The fourth, and final, part of the volume deals with sea power. After a brief introduction by Ulrich Otto, Rolf Hobson reflects on the making of an ideology of sea power in Germany and elsewhere at the turn of the twentieth century. Michael Epkenhans gives a concise overview of the history of naval warfare and armaments in the twentieth century.
Strikingly, some of the language used in this context could have been lifted out of pro-navy writings from an earlier time. In short, this edited collection works in different registers. It offers a series of valuable though disparate academic analyses of various aspects of the maritime his- tory of Germany and elsewhere , which all advance our understanding of the past. It may also leave readers curious about the genealogy of the current debate over maritime economics and naval power in general—and, in particular, over the legacies of pre talk about sea power, the world economy, and global politics in the second half of the twentieth century and beyond.
Maritime Wirtschaft in Deutschland may not provide a clear answer to this question, but it does suggest how intellectually productive its exploration would be. By Christian S. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, Since Hannah Arendt or even Albert Memmi, scholars have long theorized how racial obsessions first developed in the colonies ultimately rebounded back to the metropole and culminated in the brutalities of German National Socialism. In recent years, historians have pointed out continuities of both ideology and practice between the Ger- man colonial project of the late nineteenth century and the Nazi racial state.
Yet few scholars have delved very deeply into the contemporary linkages between colonialism and the politics of antisemitism during the time of Kaiserreich itself. He also maps out the role that notorious antisemites, on the one hand, and Germans with Jewish ancestors, on the other, each played in the German colonial project. The exact relationship between colonialism and antisemitism that emerges here is more complex and variegated than is often presumed, and a number of important arguments ensue. Davis thus lends credence to those who have mapped continuity between German colonial projects and the Third Reich by showing the interconnections and mutual influence of ideologies and political organizations.
Colonialism, Davis argues, benefitted the contemporaneous antisemitic cause, but at the same time also partially undermined it. While antisemitic politics reached a high-water mark in the Kaiserreich in , Davis skillfully shows the fractures among its different strands, as well as the ways in which the politics of German colonialism fit within each. Skillful in his treatment of the antisemites, Davis perhaps oversimplifies the corresponding complexity of organized colonial politics, which had its own diverg- ing strands and internal contradictions.
Lange would briefly serve as a director of the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft. Meanwhile, committed antisemites like Carl Peters or Fritz Bley brought their antisemitic beliefs and politics with them in their notorious activities in German East Africa, while other committed antisemites leveraged their experience in Africa into colonialist careers in the metropole. Davis intrigu- ingly argues that representations of blacks and Jews were increasingly conflated in the decade before World War I.
Jews, an enemy within, had previously been associated with the negative forces of materialism and modernity, whereas blacks were dismissed as a savage menace at the outskirts. However, the representations Davis grapples with are drawn largely from the realm of political ideology; he does not foray into larger arenas such as the mass media.
In advertising, for instance, representations of blacks became omnipresent serving as a useful racial foil , whereas representations of Jews qua Jews did not. We are left then with the larger question of how deeply the conflation of Jews with blacks penetrated into broader reaches of German culture. The last two chapters veer off on a different path, tracing the involvement of Ger- mans of Jewish descent in the German colonial project, including Paul Kayser, Eduard Schnitzer Emin Pasha , and Bernhard Dernburg.
Davis offers political biographies of these men, showing how they—despite initial opposition from antisemites—could make careers in colonial administration or gain fame. A great strength of this book is the way that it uses biographical vignettes to avoid simplistic assertions or categorizations, and instead reveals the complexity of both antisemitic politics and of German-Jewish participation in the colonial project. That German Jews and Germans of Jewish descent could pursue personal career paths that undermined antisemitism while, at the same time, help to generate forces of racial difference that contributed to the horrors of future decades, is indeed sobering food for thought.
By Kristin Kopp.
