Introduction In Russia, the perception of Germany, which this special issue explores, is closely connected to perceptions of Europe and the West. While Russians have traditionally seen Germany as part of Europe, they have been more reluctant
A Reconstruction of Russian Narratives
advancing, rather than undermining, parliamentary democracy, further highlighting the Federal Republic’s success. Indeed, many historians interpret the West German past as a success story. 4 According to this narrative, the Federal Republic avoided the
“Reflection must precede actions and decisions.” —the West Africa Institute Throughout its history, Regions & Cohesion has been committed to promoting citizen perspectives on regional integration. Such approaches to region-building are a
Jennifer Ruth Hosek
The West Berlin anti-authoritarians around Rudi Dutschke employed a notion of subaltern nationalism inspired by independence struggles in the global South and particularly by post 1959 Cuba to legitimate their loosely understood plans to recreate West Berlin as a revolutionary island. Responding to Che Guevara's call for many Vietnams, they imagined this Northern metropolis as a Focus spreading socialism of the third way throughout Europe, a conception that united their local and global aims. In focusing on their interpretation of societal changes and structures in Cuba, the anti-authoritarians deemphasized these plans' potential for violence. As a study of West German leftists in transnational context, this article suggests the limitations of confining analyses of their projects within national or Northern paradigms. As a study of the influence of the global South on the North in a non-(post)colonial situation, it suggests that such influence is greater than has heretofore been understood.
Culture in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) is often characterized as isolated from that of the West, with artists locked behind the Iron Curtain, having no opportunities to interact directly with global trends. While this may be true to a great extent for the general population, we should not close our eyes to the actual cross-border movements of artists and art forms that did take place in that regime. Many producers of artistic texts interacted with the West—not just well-known writers and theater directors like Christa Wolf or Bruno Besson, but also rock bands. Indeed, a few privileged GDR bands, belonging to the group of Reisekader (travel functionaries) were granted permission to travel to the West. An analysis of their interactions with their domestic audiences and with audiences in the West gives a more nuanced view regarding the nature of cultural globalization that continues into the 21st century, and provides insights into the role of cultural industries in cultural and political change today. The story of these bands contributes to our knowledge on how GDR authorities were unable to perceive and manage cultural creativity in an era of networked, flexible, and relatively autonomous creators.
This article analyzes the reaction of the West German press to the powerful peace movement that gripped the Federal Republic of Germany between 1979 and 1984. Following NATO's double track decision and Russia's invasion of Afghanistan, thousands of pacifist and peace activists participated in rallies, meetings, and sit-ins to protest above all the politics of NATO. Unnerved by the amassing of nuclear, protesters expressed their fears and anxieties highly visible on placards and in pamphlets. This public display of “fear of atom” led to an intensive media debate about the validity and possible dangers of the protesters' emotionality. The press's coverage of the peace movement and the question of how protesters expressed their fears turned into a discussion over legitimate political participation.
A graduate of Jews' College, Morris Joseph became the leading spokesman for British Reform Judaism as spiritual leader of the West London Synagogue. Though not a pacifist, he was one of the founders of the Jewish Peace Society in 1913. Unlike French and German colleagues who emphasized their patriotic loyalty to their ruler, love of their fatherland and bonds with their fellow citizens in fighting an evil adversary, Joseph expressed deep dismay in his first sermons following the outbreak of war in August 1914. His subsequent sermons – some printed the following Friday in the Jewish Chronicle, others eventually published in his third and final book of sermons – were delivered on various occasions: on ordinary Sabbaths and holidays, on National Days of Prayer and Intercession, at funeral services for members of his congregation killed in action, and at Confirmation services for students who might be joining the army a few years later. Central themes include the theological issues about God's role in the war, and the effort to define a coherent position, personally repudiating the pacifist refusal to serve in the struggle, while condemning any glorification of war and insisting that peace was an ultimate value of his Judaism.
The West German Green Party's 1983 entrance into the Bundestag marked a major break, both in the history of this young political force and the parliamentary system of the Bonn Republic. The Greens had been founded in opposition to the guiding principles of the West German postwar consensus and conceived of themselves as an “anti-parliamentary party.” Although they had gained parliamentary experience in some regional chambers, their entrance onto the national parliamentary stage juxtaposed old ideals and new challenges—for the Greens themselves as well as for German political culture. Taking this singular historic moment as a starting point, this article summarizes the formation of the Greens in the context of the changing political and ideological landscape of the 1970s. It also contrasts the party's formation with the transformations in terms of program and personnel that it undertook during the 1980s. The focus lies less on the specific activities of the green parliamentary group than on the broader developments in green politics and thinking.
Productions of Europe In and Beyond Textbooks
This article discusses the relationship between Europe and ancient Greece as narrated (or ignored) in a range of European history textbooks. It unravels the threads the narrative has followed since the eighteenth century, investigating the choices made in construing the narrative taught today. Which meanings were inherent in the terms “east” and “west” before they acquired the ideological coloring associating “east” with “barbarians” and “west” with the civilized world and “Europe”? The article opens up a new perspective on a complex past that was lost from view when perceptions of the ancient Greeks as guarantors of European values became entwined with the invention of the nation state.
Adrian van den Hoven
In this hilarious satire Sartre takes aim at the French bourgeois press, pokes fun at Beckett, Camus and especially his own philosophy. He creates a fictitious swindler Georges de Valera who assumes the identity of a so-called defector Nekrassov. Together with Sibilot, who is in charge of the anticommunist page at Soir à Paris, they bamboozle the editor Palotin (based on Pierre Lazareff) and the entire board into beleiving that Nekrassov is the Soviet Minister of the Interior who has just defected. The bourgeois are portrayed as gullible mediocrities who in the name of anticommunism are willing to believe “anything” Nekrassov tells them. In the end the “genius” Nekrassov absconds with Sibilot's daughter and the paper is forced to print yet more lies to explain his disappearance. The play is composed of eight tableaux that illustrate Sartre's talents as a comic writer. The play was not a commercial success. The critics panned it and the public was unwilling to believe that all defectors from the U.S.S.R. were fakes. Also, soon after the play was produced the anticommunist hysteria began to diminish and the Hungarian uprising put paid to any notion of a benign Soviet union.