Ambiguous Memory: The Nazi Past and German National Identity by Siobhan Kattago

By Siobhan Kattago

Ambiguous Memory examines the position of reminiscence within the construction of a brand new nationwide identification in reunified Germany. the writer continues that the contentious debates surrounding modern monumnets to the Nazi previous testify to the paradox of German reminiscence and the continuing hyperlink of Nazism with modern German nationwide id. The e-book discusses how convinced monuments, and the methods Germans have seen them, give a contribution to the various methods Germans have handled the earlier, and the way they proceed to house it as one nation. Kattago concludes that West Germans have internalized their Nazi previous as a normative orientation for the democratic tradition of West Germany, whereas East Germans have universalized Nazism and the Holocaust, reworking it into an abstraction within which the Jewish query is down performed. as a way to shape a brand new collective reminiscence, the writer argues that unified Germany needs to take care of those conflicting perspectives of the earlier, incorporating yes points of either views.

Providing a topography of East, West, and unified German reminiscence in the course of the Eighties and the Nineties, this paintings contributes to a greater realizing of latest nationwide id and society. the writer indicates how public debate over such matters at Ronald Reagan's stopover at to Bitburg, the renarration of Buchenwald as Nazi and Soviet internment camp, the Goldhagen controversy, and the Holocaust Memorial debate in Berlin give a contribution to the complexities surrounding the best way Germans see themselves, their courting to the earlier, and their destiny identification as a state. In a cautious research, the writer indicates how the earlier used to be used and abused by means of either the East and the West within the Nineteen Eighties, and the way those methods merged within the Nineteen Nineties. This attention-grabbing new paintings takes a sociological method of the position of reminiscence in forging a brand new, integrative nationwide identity.

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Extra resources for Ambiguous Memory: The Nazi Past and German National Identity

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42 Ambiguous Memory Therapeutic Mourning and the Postwar Generation The third phase of West German memory occurred during the 1960s and 1970s, and focused on individual perpetrators of the war generation. With the postwar generation, the 1950s period of repression was replaced by the student rebellions of the late 1960s and 1970s. During this time, the issue of Nazi crimes became an internal political theme in the Federal Republic. 16 Beginning with the criminal process against the Ulm Einsatzgruppen in 1958, then the capture of Adolf Eichmann in 1960 and his subsequent trial in Jerusalem in 1961, and culminating in the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials in 1964-1965 and the production of Peter Weiss's play The Investigation in fifteen theaters in the FRG and the GDR in October 1965, there was a shift from questions of burdened guilt and avoidance, to an examination of the German perpetrators.

The printing of newspapers and realist novels in vernacular language, in effect, standardized language. Such standardization resulted in feelings of belongingness which were not simply linked to religious continuity. The institution of state languages distinct from sacred languages resulted in standardized administrative bureaucracies; likewise, the spread of print capitalism created the seeds of a mass culture which linked individual readers to a common socioscape or community. Newspapers and novels provided the technical means to represent the modern nation as an imagined community by referring to events and places that readers recognized in such a way that an immediate community of readers Ambiguous Memory 24 developed who were linked together.

Steven Randall and Elizabeth Claman (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992), 51-99. 22. Le Grand Robert, quoted in Nancy Wood, "Memory's Remains: Les Lieux de Memoire" History and Memory 6 (Spring/Summer 1994): 123-124. 23. See Frances Yates, The Art of Memory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966). 24. , Les Lieux de Memoire: part 1, La Republique-, part 2, La Nation-, part 3, Les France (Paris: Gallimard, 1984-1992). 25. Wood, "Memory's Remains," 123-125. 26. Pierre Nora, "Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Memoire," Representations 26 (Spring 1989): 7.

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