Focusing on the discursive colonization that she sees as the necessary complement of material colonization, Kopp argues that from the middle of the nineteenth century on Germans understood Polish space with a diffusionist worldview much like the Eurocentric diffusionism that J. Accordingly, Germans saw themselves as cultural agents capable of expansion and improvement, while understanding Poles as the passive beneficiaries of German culture.
Reinventing the long history of settlement in the East going back to the Middle Ages as a story of persistent German colonization legitimized new overseas colonial ambitions by grounding them in centuries of history and German identity. Kopp writes with clarity and great appeal about a wide range of sources, including literature both high and low, maps, and film. Using the lens of colonial discourse and providing rich historical contextualization for each of her studies, Kopp gives a nuanced interpretation of how representations of German-Polish relations evoked global colonial geographies, while also challenging the stable boundary between colonizer and colonized.
These novels valorized German settlement campaigns in the eastern reaches of Prussia that were intended to displace Poles and tip the population balance in ethnically mixed areas to create a German majority. One way in which cartographers justified German eastward expansion was by mapping not just the bounds of German settle- ment, but also the more elusive territory of German Kulturboden, that expansive area deemed to have been shaped by German culture at some point in the past, even if containing negligible German population in the present.
In the face of postwar losses, the emphasis on Kulturboden allowed a retreat to a happier past while justifying more aggressive German territorial claims. Kopp persuasively argues that the film is about not only the trauma of border violations, but also the status of eastern lands as German Kulturboden degraded by its primitive Asiatic inhabitants.
Yet, as Kopp cleverly points out, Lang also depicted the Huns living within the remnants of a Western spatial order. The palace of King Etzel, the king of the Huns, is the architectural double of the Burgundian palace in Worms, brought to a state of decay and disorder by ill use. This representation continued to influence the German perception of Poland decades on.
Yet links between the American West and the German East neither began with Freytag nor ended with the nineteenth century.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, The reputation of a thinker and writer is often difficult to fathom. There are those like Goethe whose eminence grew in his own time and increased long after his death. And then there are figures like Max Weber, known if at all only in small circles during his lifetime, but growing dramatically in stature and recognition well after his death in How and why this development occurred is an engaging intellectual and historical question. Drawing upon the tradition of scholarship in Rezeptionsgeschichte and Begriffsgeschichte, Joshua Derman has written an important study that explores many of these reasons.
To be sure, authors have intentions and try to control the way in which their ideas are borrowed, interpreted, and applied. But control has limits. Weberian analysis has gained currency, shown resilience, and become an identifiable approach in the human sciences in important measure because of its conceptual richness and capacity for extension into uncharted terrain.
These are not new topics, of course. The result is both a fresh perspective on familiar topics and an expansion of the field of Weberian Rezeptionsgeschichte. In the era of postwar decolonization, the same concept was transposed to address the politics of leadership in new states. Detached from its origins in theology, an entirely new word and concept then entered the scientific lexicon and captured the popular imagination.
Such a reception seems to reach beyond creative misinterpretation to a much more hostile, willful distortion. But there were serious alternative visions of the subject too, as with the constructive yet critical approaches of Hans Freyer and especially Siegfried Landshut, the postwar teacher of the late Wilhelm Hennis. This older generation of scholars is rarely encountered today.
Wright Mills and Robert Merton. Canonization served important purposes: it helped to institutionalize sociology as a discipline; to achieve prominence for social theory; to give coherence to areas of inquiry such as historical sociology, the sociology of law, and the sociology of religion; to consolidate the prestige of the social sciences; and to prepare the way for Weberian thought to return to Germany.
Since then interest has surely grown exponentially, extending even to major recent biographies by Joachim Radkau Max Weber. Eine Biographie . One challenge for the approach Joshua Derman has so successfully employed is to identify criteria according to which the uses of a work can be assessed. Are there any limits to interpretative invention? Similar to Marxism, the increasingly complicated and diversified Weberian field is rife with such questions.
