With reference to anthropologist Ina-Maria Greverus’ pioneering analyses of human-environment relations since the 1970s, the article pushes the idea of Heimat further to the more processual concept of Beheimatung. This is especially relevant for an anthropology of the transnational worlds of (post-)migrant societies with their current negotiation of cross-border migration in the present and concerning colonial objects from the past in museums.
(Post)Migrant Productions of Transnational Space
This article analyzes contrasting notions of Heimat and Fremde, as explored cinematographically by three contemporary German filmmakers. The spatial aspect of Heimat, traditionally connected to a particular region or even neighborhood denotes the sense of belonging, whereas the temporal aspect—often associated with childhood and youth—carries the sense of longing. In the second half of the twentieth century, the concept has shifted to include identity, reflection and self-reflection, the loss of Heimat, and even multiple Heimaten. The article argues further that the notions of Heimat and Fremde are not mutually exclusive, but interdependent. Peter Lilienthal's film Ein Fremder concludes that in parts of German society the binary opposites of Heimat and Fremde are still intact. On the other hand, Peter Patzak in Adeus und Goodbye shows how Heimat and Fremde are mutually dependent and include a search for identity and individuality. In Michael Gutmann's travelogue-documentary, Familienreise, the protagonists experience aspects of Fremde and Heimatlosigkeit without ever finding Heimat.
Skepticism, even hostility, about the relevance of the natural sciences to the humanities has been the orthodoxy for several decades—a position finding support from otherwise disparate traditions and philosophies, including that of the late Wittgenstein, and post-structuralism. What, then, of the ambitions of those counter-movements within the humanities, like cognitive film theory, which have actively turned to scientific knowledge as a resource in exploring certain aspects of the arts and culture? This article examines emotional expression and experience in relation to film, testing the hypothesis that different theories of emotion, and in particular scientifically grounded theories of emotion, will yield different implications about both emotional expression in film, and our emotional response to films. To concretize the argument, this article offers an analysis of a sequence from Heimat 3, contextualized by a consideration of various factors that make the series as a whole a particularly illuminating case study.
Heimat is commonly theorized as an entity both co-extensive with the nation and easily describable in terms of its regional peculiarities (Eigenart). To challenge this view, this article turns to sociolinguistic discussions in the press of Sudeten German expellees in the early 1950s. Rather than speaking as experts on local dialects or folklore, these newcomers resorted to Sprachkritik, a widespread postwar public form of sociolinguistic criticism, to fashion Heimat into a prescriptive, normative authority over the High German standard that they found missing in the Federal Republic. Their attacks on the West German parlance focused on inability of its consumerist diminutives to produce a coherent narrative of the period. By suggesting that Heimat's parameters superseded those of the nation, their interventions countered the widespread cliché of inarticulate, rural expellees at the same time as they put Sprachkritik on the map of West Germany's “miracle years.“
Reading the New Right
this collective outlook is the German concept of “Heimat.” 89 In recent years, the term has made a comeback—and not only among the far right. Horst Seehofer's move to Berlin, for example, entailed “Heimat's” actual institutionalization on a national
The article argues that the films Das kalte Herz (The Cold Heart, 1950) and Der Teufel von Mühlenberg (The Devil of Mill Mountain, 1955) functioned in two ways-as fairy tales and also as new Heimat or “homeland“ tale. Besides Wolfgang Staudte's The Story of Little Mook, these two films were the only two live action fairy tale films that appeared before East Germany's DEFA made its first Grimm feature adaptation in 1956, The Brave Little Tailor. Yet, unlike the Grimm-based films that take place in a generic “forest,“ these first two films take place explicitly in the Black Forest and the Harz Mountains, two locations synonymous with the beauty and timeless nature of past notions of German Heimat. The two films also engaged with the growing monetary and symbolic success of the West's postwar Heimatfilme or homeland films. The article focuses on how The Cold Heart and Mill Mountain contributed to the rearticulation of the emerging Heimat discourse in the early German Democratic Republic, with a particular focus on gender.
In the years following unification, East German cityscapes have been subject to fierce contention because historic preservation and urban renewal have served as a local allegory of national redemption. Using conflicts over preservation and renewal in the city of Eisenach as a case study, I argue that historic cityscapes have served as the focus of many East Germans' efforts to grapple with the problem of Germanness because they address the past as a material cultural legacy to be retrieved and protected, rather than as a past to be worked through. In Eisenach's conflicts, heritage and Heimat serve as talismans of redemption not just because they symbolize an unspoiled German past, but also because they represent structures of difference that evoke a victimized Germanness—they are above all precious, vulnerable possessions threatened with disruption, pollution, or destruction by agents placed outside the moral boundaries of the hometown by its bourgeois custodians.
This article discusses the respective origins and developments of the German expellee organizations' chief days of commemoration, the Tag der Heimat and the Volkstrauertag, and investigates key elements of the commemorative ceremonies that take place on these occasions, in particular, their liturgical setups, thematic mottos, recitations of Totenehrungen, and the performance of "Ich hatt' einen Kameraden." Despite assertions that the expulsion has been insufficiently commemorated in the Federal Republic, and in spite of recent calls for a national day of remembrance to rectify this commemorative lacuna, this article shows how the expulsion has been memorialized on various levels for decades. Moreover, it argues that the expellee organizations' historical narratives have been one-sided and de-contextualized and sheds light on how the ceremonies bring these understandings of the past to life by highlighting German wartime suffering.
As a result of Nazi race politics, World War II, and the restructuring
of Europe in the postwar era, the painful experience of forced migration
became a reality in the lives of many Europeans. About 12 million1
ethnic Germans shared the fate of being forced to leave their
ancestral areas of settlement in Eastern and Eastern/Central Europe
between 1939 and 1948. These people were either forced to move
“back to the Reich” by the Nazi government, fled from advancing
enemy forces in 1944/45, or were forced out of their homes by Eastern
and Central European postwar governments.
This article analyzes Sabrina Janesch's 2010 novel Katzenberge through the lenses of Heimat and spatial theory. Katzenberge, which is told from the perspective of the third generation (i.e., grandchild) of expellees, narrates the story of Polish flight out of the Polish-Ukrainian border region of Galicia into the German-Polish border region of Silesia. I argue that Katzenberge chronicles a generational shift in relationships to the verlorene (lost) Heimat from the expellee generation's static view (Heimat as the physical territory itself) to the third generation's more fluid conceptions (Heimat as memories, stories). The purpose of this article is to illustrate changing ways of engaging with the verlorene Heimat over time and particularly to show the role that literature plays in facilitating and explaining these changes while also opening up new avenues of understanding both across generations and across German-Polish national borders.