The Berlin Republic: German Unification and a Decade of Changes

By Winand Gellner; John D. Robertson | Go to book overview

Historical Consciousness and the Changing of German Political Culture

FELIX PHILIPP LUTZ

Historical consciousness in unified Germany 13 years after the fall of the German Democratic Republic is undergoing a profound change whose direction is not yet clearly visible. The following describes the status and content of historical consciousness in the period from autumn 1989 until the end of the twentieth century. However, during the 1990s, in the aftermath of unification, and following revolutionary-like changes and adjustments in different fields such as foreign policy and the changing international role of united Germany, a gradual change in political culture is occurring. This change is occurring parallel with the demise of the last generations of Germany who witnessed the Third Reich-either as victims or as perpetrators.

Ambivalent signals indicate change-but in which direction? In a survey comissioned by the weekly magazine Der Spiegel in summer 2001, a representative sample of German people were asked about their knowledge of what had happened on 17 June 1953. Overall, only 43 per cent of all Germans were able to answer correctly. 1 The numbers indicate a loss of knowledge about recent history which is remarkable. Also, differences between East and West Germans are still enormously high with regard to judging the GDR and views of socialism and capitalism. At the same time, numerous discussions about history which focuses on the Nazi past and the recent era of the GDR have been part of the unification debate within the Federal Republic. The former Federal Republic has become the subject of numerous debates concerning the significance and evaluation of particular aspects of its history. These include, for example, the Ostpolitik advocated by Western German political parties and governments, the inner-German policies pursued in the post-war era, and methods of assessing the way in which German citizens have come to terms with the National Socialist past.

The GDR's self-rightous claim that it was an anti-fascist state allowed citizens to avoid an understanding and reconciliation with the National Socialist past. Whereas the Federal Republic claimed to be the legal successor of the German state and the Third Reich, the GDR did not, and thus offered neither moral nor financial compensation. In practical terms,

Felix Philipp Lutz, Schiller International University, Heidelberg

-19-

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
The Berlin Republic: German Unification and a Decade of Changes
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
/ 262

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

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

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.