The legacies of almost a half-century of divided memory continue to
influence commemoration of the Holocaust in unified Germany.
Because these practices were decisively shaped by the multiple
restorations of past political traditions in the early postwar period, I
will comment on the commemorations of the first two postwar
decades in East and West Germany and conclude with brief remarks
about how past legacies influence recent practices. I will examine
the significance of the Holocaust in these events compared to the
attention given to the suffering of Nazi Germany’s non-Jewish victims.
I will also consider the extent to which distinctions were made
among the various victims of Nazi Germany, the kind of hierarchies
that were established among them, and the use of commemoration
for political purposes.
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