who bent the First Empire's doctrine towards liberalism during the Hundred Days and who engaged in national and liberal actions. In this respect, the fight for the unification of Italy was paramount. The new social networks (secret societies) and the events he himself took part in (such as central Italy's revolution of 1831) particularly inspired him. By taking up weapons, moreover, he appropriated the image of being his uncle's legitimate heir. That is why two generations of officers, including Italian officers, must be considered as transmitters of an inheritance that Louis Napoleon used to reflect on his Napoleonic legacy.

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The Face of Janus

The Historian Selma Stern (1890–1981) and Her Portrait of the Court Jew

Marina Sassenberg

As the unification of contemporary Europe becomes a reality, new questions arise about a common cultural identity. In this context, research on a common European Jewish heritage has achieved wide public interest. Involving economic and political, cultural and religious, social and academic questions, the history of the Hoffaktoren, as they were called in German, was not constrained by European borders. It is the history of those entrepreneurs, bankers, politicians and diplomats, who served their princes throughout seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe, which serves perfectly as a research field relating to European identity. Though centred on Germany, Austria and Holland, the history of the Court Jews had a decisive influence on many other countries, such as Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Poland, Hungary, Italy, England and Ireland

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Daniel Hough

In the years since unification, Germany’s political parties have faced

a number of formidable challenges. They range from incorporating

the citizens of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) into the Federal

Republic’s political processes, reassessing Germany’s role in the

wider world, overcoming gridlock on many pressing policy questions

at home (perhaps best understood as the overcoming of the Reformstau),

to finding a way out of Germany’s much maligned economic

malaise.1 Such challenges have had a not inconsiderable effect on the

German party system, the end product of which has been that this

system, once a bastion of cast-iron stability, has become characterized

by diversity and genuine electoral competition in a way that it has

not been since the late 1950s. Therefore, the electoral position of the

much-vaunted Volksparteien, if perhaps not their control of the political

process, has slipped considerably.

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Jonas Rädel

In German public perceptions, right-wing populism is cast as a specifically east German problem. This article critically examines how this assumption is located within the debate on German unity. In order to clarify the sometimes-confusing arguments on German unification, two paradigmatic perspectives can be identified: German unity can be approached from a perspective of modernization, or through the lens of postcolonial critique. When it comes to right-wing populism in eastern Germany, the modernization paradigm suffers from a lack of understanding. Hence, the arguments of the postcolonial perspective must be taken seriously, particularly as the postcolonial reading can grasp the complex phenomenon of right-wing populism in east Germany, and prevent the discursive and geographic space of the region from being conquered by right-wing political actors.

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Felix Philipp Lutz

German political culture has been undergoing gradual but significant changes since unification. Military engagements in combat missions, the introduction of a professional army, and a remarkable loss of recent historical knowledge mostly within the younger generations are hallmarks of the new millennium. Extensive education about the Holocaust is still prevalent and there is a strong continuity of attitudes and orientations toward the Nazi era and the Holocaust reaching back to the 1980s. Nevertheless, a lack of knowledge about history-not only the World War II period, but also about East and West Germany-in the age group of people under thirty is staggering. The fading away of the generation of victims who are the last ones to tell the story of persecution during the Holocaust and a parallel rise of new actors and technologies, present challenges to the educational system and the current political culture of Germany.

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Ullrich Kockel

With this issue, AJEC returns to its original format as a journal with, for the time being, two issues per year. When the first issue was published in 1990 by the European Centre for Traditional and Regional Cultures (ECTARC), Europe was a different place. As the director of ECTARC, Franz-Josef Stummann (1990: 7), explained in his introduction to that issue, the ‘magical date of 1992’, heralding the Single European Market as a significant step towards European integration, had ‘a substantial bearing’ on the foundation of the journal. Moreover, the Berlin Wall, symbol of the political divide that cut right through Cold War Europe, had crumbled the previous year. German unification was imminent, but very little else seemed predictable. Eighteen years and two Gulf Wars later, not only has the European Union acquired fifteen new member states, ten of them former Communist countries, but we have also been told to perceive a new divide – between a ‘new’ Europe and an ‘old’ one.

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"Veteran care"

Shifting provision, needs, and meanings of enterprise-centered pensioner care in eastern Germany

Tatjana Thelen

This article examines the ways in which different actors in eastern Germany incorporate socialist veteran care into the new economic and organizational framework of the trade union, the housing cooperative, and the reformed state enterprise itself. The complexities of the different meanings of this care are linked to the rapid socioeconomic changes in eastern Germany, which have challenged both expectations of the future as well as personal identities. The analysis describes the complex shifts in the source of provision and its regulation, which go beyond simple state/nonstate or formal/informal dichotomies. With unification social security practices have lost their previous material significance for former employees, but simultaneously have gained emotional value because they help to assure biographical continuity. These processes (re)create familiarity and community amid the profound economic restructuring after socialism.