Max Weber in Politics and Social Thought is a thoughtful and engaging contribution to establishing the contours of the field and to thinking through this problem.
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Lawrence A. By David Suchoff. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, ISBN: The structure yields an introduction followed by five distinct chapters. Chapter one is an overview of Kafka scholarship and the changing critical reception of Kafka from the Cold War on.
Die Verwandlung is notably absent from analysis. The book is well researched and is at its best in its keen awareness of exactly which Yiddish plays Kafka attended and which books would have been available to him. The author positions Kafka within the Hebrew-Yiddish language war raging at the time in Eastern Europe, as each vied to be the supreme Jewish language.
This pan-European perspective proves lucrative for his interrogation. Ultimately, this book should be seen in line with those readings that attempt to uni- versalize Franz Kafka, even when examining the man during the most particularlist, Zionist period of his life.
Throughout this manuscript, the protagonist is a transnational Kafka, one whose German was inflected by Yiddish and Hebrew and who idealized the transnational, free-flowing nature of the Jewish languages he was learning. He demonstrates that Kafka envisioned German and Hebrew open to their historical contact with foreign nations. Those familiar with Jewish sources and lan- guages will have an easier time understanding some of his readings.
The dense prose makes it foreseeable that a selection of the text could be used in a graduate course within German Studies, Jewish Studies, or Translation Studies. Students would do well to read a chapter from this work in conjunction with one of the corresponding stories from Kafka. Da die Untersuchung vom Umfang her etwas Herkulisches hat—der Bogen reicht von Schleiermachers Hermeneutik bis hin zu Canettis Massentheorie—seien hier nur ein paar Hauptpunkte kritisch beleuchtet. Seine Kategorisierung von Kafkas Streichungen ist nachvollziehbar und seine Folge- rung, dass es dabei vor allem um die Vermeidung von Eindeutigkeit z.
Ein szenisch-fragmentarisches Improvisieren? Franz R. Edited by Peter E. Gordon and John P. The sheer variety of voices and the bewildering simultaneity of competing, often inherently contradictory, world views cannot easily be accommodated under a unified conceptual heading. McCormick deftly acknowledge and discuss the theoretical quandaries to which their project is subject. The present volume explicitly seeks to address expert and general reader alike. Any given reader—including this reviewer—is inevitably reduced to the status of a novice in areas beyond his or her own particular expertise.
Many of the essays, in a sense, provide summaries of major intellectual trends in the Weimar period. The introduction does a brilliant job of summarizing the nineteen essays assembled here. Instead, I wish to highlight which specific contributions I personally find particularly enlightening, and which ones less so, based on my own, perhaps idiosyncratic, inter- ests, and offer some general comments on the particular merits and limitations of this essay collection.
Some overlaps and repetitions are inevitable in a volume of this kind—Max Weber looms large, for instance, in the essays of John P. Gordon theology. Not all articles adhere to the format of aiming to provide a survey of a given field of knowledge. Michael P. Another chapter, that of Martin A. She does so in breezy, crystal clear prose that is a pleasure to read. While individual essays are often highly self-reflective, conceptually sophisticated, and critical of their respective subject matters, the overall tone of the volume is largely celebratory.
Yet a discussion of more extremist right-wing political effusions is missing. Such a discus- sion might have provided much needed insight into what went on in the minds of many citizens of the Weimar Republic in response to the prevailing sense of crisis. By Genese Grill. While Grill only mentions recent studies, such as works by Patrizia McBride and Stefan Jonsson , in truth, her work disagrees with a trend that reaches as far back as Ulrich Karthaus Like Musil, Grill uses the term metaphor not in its strictly rhetorical sense, but as a broad category for an entire range of symbols and comparisons.
Success is thus based on proliferation rather than solutions and conclusions. She frequently attempts to place Musil amongst his modernist contemporaries, particularly Marcel Proust. The continually renewing nature of his aesthetic goals thereby forms the basis of his ethics with which it intertwines.
