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Florian Helfer

the diversity and richness of African cultures and history. Nonetheless, the post-colonial shift in the public discourse of the past 30 years has already changed German history textbooks insofar as they concern themselves more with some of the

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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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"We Need to Get Away from a Culture of Denial"?

The German-Herero War in Politics and Textbooks

Lars Müller

The question of whether the German-Herero War (1904-1907) may be called a genocide has been debated in German politics for over twenty years. This article explores the representations of this event in German history textbooks in the context of this ongoing debate. Textbooks are not merely the end product of a negotiation process. Rather, as media and objects of memory politics, they are part of a societal negotiation process to determine relevant knowledge. Changes made to textbooks in relation to this controversial topic take place in very short periods of time and often go beyond what appears to meet with mutual agreement in the political sphere.

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Gerdien Jonker

In this article, I explore the dominant narratives about Islam in German history textbooks from the eighteenth century until the present day. I thereby deconstruct a longue durée script with a rather curious pattern. Until the 1980s, textbook narratives about Islam were rooted exclusively in people's historical imagination. Only when the children of Turkish workers entered the classroom did textbook authors try to accommodate knowledge based on real encounters. By addressing the di erent stages of this longue durée script, I enquire into the functions of narratives as they underpinned a German and European "we."

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Benoît Challand

This article argues that the symbolic borders of Europe and the existence of external Others have been at times more important than Europe's center or its actual physical boundaries, especially during the first decades after the foundation of the European Communities. Analyzing textual and visual sources taken from some ninety French, Italian, and German history textbooks published between 1950 and 2005, the various sequences in which European integration has been constructed are highlighted. Communism, the first external Other, provided the first minimum common denominator for a nascent political Europe. It was not until the end of the Cold War that a projection of a distinct European identity appeared. Nevertheless, the role of new external Other(s) remains important for the evolution of the discourse of a European identity. This article draws attention to the Others, seeking to embed the Others' perspective in narratives of Europe.

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Introduction

Innocence and the Politics of Memory

Jonathan Bach and Benjamin Nienass

, Susanne Vees-Gulani shows us how Dresden's narratives of its fateful firebombing became the foundation for post-unification right-wing politics, and Florian Helfer charts the changing presentation of the colonial past in German history textbooks. Jonathan

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Challenging Substantive Knowledge in Educational Media

A Case Study of German History Textbooks

Lucas Frederik Garske

implementation is theoretically necessary if textbook design is to follow the notion of historical thinking. 13 Then, I compare the results of my investigation to the structure of currently approved German history textbooks and demonstrate how their design