Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the consequences of the country's divided past continue to be debated. The legacy of the German Democratic Republic occupies a major role in German popular culture, with audiences flocking to films claiming to depict the East German state "as it was." Politicians from both left and right make use of its legacy to support their parties' approach to unification, while former citizens of the GDR are still working through their own memories of the regime and adjusting to unification.
Since 1989, competing representations of the East German state have emerged, some underlining its repressive nature, others lamenting the loss of a sense of community. The twentieth anniversary of the Wende is an occasion to reflect upon both the history of the GDR and the ways in which it has been remembered, and the present volume presents new research on the theme from a variety of perspectives, with sections on film and literature, museums and memorials, and historiography and politics.
Contributors: Thomas Ahbe, Pertti Ahonen, Silke Arnold-de Simine, Stefan Berger, Laura Bradley, Mary Fulbrook, Nick Hodgin, Anna O'Driscoll, Stuart Parkes, Caroline Pearce, Günter Schlusche, Peter Thompson, Andreas Wagner.
Nick Hodgin is a Cultural Historian working at the University of Sheffield, UK, and Caroline Pearce is Lecturer in German and Interpreting, also at the University of Sheffield.
In each [of its three sections] the volume offers stimulating and often unusual approaches . . . . Overall [the essays] are characterized by a commendable clarity and by a freshness and originality of approach that places them among the best contributions to thinking about the legacy of the GDR twenty years after its demise. . . . [E]xcellent. JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES
[A]ddresses some of the most important and engaging questions of the GDR legacy in contemporary Germany. . . . [M]akes a valuable contribution to such discussions, not least in the scope of its material and in the interdisciplinary diversity of the contributors. . . . The book's accessible style will appeal to academics and students, and also, it is to be hoped, to a wider audience. JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN STUDIES
Emphasizes the need for pluralistic and differentiated ways of approaching the past of the GDR. GERMAN QUARTERLY
First Published: 22 Nov 2011
13 Digit ISBN: 9781571134349
Size: 9 x 6
Imprint: Camden House
Series: Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
Subject: German Literature
BIC Class: DSB
Details updated on 24 May 2013
- 1 Introduction
- 2 From Berlin to Prenzlau: Representations of GDR Theater in Film and Literature
- 3 Melancholy and Historical Loss: Postunification Portrayals of GDR Writers and Artists
- 4 Literary Portrayals of the GDR by Non-GDR Citizens
- 5 Screening the Stasi: The Politics of Representation in Postunification Film
- 6 "The Spirit of an Epoch Is Not Just Reflected in Pictures and Books, but Also in Pots and Frying Pans": GDR Museums and Memories of Everyday Life
- 7 Remapping the Wall: The Wall Memorial in Bernauer Strasse - From an Unloved Cold War Monument to a New Type of Memorial Site
- 8 Commemorating the Berlin Wall
- 9 The Evolution of Memorial Sites in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania since 1990
- 10 An Unequal Balance? Memorializing Germany's "Double Past" since 1990
- 11 Living through the GDR: History, Life Stories, and Generations in East Germany
- 12 Competing Master Narratives: Geschichtspolitik and Identity Discourse in Three German Societies
- 13 "Worin noch niemand war": The GDR as Retrospectively Imagined Community
- 14 GDR Historiography after the End of the GDR: Debates,Renewals, and the Question of What Remains
- 15 Notes on the Contributors
- 16 Index