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The Politics of Historical Memory in Germany

Brandt's Ostpolitik, the German-Polish History Textbook Commission, and Conservative Reaction

Yangmo Ku

Prior to the late 1960s, German history textbooks lacked coverage of Poland and depicted Germany's eastern neighbor with negative images. The 1970s and 1980s, however, witnessed positive changes to the contents of German school textbooks—particularly with respect to their descriptions of Poland and German-Polish relations. How and why did Germany promote a more reflective view of history and correct negative descriptions of the Poles in German history textbooks between the 1970s and 1980s? This article addresses this question by focusing on the influence of Brandt's Ostpolitik and on the activities of the German-Polish History Textbook Commission. The article also shows how contemporary conservative reaction was not powerful enough to reverse these positive changes to German history textbooks.

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“The Fourth Reich Is Here”

An Exploration of Populist Depictions of the European Union as a German Plot to Take Over Europe

Julian Pänke

integration and Brandt's Ostpolitik interpreted Europe as the only possibility to secure Germany's position and provide an answer to the German question. Two foreign policy objectives shaped German reasoning after 1945: (1) a culture of military restraint