The article sketches the ruptures in today's German memory culture, concentrating on the Volkstrauertag (People's Day of Mourning) and the Gedenktag für die Opfer des Nationalsozialismus (Remembrance Day for the Victims of National Socialism) on 27 January. It starts with an overview of the history of the Volkstrauertag with its (outward) transformation from a commemoration day for dead German soldiers into one for “all victims of war and violence.” The inclusive model of commemoration that was typical for the Bonn Republic is disintegrating today. In united Germany, the Volkstrauertag and 27 January reflect antagonistic memory strands, that is a memory focussed on the war dead and German suffering or on the Holocaust and German guilt. In light of discussions about commemorating Bundeswehr dead, the article ends by describing a re-heroicizing of the Volkstrauertag and, in a more general way, tries to outline the shifting construction of German national identity.
The Seventh International Road Congress, Germany 1934
In transnational history of traffic, transport, and mobility, historians have been arguing for studying organizations as “transnational system builders” in the establishment and modification of transnational infrastructure. Emphasis has been placed on examining human actors. Here, I argue that the role of material objects, the nonhuman actors, should also be taken into account by investigating how a particular map matters. The major research issue is, therefore: How can we understand and analyze how the Nazi regime put the map Deutschlandkarte displayed at the exhibition Die Strasse (Munich, 1934) into play? In addition, how did the map figure in transnational system building during and after the seventh International Road Congress arranged by the Permanent International Association of Road Congresses? Insights from transnational history in the fields of traffic, transport, and mobility as well as material cultural studies, critical mapping, and actor-network theory inform this article.
British-German relations have undergone a considerable transformation since 1945 with both countries having to adapt to significant changes in their own status, as well as a very different international environment. Germany's status as a morally and militarily defeated and occupied power in 1945 is in stark contrast to the confident role it is playing at the beginning of the new millennium when—sixty years after the end of World War II—the German chancellor for the first time took part in the VE-Day celebrations of the victors. This article analyzes recent dynamics of collective memory in both countries and examine if and to what extent their collective memories play a role in British-German relations.
Images of Refugees in Three Leading German Quality Newspapers
Maximilian Conrad and Hugrún Aðalsteinsdóttir
-to-terms with and taking responsibility for the crimes committed under National Socialism. The concept has clearly been one of the leitmotifs of the foreign policy of the Bonn and Berlin Republics, both in relation to Germany’s role in European integration and
Commemorating National Socialism and Communism from the perspective
of 1989 often results in an uneasy conflation of German
guilt and victimhood. When the events of 1933-1989 are presented
as one long authoritarian period, war and tyranny can easily be construed
as external forces that simply befell the German nation.
While memories of national guilt are divisive, memories of victimhood
unify and simplify an otherwise ambiguous past. The 1995
restoration of Berlin’s Neue Wache is emblematic of this conflation
of guilt and victimhood. As the central German memorial to all victims
of war and tyranny, the Neue Wache neither distinguishes
between dictatorships, nor between perpetrator and victim.
William Collins Donahue, Holocaust as Fiction: Bernhard Schlink's “Nazi“ Novels and Their Films(New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)
Reviewed by Margaret McCarthy
Theodor W. Adorno, Guilt and Defense: On the Legacies of National Socialism in Postwar Germany, edited, translated, and introduced by Jeffrey K. Olick and Andrew J. Perrin (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010)
Reviewed by Gregory R. Smulewicz-Zucker
Friedrich Pollock, Theodor W. Adorno, and Colleagues, Group Experiment and other Writings: The Frankfurt School on Public Opinion in Postwar Germany, edited and translated by Andrew J. Perrin and Jeffrey K. Olick (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011).
Reviewed by Jan Boesten
Gabriele Mueller and James M. Skidmore, eds. Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria(Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2012).
Reviewed by Sabine von Mering
Christopher J. Fischer, Alsace to the Alsatians? Visions and Divisions of Alsatian Regionalism, 1870-1939(New York: Berghahn Books, 2010)
Reviewed by Jennifer A. Yoder
Where better to begin talking about Viennese identity in the late twentieth century than in the work of Elfriede Jelinek and Thomas Bernhard—specifically, in two plays whose titles immediately evoke the city as well as pregnant moments in its history: Jelinek's Burgtheater (published 1982; premiered 1985 in Bonn) and Bernhard's Heldenplatz (premiered 1988 in Vienna's Burgtheater). Insofar as the two plays dramatize the extent to which National Socialism took hold and persisted in Austria, they epitomize both authors' perennial roles as keen observers and harsh critics of Austrian society. Burgtheater and the scandal it generated established Jelinek's function as "Nestbeschmutzerin," whereas Heldenplatz, appearing the year before Bernhard's death, can be regarded as the capstone of his career as a critic of Austrian mores and politics.
David Meskill, Optimizing the German Workforce: Labor Administration from Bismarck to the Economic Miracle (New York: Berghahn Books, 2010) Reviewed by Gregory Baldi;
Jan-Werner Müller, Contesting Democracy: Political Ideas in Twentieth-Century Europe (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011) Reviewed by John Bendix;
Douglas B. Klusmeyer and Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Immigration Policy in the Federal Republic of Germany (New York: Berghahn Books, 2009) Reviewed by Suzanna M. Crage;
Derek Hastings, Catholicism & the Roots of Nazism: Religious Identity and National Socialism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010) Reviewed by Robert P. Ericksen;
Review of Pertti Ahonen, Death at the Berlin Wall (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010) Reviewed by Hope M. Harrison;
Wolfgang Scholz, The Social Budget of Germany: Keeping the Welfare State in Perspective (Berlin: edition sigma, 2009) Reviewed by John Bendix;
Philip Broadbent and Sabine Hake, eds., Berlin. Divided City, 1945-1989(New York: Berghahn Books, 2010) Reviewed by Helge F. Jani;
Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (New York: Basic Books, 2010) Reviewed by Larson Powell
War, Genocide and “Condensed Reality”
Allgemeine Zeitung , credited the film with ushering in “a new phase of the cinematic-historic treatment of National Socialism,” specifically praising Nico Hofmann, the film’s producer, for his “seriousness, attention to detail, and uncompromising” approach
Mirko M. Hall
. Drawing upon Germanic and Celtic paganism, völkisch mysticism, and antimodernist imagery including National Socialism, neofolk is perhaps most noted for its (supposed) association with a nebulous web of right-wing ideologies. According to its many