Her focus on the unpublished chapters of The Man Without Qualities is refreshing; however, it relies on a modestly sized sample of evidence. Since her argument already reaches beyond The Man Without Qualities, there are some missed opportunities. Moreover, despite her repeated analyses of dead and living thoughts, Grill surprisingly never mentions The Confusions of Young Toerless in which this theme figures prominently. While no particular theory guides her approach, she forges allegiances with Adorno and Nietzsche.
Her incorporation of metaphor theory mostly begins and ends with latter, but there is room for much more. Her study, like its argument, is about possibilities. This engrossing book reads as a collective biography of Berliners during the turbulent middle decades of the twentieth century. It is an ambitious undertaking that attempts to capture the quest for and conceptions of individuality of millions of Berliners over thirty years. The author examines how the forces of modernity in this urban setting affected these individuals under five different political regimes, and through this prism comes to some new and interesting insights, especially with respect to the Nazi era.
He argues that a focus on individuality remained of central importance for Berliners, even in an era of collective movements. A rich if ultimately largely familiar picture of Berlin and its inhabitants unfolds in these pages. Instead, the author focuses on the many voices throughout the Weimar public sphere that emphasized the importance of the individual, especially understandings that encouraged flexibility, authenticity, and an attractive consumer culture.
He posits, in fact, that individuality was such an influential concept that Nazis and Communists developed their own versions of it. The real strength of the book is its middle section, an examination of Berlin in the Third Reich. Though the author details communist attempts to create an appealing vision where individual desires could be realized through collective action, this faltered in the face of larger trends toward bureaucracy and dictatorial control, as well as mass frustra- tion over privileges given to professionals and party members.
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On the other side of the Cold War divide, liberals and Social Democrats successfully appealed to West Berliners on the basis of consumer goods as well as public housing. Individuality was a highly contested concept in the early Cold War, but the author finds by the later s in both East and West Berlin a reduced definition of individuality that focused on consumption and domestic concerns, and that was significantly decoupled from larger political questions.
Chapters begin with a detailed and representative case from a work of fiction, diary, or state archive, which sets the stage for the subsequent themes discussed. Though the author makes successful efforts to capture the voices of individual workers and women, there is nonetheless a perhaps unsurprising bias toward the experiences of members of the middle and upper classes. The intersection of class, gender, and race with the idea of the individual is thus effectively explored, but sexuality is a surprising lacuna.
But a more clearly articulated theoretical framework would have strengthened this study. The author makes refer- ence to other work that examines the idea of individuality, both for the twentieth century and earlier, but he could have situated his own work more clearly in this broader literature. Furthermore, an extended theoretical examination of key terms would have been useful. Overall, however, the book is a welcome contribution to the history of Berlin, as well as to broader debates about modernity and the individual. David G. By Alexandra Kleinlercher. Kleinlercher, a faculty member at University College, London, has in this impec- cable volume taken up the perpetually thorny problem of Austrian author Heimito von Doderer and his implication in both antisemitism and National Socialism.
The result is a readable, superbly documented book that has done the incredible service of collecting all the evidence available on those charges, address- ing them openly and even-handedly, without preconception. Kleinlercher first addresses letters from his first wife August Gusti Hasterlik and correspondence from family and friends that reflect on Doderer and his antisemitism on a day-to-day level.
The second chapter adduces evidence for his antisemitism and his approach to the National Socialist cause, starting with his entry into the party. All the levels of the book retain clear evidence of his concern with antisemitic and racist stereotypes, and with his desire to split the races. She leaves little question that the novel retains significant racial prejudices, even as it withdraws from overt National Socialist viewpoints.
Nonetheless, it is clear that Doderer edited his own history with the Nazi party—he renewed his membership as late as Yet he also joined the Catholic Church in and claimed that date as a transformation, which led him to see what he had interpreted as issues with Jew- ish society as problems with bourgeois society — As such, this is an extraordinary contribution to studies of authorship and ethics for the generation who lived through two world wars.
