Download e-book for kindle: Ambiguous Memory: The Nazi Past and German National Identity by Siobhan Kattago

By Siobhan Kattago

ISBN-10: 0275973433

ISBN-13: 9780275973438

Ambiguous reminiscence examines the position of reminiscence within the development of a brand new nationwide id 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 ongoing hyperlink of Nazism with modern German nationwide identification. The booklet discusses how sure 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 accommodate 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. on the way to shape a brand new collective reminiscence, the writer argues that unified Germany needs to cope with those conflicting perspectives of the previous, incorporating yes elements of either perspectives. delivering a topography of East, West, and unified German reminiscence in the course of the Nineteen Eighties and the Nineteen Nineties, this paintings contributes to a greater knowing of up to date nationwide identification 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 prior, and their destiny id as a country. In a cautious research, the writer indicates how the previous used to be used and abused via either the East and the West within the Eighties, and the way those techniques merged within the Nineteen Nineties. This attention-grabbing new paintings takes a sociological method of the function of reminiscence in forging a brand new, integrative nationwide id.

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51. 16. Halbwachs, The Collective Memory, 83-84. 17. , 85. 18. For further discussions of generational memory, see Howard Schumann and Jacqueline Scott, "Generations and Collective Memories," American Sociological Review 54 (1989): 359-381. 19. Halbwachs, The Collective Memory, 78. 20. Jan Assman, "Collective Memory and Cultural Identity," trans. John Czaplicka, New German Critique 65 (Spring/Summer 1995): 125-133. Originally published as "Kollektives Gedachtnis und kulturelle Identitat" in his Kultur und Gedachtnis (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1988).

In the Federal Republic, official attempts to publicly administer and institutionalize memory of the Nazi past from above resulted in heated debates among West German intellectuals, historians, writers, and artists. The social framework of West German memory was not antifascism, but a complicated tension between mastery and critical reappraisal of the past. In the shift between demonization and normalization of National Socialism, the Nazi past was always the subject of controversial debates in the Federal Republic and played a constitutive role in the various conceptions of West German national identity.

31 As Hannah Arendt notes in her introduction to Benjamin's Illuminations, "Insofar as the past has been transmitted as tradition, it possesses authority; insofar as authority presents itself historically, it becomes tradition. " 32 These new ways of dealing with the past were an examination of the traces and fragments of cultural artifacts ranging from quotations to collections and daily observations. For Benjamin, Baudelaire's theory of correspondences suggested a theory of collective experience.

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


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