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Philipp Mittnik

*Full text is in German

National Socialism in German, Austrian and English Secondary School Textbooks (1980–2017)

English Abstract

This article analyzes a selection of German, Austrian and English textbooks dealing with National Socialism. By adopting Waltraud Schreiber’s methodology of categorial textbook analysis, the article presents the surface structure and building blocks as a basis for further analysis. The occurrence (or absence) of the pedagogical historical principle of multiperspectivity is examined with reference to the example of sections concerning “Youth in National Socialism.” Subsequently, the study explores the role of multiperspectivity in the construction of critical historical consciousness. This is followed by a deconstruction of the image of women presented in the textbooks, with particular emphasis on simplifications.

German Abstract

Die Analyse von Schulbüchern aus Deutschland, Österreich und England zum Themenbereich Nationalsozialismus stehen im Zentrum dieses Artikels. Als Methodologie wird die kategoriale Schulbuchanalyse nach Waltraud Schreiber angewandt. Die Erarbeitung der Oberflächenstruktur und der Bausteine werden als Grundlage für weitere Analyseschritte präsentiert. Das (Nicht-) Vorkommen des bedeutenden geschichtsdidaktischen Prinzips der Multiperspektivität wird am Beispiel des Abschnittes „Jugend im Nationalsozialismus“ beschrieben. Multiperspektivität und deren Bedeutung für den Aufbau eines kritischen Geschichtsbewusstseins wird in einem weiteren Schritt hervorgehoben. Abschließend wird das in den Schulbüchern präsentierte Frauenbild dekonstruiert und auf die problematischen Vereinfachungen hingewiesen.

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Anja Kruke

From the beginning of the West German state, a lot of public opinion polling was done on the German question. The findings have been scrutinized carefully from the 1950s onward, but polls have always been taken at face value, as a mirror of society. In this analysis, polls are treated rather as an observation technique of empirical social research that composes a certain image of society and its public opinion. The entanglement of domestic and international politics is analyzed with respect to the use of surveys that were done around the two topics of Western integration and reunification that pinpoint the “functional entanglement” of domestic and international politics. The net of polling questions spun around these two terms constituted a complex setting for political actors. During the 1950s, surveys probed and ranked the fears and anxieties that characterized West Germans and helped to construct a certain kind of atmosphere that can be described as “Cold War angst.” These findings were taken as the basis for dealing with the dilemma of Germany caught between reunification and Western integration. The data and interpretations were converted into “security” as the overarching frame for international and domestic politics by the conservative government that lasted until the early 1960s.