By Doron Rabinovici. Translated by Nick Somers. Cambridge: Polity, Here it succeeds in sketching out the story of one of the more neglected Jewish administrative bodies under Nazi occupation. On the one hand, it was active in organizing large-scale legal emigration, as well as in providing welfare for Jews living under an ever-growing set of measures that had serious economic impact.
When Jews in the city were required to wear the yellow star, the IKG was made responsible for their manufacture and distribution. As deportations commenced, the IKG played a critical role notifying those scheduled for deportation, as well as in clearing the collection points and providing food to Jews waiting there. Rabinovici does point to differences of opinion within the IKG, as was the case elsewhere. While the lists of deportees were drawn up by the Nazi authorities, IKG personnel could and did request exemptions for individual employees and others for various reasons, e. Such measures invited charges of corruption, and it does seem that some employees sought to save themselves by making donations.
More generally it opened up IKG leaders—and especially Rabbi Benjamin Murmelstein, a controversial figure who played a key role here—to criticism of favoring some at the expense of others. His analysis does not go much further than previous accounts of Jewish councils in explaining compliance. This conclusion fails to engage sufficiently with suggestive passages in the mono- graph. In short, the book successfully describes the varied role of the IKG during the Nazi occupation, but fails to analyze and explain specific acts of cooperation and resistance in persuasive and, more crucially, time- and place-specific ways.
By Mary Fulbrook. Oxford: Oxford University Press, It also addresses how these men made sense of their roles. Fulbrook unravels the sleights of hand and inaccuracies in family lore, as well as in his unpublished memoirs and his defense statements during legal investigations in the Federal Republic. In so doing, she shows the extent of his involvement in and knowledge of genocidal policies in this deeply researched and richly contextualized account.
Administrators are usually boring subjects of historical inquiry, and Klausa is no exception. In many ways this book is the story of the Jewish community in the county of Bedzin, until the latter was made judenrein in Her terse and emphatic descriptions shake the reader, and her book is the epitome of a multifaceted, deeply researched, expertly contextualized case study of the Shoah in a small town in Upper Silesia. Most notably she shows that Klausa played fast and loose to create a narrative of inner decency and crucial absences from Bedzin that came to define his postwar self.
But there is also some indica- tion that over the course of , Klausa became more and more troubled by the clearly genocidal policies that were now taking shape, and about which he must have known. This terrific book provides even experts with much detail and food for thought. By Gareth Pritchard. For two months in the late spring of , a small triangle of territory in the western Erzgebirge between Saxony and the Czechoslovakian border remained unoccupied by American or Soviet troops.
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In their absence, the administration of the roughly , residents fell to a shifting network of local antifascist committees. While Pritchard focuses on a relatively small region, he is making a more ambi- tious and ultimately counterfactual argument.
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Who were the antifascists and what might have happened if they had been able to occupy broader political space at the end of the war? His focus on regional dynamics in the western Erzgebirge is fascinating. The antifascist committees emerged from the local labor movement, which was heavily influenced, though not dominated by, the Communist Party KPD. Many of the leaders of the committees had suffered terribly during the Nazi period and thus had substantial grievances against the local political and economic elites who had benefit- ted from the regime.
As Allied armies moved deeper into Germany, local antifascists pushed out existing authorities, sometimes using violent methods, and took effective control of the region. Once in power, the antifascists faced an array of practical challenges. Defeated German soldiers, refugees of various types, and former forced laborers moved through the area unhindered. Food was in desperately short supply, transportation was badly damaged, and local industries sat idle.
Locals feared Werwolf units, but attempts to create armed self-defense militias risked conflict with the American and Soviet patrols who ventured into the area. Reviews The story that Pritchard tells here is not a happy one. The committees could not agree on a number of critical issues, including the most effective way to get the economy moving again, the speed and severity of local denazification, and relations with the Americans and Soviets.
