Education and Society in Germany

By H. J. Hahn | Go to book overview

Germans should experience a working democracy, thereby encouraging them to recognize the mistakes of their parents' generation. However, a genuine coming- to-terms with the Nazi past did not occur. It needed more time in order to succeed and it was too high an expectation of a still traumatized people. The post-war period, moreover, was characterized by 'anti-historical' tendencies on an international scale, brought about by an enthusiasm for technological innovation, a strong sense of security, egalitarian trends and a generally universalist, supra-national attitude. 63 A wider-ranging analysis of literary trends would reveal that a genuinely serious commitment to democracy and a meaningful debate on education under the Nazis did not begin until the mid- 1960s, culminating in the student revolution of 1968. Indeed, the ghost of the unbewältigte Vergangenheit (the past with which Germany has not yet come to terms) is still not laid. The concept of a zweite Schuld64 (second guilt) has emerged, which attempts to cover up the 'first' guilt, a phenomenon best illustrated by the scandal surrounding Michael Verhoeven film Das schreckliche Mädchen (The Terrible Girl), which portrays the hostility of the authorities and citizens of Passau towards a young girl who attempts to uncover the truth about events in her own community during the Third Reich. 65


Notes
1.
K.-H. Füssl ( 1994), Die Umerziehung der Deutschen. Jugend und Schule unter den Siegermächten des Zweiten Weltkriegs 1945-1955, Paderbom, p. 15.
2.
H. Schelsky ( 1960), Die skeptische Generation. Eine Soziologie der deutschen Jugend, 4th edn, Düsseldorf and Cologne, pp. 84f.
3.
H. Glaser ( 1995), 1945, ein Lesebuch, Frankfurt/M., p. 34.
4.
H. Glaser ( 1989), Kulturgeschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Zwischen Kapitulation und Währungsreform, 1945-1948, vol. 1, Munich, p. 36.
5.
Glaser, 1945, pp. 160-2.
6.
F. Meinecke ( 1946), Die deutsche Katastrophe. Betrachtungen und Erinnerungen, Wiesbaden, p. 176.
7.
R. H. Samuel and R. Hinton Thomas ( 1949), Education and Society in Modern Germany, London, p. 175.
8.
W. Dahle ( 1969), "Der Einsatz einer Wissenschaft. Eine sprachinhaltliche Analyse militärischer Terminologie in der Germanistik 1933-1945", Bonn, p. 66.
9.
F. Martini ( 1958), Deutsche Literaturgeschichte. Von den Anfängen his zur Gegenwart, Stuttgart, pp. 556 and 592.

-105-

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Education and Society in Germany
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Figures vii
  • Preface ix
  • Notes xi
  • 1 - The German Concept of Bildung 1
  • Notes 18
  • Textual Studies 21
  • 2 - A Period of Transition: from the Formation of the Empire to the First World War 26
  • Notes 42
  • Textual Studies 44
  • 3 - The Weimar Republic: Reform and Reaction 50
  • Notes 63
  • Textual Studies 65
  • 4 - Education and Ideology Under National Socialism 71
  • Notes 84
  • Textual Studies 86
  • 5 - Re-Education After 1945 91
  • Notes 105
  • Textual Studies 108
  • 6 - The Education System of the Federal Republic 1949-1989: the Reluctant Process of Modernization 113
  • Notes 130
  • Textual Studies 133
  • 7 - Education in the Former Gdr: Socialist Education in Theory and Practice 137
  • Notes 153
  • Textual Studies 155
  • 8 - Trends in Education and Society Since Unification 159
  • Notes 176
  • Textual Studies 179
  • Select Bibliography 183
  • Index 188
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