Rereading German History: From Unification to Reunification, 1800-1996

By Richard J. Evans | Go to book overview

21

AFTER REUNIFICATION

What has been the overall effect of reunification on the writing of German history? Some, in particular the young, Cardiff-based historian Stefan Berger, have warned that reunification threatens the plurality of views on German history and poses the serious danger of a return to the narrow concern with national history and national identity which characterized German historiography for two centuries previously. Berger has argued that a ‘renationalization’ of German history is in progress. While some historians, like Gregor Schöllgen and Michael Stürmer, have revived the geopolitical interpretation of German history, according to which Imperial Germany got involved in a world war because it was ‘surrounded’ by hostile powers, others, like Rainer Zitelmann, Ernst Nolte and Christian Striefler, have urged a more positive interpretation of National Socalism as a consciously modernizing force which amounted to a rational and defensible response to the threat of Communism. This in Berger’s view amounts to a ‘torrent of Prussian calls for a revival of “national history”’. It has been aided and abetted by the emergence of a more negative assessment of the Federal Republic, now seen by historians like Karl Heinz Bohrer as a provincial deviation from the mainstream of German national history, created against the Germans’ wishes by the Allies in 1949. German national identity, according to the young historian Karlheinz Weissmann, is based on collective memory and shared German ethnicity—the Volk, in fact: and Weissmann among others has been loud in his calls for Germans to reclaim it, just as others have accompanied this with the argument that the Federal Republic was too subservient to ‘the West’.

The clamour for a revived German national identity also, in Berger’s view, involved attacks on the legitimacy of the East German state and the wholesale denigration of its historians as Marxist hacks parroting the views of the Communist hierarchy. And not only East German historians. The new nationalists have also attacked the West German historical profession for failing to contribute significantly to the process of reunification. They were either silent in 1989/90, or hostile; and their main effect, through their consistently critical attitude to the German past and the history of German

-234-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Rereading German History: From Unification to Reunification, 1800-1996
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 256

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.