They systematically excluded women, who made up the majority of the population as a result of the war. In the end, the committees found little popular support for their reform programs. The root of this failure to articulate a popular vision of the future lay in the members of the committees, who were themselves often deeply embittered about their past experiences and blamed the broader population for their support for the Nazi regime. The antifascists had little faith in the population and almost no interest in meaningful democratization. The Soviets arrived in June and either absorbed or suppressed the antifascists of the western Erzgebirge.
Still, Pritchard argues that the Soviet occupation actu- ally displayed a number of continuities with the rule of the committees, including some personnel, the increasing domination of communists, and the use of judicial and extrajudicial means against opponents on the left and right. Pritchard, who has previously written on the creation of communist rule in East German and central Europe, clearly intended this study to help us better understand the roots of the SED dictatorship.
In his formulation, the antifascist committees earnestly and bravely attempted to transform German society following the collapse of Nazism and the loss of the war, but their own deeply held prejudices and profound sense of victimization led them to pursue reforms in ways that were often undemocratic and rarely achieved widespread legitimacy. There is a great deal to like about this book, from its lucid prose to its admirable focus on understanding the local dynamics that fueled the events Pritchard describes.
The archival base is generally very solid, although it might have been useful for Pritchard to incorporate better the perspectives of the American and Soviet actors who play critical roles in the story of Niemandsland—a book and place that argues for a broader comparative approach to the history of occupied Germany.
Both across and within the four Allied zones, the relationship between local power and the authority of the occupiers moved along a continuum. Niemandsland was unoccupied for several months, but there were also many places only notionally under occupation authority, where occupiers lacked the interest, will, or capacity to engage effectively in the complex task of political and economic reconstruction. In such cases, local power and local elites emerged to fill the void. This study provides both a compelling case study and a useful framework with which other scholars might approach similar questions.
Adam R. By Thomas W. Maulucci, Jr. Wie lang aber war der Schatten, den das Dritte Reich auf die westdeutsche Diplomatie warf? By Paul B. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, Paul B. His book focuses on a series of four deeply investigated situations from the s to the present in which complex political debates and evolving notions of the Nazi perpetrator, the embodiment of guilt and responsibility, become tethered to cases of German art and architecture. His painstaking research intertwines a range of political perspectives with the objects, individuals, and institutions of postwar culture.
Historians in other disciplines may recognize the inclusive evidence Jaskot employs. But studies of postwar German art tend, with notable exceptions, to focus on themes of memorialization, experimental artists like Joseph Beuys, or complex artworks explored through disciplinary narratives and philosophical abstractions rather than sources like German newspapers or city council proceedings. Jaskot demonstrates that by engaging postwar art through nuanced political and social histories, we can form accurate considerations of overlooked and ubiquitous subjects.
Some of these oversights trace their origins to the immediate postwar period and considerations of historical perpetration in the cultural realm. Not until the early 70s did Ger- man art historians, for example, begin to consider the blind spots of the discipline.
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Against assumptions of complete postwar silence in the art world, however, Jaskot demonstrates that German artists, unlike art historians, engaged debates about the character of the Nazi perpetrator before Today, with political debates about guilt fading, the area now accommodates diverse functions from sports venues to commemorative centers shaped by a range of national, regional, and local interests, and a variety of narra- tives, designs, and aesthetics that simultaneously occlude and reveal the grounds as a former site of perpetration.
Perhaps more important is his argument that a thorough understanding of visual culture and its histories is necessary for truly understanding the way ideologies, past and present, work. In the end, what role could be more valuable? Kathryn M. As the first collected volume in English on the noted Weimar-era theorist Siegfried Kracauer, Culture in the Anteroom convincingly argues for both the historical impor- tance and contemporary relevance of his work. Examining Kracauer from his first book Die Entwicklung der Schmiedekunst in Berlin, to his last History: The Last Things Before the Last, posthumously published in , the sixteen essays cover some topics familiar to the secondary literature on Kracauer, such as his contribu- tions to film and media theory, his paths of exile, and his relationships with friends and contemporaries.
