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The End of Empire Colonial Heritage and the Politics of Memory in Britain

Susanne Grindel

Taking as its starting point the current debate over the significance of history in the National Curriculum for England, this article examines the place of the country's colonial past in its national culture of memory. In the context of debates about educational policy and the politics of memory concerning Britain's colonial heritage, the author focuses on the transmission and interpretation of this heritage via school history textbooks, which play a key role in the politics of memory. This medium offers insight into transformations of the country's colonial experience that have taken place since the end of the British Empire. School textbooks do not create and establish these transformations in isolation from other arenas of discourse about the culture of memory by reinventing the nation. Instead, they reflect, as part of the national culture of memory, the uncertainties and insecurities emerging from the end of empire and the decolonization of the British nation's historical narrative.

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The embodied past. From paranoid style to politics of memory in South Africa

Didier Fassin

The post‐apartheid period has been marked by a dual relation to memory. On the one hand, the process of reconciliation, nation‐building and abolition of the colour line has engaged a definitive rupture with the past. On the other hand, a form of resentment expresses a more ambivalent and painful acknowledgement that the past is still deeply present through racism, inequalities and prejudices. The AIDS crisis both as an objective – the rapid spread of the infection – and subjective phenomenon – the apprehension of the epidemic through controversies – has revealed this duality. Using Thabo Mbeki's statements on the infection, but also on race relations and national commemorations, I try to analyse beyond the obvious paranoid style a politics of memory which unveils hidden truths. The embodiment of the past thus recovered involves both the historical condition, that is the inscription of social structures in bodies and lives, and the experience of history, understood as the elaboration of representations, discourses and narratives accounting for the course of events. Considered in this light, conspiracy theories become not so much fantasies as factual realities, including genocidal projects under apartheid. The recognition of this unfinished business of time is a necessary step in the construction of a common future.

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The Challenge of Decolonization School History Textbooks as Media and Objects of the Postcolonial Politics of Memory in France since the 1960s

Marcus Otto

This article analyzes how the fundamental challenge of decolonization has resonated in history textbooks published in France since the 1960s. It therefore contextualizes textbook knowledge within different areas of society and focuses on predominant discourses that influenced history textbooks' (post)colonial representations in the period examined. These discourses encompass the crisis of Western civilization, modernization, republican integration, and the postcolonial politics of memory. The author argues that history textbooks have thus become media, as well as objects of an emerging postcolonial politics of memory that involves intense conflicts over immigration and national identity and challenges France's (post)colonial legacy in general.

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The National People's Army as an Object of (Non) Remembrance: The Place of East Germany's Military Heritage in Unified Germany

Nina Leonhard

On 3 October 1990, the National People's Army (NVA) of the German Democratic Republic, in which about 2.5 million East German citizens served their country, was dissolved. Its personnel either was removed from military service, placed into early retirement, or integrated into the Bundeswehr after a two-year selection and examination process. Since then, the NVA has turned into an object of history with no immediate significance for contemporary German society—despite efforts of former NVA officers to change the official interpretation of 1989-1990. This article examines the processes of remembering and forgetting with regard to East Germany's military heritage since 1990, contrasting the Bundeswehr's politics of memory and “army of unity” ethos not only with the former NVA soldiers' vision of the past, but also with the East German population's general attitude towards their former armed forces.

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Rwanda and the Politics of Memory

Jutta Helm

This article examines the German response to Rwanda's genocide, an important concern that previous research largely has ignored. Like the United States, Great Britain, France (up to mid-June l994) and other powers, Germany chose the role of bystander, observing and condemning the genocide, but failing to act. At first glance, this might appear unsurprising. The frequently cited "culture of reticence" in foreign affairs would seem to explain this posture of inaction. However, a second look uncovers several factors that could lead one to expect a German engagement in efforts to halt the genocide. By l994, Germany had contributed military and medical units to ten humanitarian efforts, including two United Nations missions in Cambodia (1991-1993) and in Somalia (1992-1994). Moreover, the Federal Republic's staunch support for human rights, as well as its considerable diplomatic and foreign aid presence in Rwanda, might have suggested a visible response to the mounting evidence of genocide. Why did this not occur? Why was there so little public discussion of German obligations to take steps to halt the genocide? On the one hand, answers to these questions are important in order to test previous research on the factors that led to states' participation in humanitarian interventions. On the other, they are significant for the inner-German debate about history and memory. Can the memory of the Holocaust inform debates about Germany's international obligations? How and under what circumstances might considerations of political morality shape foreign policy decisions?

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Cyprus and the politics of memory: history, community and conflict, by Bryant, Rebecca and Yiannis Papadakis

Kjetil Fosshagen

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Representation without Emulation: German Cultural Diplomacy in Search of Integration and Self-Assurance during the Adenauer Era

Johannes Paulmann

The article investigates an essential characteristic of the Federal Republic of Germany's search for self-assurance in foreign cultural representations after World War II. A normative behavioral pattern, described here as an “attitude of restraint,” emerged during the Adenauer era, resulting in representations without emulation. The article focuses on German participation in world fairs-an example that reveals the multi-layered mechanisms linking diplomacy with culture, political attitudes with individual experiences and memories, and foreign relations with social conditions. The formation of an attitude of restraint constituted part of the long-term process of West German self-education and shaped cultural identities in the Federal Republic. The self-assurance re-found during the Adenauer era is placed in the context of political debates about the break with the Nazi past, defense against communist East Germany, and the selective turn toward an international modernity. Furthermore, the article offers an explanation regarding the diffusion of certain behavioral norms through everyday experience and practice.

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(Extra)ordinary Life: The Rhetoric of Representing the Socialist Everyday After Unification

Sara Jones

This article investigates the politics of representing everyday life (Alltag) in the German Democratic Republic in state-mandated museums and memorials in the contemporary Federal Republic. Through an analysis of advertising material, exhibits, and visitor surveys, it considers how managers of “auratic” sites have responded to the challenge posed by interpretations of the East German state that resist the focus on repression, as well as the impact of this response on different visitor groups. The discussion focuses on two established sites—Gedenkstätte Hohenschönhausen and Forschungs- und Gedenkstätte Normannenstraße—as well as the exhibition in the Tränenpalast in Berlin, opened in September 2011. It argues that state-supported sites frequently seek to contain memories of Alltag by reinterpreting the term to mean the extraordinary experiences of ordinary people. Nonetheless, overly didactic interpretations that leave little space for individual meaning-making risk disinheriting those whose memories are based on social and economic security, rather than state violence. The article argues that there is a tension in these museums and memorials between a desire to present a singular view of the East German state as the second German dictatorship and the recognition that the “active visitor” brings his or her own experiences, interests and memories to public history sites.

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Inside Contested Cultural Memory

The Alternative für Deutschland in Dresden

Bhakti Deodhar

(AfD), this article explores the party's role in the politics of memory as it continues to unfold in Dresden. The article is divided into four parts. The first explains the methodology of the study. The second provides a brief historical discussion on

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“Did You Teach Us to Do Otherwise?”

Young Women in the Tsukunft Youth Movement in Interwar Poland and Their Role Models

Magdalena Kozłowska

again arrested, and exiled to Siberia for life. She regained her freedom in 1917, but she opposed the Bolsheviks, and after the October Revolution fled Russia for Czechoslovakia in 1924. Lastly, Tsukunft's politics of memory featured women Bundists who