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Dennis B. Klein

Thinking About the Holocaust After Half a Century, edited by Alvin H. Rosenfeld

Celia Applegate

The Twisted Muse: Musicians and Their Music in the Third Reich, by Michael Kater

Catherine Epstein

Science under Socialism: East Germany in Comparative Perspective, edited by Kristie Macrakis and Dieter Hoffmann

Brigitte H. Schulz

The East German Church and the End of Communism, by John P. Burgess

Russell J. Dalton

Stability and Change in German Elections: How Electorates Merge, Converge or Collide, edited by Christopher J. Anderson and Carsten Zelle

Craig Parsons

European Integration and Supranational Governance, edited by Wayne Sandholtz and Alec Stone Sweet

Geoff Eley

Young Wilhelm: The Kaiser’s Early Life, 1859-1888, by John C. G. Röhl

Manfred H. Wiegandt

Die Weimarer Reichsverfassung, by Christoph Gusy

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Andrew Dobson

Sartre’s second volume of the Critique of Dialectical Reason1 presents us with an important irony: of all the phenomena of the twentieth century that demand a moral judgement, Stalinism must be near the top of the list – yet such judgement is hard to find in Sartre’s Critique. Part of my task in the following will be to explain this. It is not that moral judgement is wholly absent: Sartre describes the theory and practice of ‘Socialism in One Country’ as a ‘monstrosity’ [CDR2:103] characterised by ‘its uncouth, misguided crudity’ [CDR2:111], and he has no trouble with peremptorily asserting that the Russian Revolution’s good fortune at being pushed through by the ‘Man of Steel’ was matched on the debit side by Stalin’s ‘universal incompetence’ and his ‘dogmatic crudeness’ [CDR2:205].

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Francisca de Haan, Maria Bucur and Krassimira Daskalova

This is the third volume of Aspasia, with a focus on the gender history of everyday life. The questions in which we were interested included: How have broad institutional frameworks – religious, social, economic, political, and cultural – related to the ways in which average women and men negotiated their gender identities, and, vice versa, how have (changes in) gender identities and relations influenced broader institutional frameworks? Our call for papers also asked more specific questions: How have assumptions of religious institutions about gender norms shaped the everyday religious practices and spirituality of laywomen and men? How have sexual norms impacted how women and men perform and negotiate their sexual identity in their daily lives? What changes did state socialism bring to women’s and men’s gender identities and daily lives, and how did that change over time?

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Melissa Feinberg

In the years after the fall of communist governments in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe (CESEE), a flood of memoir literature began to fill bookstores around the region. Some of these books were newly written, others had been composed long ago but could not be published during the socialist period. Alongside this rush of published work, historians and anthropologists began numerous oral history projects devoted to recording ordinary people’s experiences of state socialism. This need to narrate one’s own past and capture the memories of those who witnessed the tragedies of the twentieth century continues to the present day. The turn to autobiography and personal narrative inspired the theme section in this issue of Aspasia: women’s autobiographical writing and correspondence.

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Gendering the Cold War in the Region

An Email Conversation between Malgorzata (Gosia) Fidelis, Renata Jambrešić Kirin, Jill Massino, and Libora Oates-Indruchova

Malgorzata Fidelis, Renata Jambrešic´ Kirin, Jill Massino and Libora Oates-Indruchova

Although historians have established that gender was a crucial element of the Cold War competition between the United States of America and the Soviet Union, there is not much historical literature yet exploring that aspect of the Cold War. Even less literature specifically addresses the role of gender and/in the Cold War in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe (CESEE), the region that Aspasia covers. Since Aspasia’s first issue (2007), each volume has had a Forum, though in different formats. This Forum, based on an email exchange conducted over several months between four regional experts, addresses questions about gender and/in the history and historiography of the Cold War in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia. Of these countries, the first three were Soviet dominated, but Yugoslavia, after the Tito–Stalin split in 1948, developed its own branch of state socialism.