Kracauer, in other words, proposes a way of thinking that radically transgresses disciplinary boundaries while maintaining an ongoing intel- lectual and epistemological commitment to a rigorous and critical investigation of culture. If the message of the collection is ultimately to think through Kracauer himself, then the overall cohesive, interdisciplinary discussion leaves specific points to be clarified. In the acknowledgements, the editors dedicate the collection to the memory of Miriam Hansen. As is clear from her contribution, which also appears in her final monograph Cinema and Experience , a magisterial book on film in Kracauer, Benjamin, and Adorno, perhaps the greatest value of studying Kracauer today lies in the conceptual and methodological link he forges between the crisis of modernity and the various cultural products and media produced by, and themselves sustain- ing, such a crisis.
Ultimately, by building on the type of Kracauer scholarship that Hansen worked so hard to establish, Culture in the Anteroom shows us how such critical tools and perspectives can continue to identify and negotiate the crises and challenges of our own times. By Jan Eike Dunkhase. During the last decade and a half, an impressive number of studies on twentieth- century German historiography has appeared. Conze undoubtedly deserves an academic biography. The analysis shifts from chronological to topical for the postwar decades. These introductory paragraphs are sometimes odd e.
As a student at the University of Leipzig, the young Conze encountered the sociologists Hans Freyer and Gunther Ipsen, both of whom came to exert a lasting methodological influence on him. Unfortunately, the author does not elaborate further on this plausible claim. Dunkhase has evidently tried very hard to write elegantly, yet his search for original metaphors and other stylistic devices does not always succeed.
The author also succeeds in keeping the balance between criticism and empathy. Conze had initially been the candidate for position of the Rektor favored by his liberal colleagues and criticized by the conservative ones, but was nevertheless targeted by the student mob as the situation at Heidelberg escalated. By Christina Morina. In his influential study Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys , Jeffrey Herf discussed the profoundly different ways in which political actors in postwar West and East Germany addressed the Nazi-era mass murder of Jews and its legacies.
Her theme is the divided memory in postwar German history of the Eastern front. As Morina convinc- ingly shows, the experience of this war and its aftermath profoundly shaped postwar German political culture. At the same time, Morina cautions against studying political invocations of history through an exclusively utilitarian lens. Political speech, she writes, should not necessarily be dismissed as propaganda, for it is also rooted in personal experience and often carries personal beliefs and convictions. These are the principal actors of her study.
The book is organized chronologically, and, in a succession of comparative chap- ters, covers the occupation period, the height of the Cold War, Ostpolitik, as well as German unification and its aftermath. The rigorously comparative perspective brings to light precious insights. In the immediate wake of the war, Germans in both East and West were equally inured to the sufferings of others. In the East, the speeches of Communist leaders left no doubt that the war against the Soviet Union had been a criminal undertaking.
The prominent public discussion of the destruction German soldiers had wrought on Soviet soil ensured that no myth of a clean Wehrmacht could emerge, as it would in West Germany. That vanguard position gave him license to absolve all German workers from any individual culpability in a mistaken war that had been forced upon them. In the West, Stalingrad would, for many decades, exclusively connote the suffer- ing of German soldiers who had been sacrificed by callous Nazi leaders.
While East German leaders invoked the lessons of history, Adenauer explicitly called for historical closure during his visit to Moscow to avoid revisiting the violent past. As Morina implies, West Germans eventually came to acknowledge the suffering of Jews at the expense of the suffering of Soviet citizens—including many Soviet Jews whose works have still not entered the canonical Holocaust literature.
