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The Good, the Bad, and the Awkward

The Making of War Veterans in Postindependence Mozambique

Nikkie Wiegink

as central to this process: memory politics, policies and procedures, and veterans’ organizational activities. With this approach, my aim is to provide insight into the political postwar trajectories of former combatants beyond the dominant paradigm

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“This Other Germany, the Dark One”

Post-Wall Memory Politics Surrounding the Neo-Nazi Riots in Rostock and Hoyerswerda

Esther Adaire

This paper examines antiforeigner violence in the former East German towns of Hoyerswerda (1991) and Rostock-Lichtenhagen (1992) as a case study for both the heightened presence of neo-Nazi/skinhead groups in Germany following 1989/in the Wende period, and the memory politics employed by German politicians in the Bundestag, as well as in media discourse, with regards to the problems entailed in uniting two Germanys which had experienced entirely difference processes of Vergangenheitsbewältigung. My analysis of the riots focuses mainly on the mnemonic discourses surrounding them, in particular the work that the image of “the East German skinhead” does within the broader context of German memory politics. This paper is also situated within the context of present-day German politics with regards to shifting cultures of memory and the electoral success of Alternative for Germany.

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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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Eckhardt Fuchs and Marcus Otto

Cultures of remembrance or memory cultures have constituted an interdisciplinary field of research since the 1990s. While this field has achieved a high level of internal differentiation, it generally views its remit as one that encompasses “all imaginable forms of conscious remembrance of historical events, personalities, and processes.” In contrast to this comprehensive and therefore rather vague definition of “culture of remembrance” or “memory culture”, we use the term “politics of memory” here and in what follows in a more specific sense, in order to emphasize “the moment at which the past is made functional use of in the service of present-day purposes, to the end of shaping an identity founded in history.” Viewing the issue in terms of discourse analysis, we may progress directly from this definition to identify and investigate politics of memory as a discourse of strategic resignifications of the past as formulated in history and implemented in light of contemporary identity politics. While the nation-state remains a central point of reference for the politics of memory, the field is by no means limited to official forms of the engagement of states with their past. In other words, it does not relate exclusively to the official character of a state’s policy on history. Instead, it also encompasses the strategic politics of memory and identity pursued by other stakeholders in a society, a politics that frequently, but not always, engages explicitly with state-generated and state-sanctioned memory politics. Thus, the politics of memory is currently unfolding as a discourse of ongoing, highly charged debate surrounding collective self-descriptions in modern, “culturally” multilayered, and heterogeneous societies, where self-descriptions draw on historical developments and events that are subject to conflict.

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Christiane Lemke

's greatness vis-à-vis America's decline. 2 In Germany, memory politics and the redefinition of historical experience plays a major role in this process. Since the end of World War II, Europe and the United States have developed very close relations in the

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Jenny Wüstenberg

The memory landscape in Germany has been lauded for its pluralism: for reckoning with the past not only critically but in its many complex facets. Nevertheless, particularly victims of repression in East Germany lament that their plight is not adequately represented and some have recently affiliated themselves with the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and other groups on the far-right spectrum. This article seeks to explain the seeming contradiction between existing pluralism in German public memory and dissatisfaction with it by tracing how memory activists have shaped memory policy and institutions. Based on extensive interview and archival research, I argue that the infiltration of civil society into the institutions that govern memory in large part explains the strength of critical memory in unified Germany and the country’s ability to accommodate a variety of pasts. However, there is also a distinct lack of pluralism when it comes to the rules of “how memory is done,” to the exclusion of more emotional and politicized approaches that are sometimes favored by some victims’ groups. Using the case of the recent debate about the Hohenschönhausen Memorial, I contend that this explains some of the attraction felt by these groups towards the right.

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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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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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Margareta von Oswald and Verena Rodatus

contested space such as the Humboldt Forum can become a “place of working through” ( Modest et al. 2017 ). That is, it can provide—indeed, already has provided—the impetus to negotiate issues of ownership, representation, and memory politics. The project in

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Jenny Wüstenberg

Claus Leggewie and Erik Meyer, “Ein Ort, an den man gerne geht” Das Holocaust-Mahnmal und die deutsche Geschichtspolitik nach 1989 (Munich: Carl Hanser Verlag, 2005)

Karen E. Till, The New Berlin: Memory, Politics, Place (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005)

Peter Carrier, Holocaust Monuments and National Memory Cultures in France and Germany since 1989: The Origins and Political Function of the Vél’ d’Hiv’ in Paris and the Holocaust Monument in Berlin (New York: Berghahn Books, 2005)