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Leah Rosen and Ruth Amir

This study is part of a wider research, which examines different strategies of exclusion and inclusion in public discourse and in the construction of collective memory in Israel. At the beginning of the 1930s, following the great economic crisis and the rise of National Socialism in Germany, a plan was conceived to send Jewish German youth to Palestine. Thus began the Project of Youth Aliyah, and with it the debate within the Zionist Movement and the Yishuv in Palestine on the proper station of immigrants in the emerging Israeli national identity. We characterize the discourse on the young refugees in the 1930s by highlighting two issues: first, the aims of the project for the emigration of Jewish German youth; and secondly, the national identity which should be inculcated in these young immigrants.

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Wie mit Bildern Geschichte gemacht wird

Visuelle Darstellungen des Nationalsozialismus im Geschichtsschulbuch der DDR

Inga Kahlcke

Making History with Pictures: Visual Representations of National Socialism in the GDR History Textbook

Dieser Beitrag untersucht die bildliche Repräsentation des Nationalsozialismus in Geschichtsschulbüchern der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik (DDR) von 1960 bis 1988 mit inhaltsanalytischen Verfahren. Dabei kann gezeigt werden, dass die Schulbuchabbildungen die DDR-eigene Deutung des Nationalsozialismus plausibilisieren und legitimieren. Nationalsozialistische Täterschaft wird durch Bilder zumeist mit dem Wirken von “Kapitalisten” in Verbindung gebracht, während bei den Verfolgten eine hierarchische Abstufung zwischen “antifaschistischen” und jüdischen Opfern erfolgt. Lediglich in der letzten Ausgabe vor dem Ende der DDR findet sich eine leichte Verschiebung des Narrativs. Zudem wird unter Bezug auf den geschichtsmethodischen Diskurs in der DDR untersucht, wie die Didaktisierung der Bilder im Schulbuch zur Vermittlung dieses Deutungsmusters beiträgt.

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The Other and the Ordinary

Demystifying and Demusealising the Jew

Oliver Lubrich

The German public's perception of Jews is problematic in more than one way: besides an aggressive and latent anti-Semitism, less malicious clichés and even well-meaning efforts to relate to Jewish topics often fail to grasp the reality of Jewish life. Jews are predominantly associated with the Shoah, and thus with National-Socialism. They appear in research projects, documentary films, political debates and historical museums. If Judaism is portrayed as a contemporary culture at all, it is exoticised through visual topoi such as synagogues and kippot, Torah scrolls and paeyes, and transformed into a mysterious and obscure religion. Germans’ imagination of their Jewish fellow-citizens have little in common with the reality of Jewish life in Germany today.

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Katharina Bluhm

Research on the enterprise transformation in East Germany after unification has focused mostly on the role of the Treuhandanstalt as the central actor in this process who widely determined its outcomes. David Stark and László Bruszt (1998) even suggest that this top-down model of transformation was rooted in the special institutional past of East German state socialism. They argue that the “Weberian home-land” was characterized by weak social networks among firms in comparison, for example, with firms in Hungary or Czechoslovakia, while the planning system and the industrial organization were extraordinarily centralized and hierarchical. Hence, social networks could easily be destroyed after German unification by market shock and by breaking up large enterprises into manageable pieces by the Treuhandanstalt. Moreover, the former, intact centralized planning system could easily be replaced by another centralized and cohesive administrative apparatus, now backed by the strong West German state.

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Jytte Klausen, The Islamic Challenge. Politics and Religion in Western Europe (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).

Reviewed by Joyce Mushaben

David Art, The Politics of the Nazi Past in Germany and Austria (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006)

Reviewed by Antonis Ellinas

Michael Bernhard, Institutions and the Fate of Democracy: Germany and Poland in the 20th Century (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005))

Reviewed by John Bendix

Brian Rathbun, Partisan Interventions: European Party Politics and Peace Enforcement in the Balkans (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004).

Reviewed by Charles King

Judd Stitziel, Fashioning Socialism: Clothing, Politics and Consumer Culture in East Germany (New York: Berg, 2005).

Reviewed by Catherine Plum

Cindy Skach, Borrowing Constitutional Designs: Constitutional Law in Weimar Germany and the French Fifth Republic, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005).

Reviewed by Michael Bernhard