Max Haller et al. While the exploration of biography for an understanding of political culture is a sound method, the sources Morina uses to lay out the worldviews of select political actors are quite slim. It is problematic to deduce the personal experience of the German-Soviet war, or attitudes toward the Soviet Union, from little more than a single memoir, as she does in the cases of Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt, and Helmut Kohl. The sole consideration of political discourse is problematic as well, as it does not show how East or West Germans dealt with the war and its legacy in other important venues: literature, film, memorials, or the school curriculum.
With her exclusive focus on the Eastern Front, Morina also seems at times to lose sight of the larger context. But as she notes, many of the visitors who came to the show in Dresden in did not experience it as revelatory. The reason was simple: East Germans had more knowledge of what had happened at the Eastern Front, and they were remarkably sympathetic toward the plight of Soviet victims. Critics of the exhibit achieved their aim of casting doubt on its overall veracity, and their actions showed how strong the urge remains among Germans to deny the extent of Nazi-era crimes committed against Soviet citizens.
The outrage expressed by former East Germans in the visitor books has done little if anything to tarnish the exhibit in this respect. Her groundbreaking book does an excellent job tracing its public memory in both German states, and her monograph will continue to open up avenues for further research. One much needed book would center on the Soviet experience of the Great Patriotic War and how that experience shaped policies toward postwar Germany; another might focus more closely on East Germany and explore its antifascist policies with an eye to the popular dimensions of antifascist politics and education.
By Susanne Rinner. New York: Berghahn, The student revolts in West Germany that reached their zenith in the year were so seminal for the constitution of the identity of the protestors that the broad cohort of this age group is named after this year: the Generation. The following section highlights memory novels that feature the United States as a spatial locus where Germans who suffered from the s Berufsverbot against leftist agitators found fulfilling lives, and where encoun- ters between German narrators and Holocaust survivors can be productively staged.
Occasionally she repeats herself, and some passages are confusing.
Nevertheless, The German Student Movement and the Literary Imagination makes a striking, original contribution to current discourse on novels, and how they, and the period they represent, can be productively engaged in the contemporary German transnational sphere. New York: Berghahn Books, The volume comprises sixteen short but concise chapters, in addition to an introduction, postscript, and select bibliography.
The historical scope of the contributions—from the Middle Ages to the present—is impressive. Mildenberger, Erik Huneke, and Massimo Perinelli, begins—as do the two other sections in the book—with a helpful summary by Dagmar Herzog. They point to what they find useful in his theoretical approach and problematic in terms of his own application of it. Several of the chapters draw on the work of other theorists from within psychoanalytical and cultural studies in their productive and impressively detailed rereadings of Foucault.
The volume makes a powerful case for its focus on Germany through the original research it contains. Moreover, the breadth of case studies will appeal to scholars interested in many different historical periods. The volume highlights the benefits, but also the challenges, of interdisciplinary work.
It points to the research still to be done on the intersections of, and tensions between, sexuality studies and gender studies, feminism, as well as subjectivity and identity studies more broadly—and, for example, with studies of taboo, shame, and witchcraft, more specifically. It reminds us of the usefulness of in-depth literary stud- ies for exploring all types of text, including the autobiographical.
Essays in Honour of Dennis Tate. Edited by David Clarke and Axel Goodbody. Amsterdam: Rodopi, This volume, edited by David Clark and Axel Goodbody, presents a collection of essays assembled in honor of Dennis Tate and his work on GDR literature, particularly his research on autobiographical writings by East German authors. Of chief interest is the interconnectedness between the predominant social and political values at the time of writing and publication on the one hand and the act of autobiographical writing on the other hand.
The volume is divided into three historically defined sections. The other two essays address the writ- ings of Wulf Kirsten and Volker Braun. In addition to the broad theme of autobio- graphical reinterpretations after historical caesuras that creates a common thread throughout the book, a number of essays across sections are connected through reappearing subtopics. Related to the strategy of autobiographical projection is the complicated subject of self-censorship of writers in the GDR that is addressed in essays in Part One and Two of the book.
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