Download German National Identity in the Twenty-First Century: A by R. Wittlinger PDF

By R. Wittlinger

This booklet exhibits that German nationwide identification has passed through massive adjustments for the reason that unification in 1990. a result of exterior pressures of the post-cold struggle global but additionally because of household advancements comparable to fresh dynamics of collective reminiscence, Germany has re-emerged as a convinced kingdom that's much less hesitant to claim its nationwide curiosity.

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Extra resources for German National Identity in the Twenty-First Century: A Different Republic After All? (New Perspectives in German Political Studies)

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Inappropriate as this might be, it has actually happened. In contrast to what its critics had described as a ‘nightmare the size of a football pitch’ and the ‘monumentalisation of disgrace’,55 only shortly after its completion, the memorial seemed to be incorporated into city life without conveying much sense of Germany’s historical crimes, as the following description illustrates: In the weeks and months after the memorial opened on 12 May 2005, it quickly became apparent that the large site, with its 2700 steles, could serve many different purposes.

66 The reaction – or rather the lack of it – following this statement in Russia as well as Germany was telling and seemed to indicate a growing acceptance of the paradox that ‘Germans’ were victims of the ‘Nazis’, too. indd 37 7/26/2010 10:11:52 AM 38 German National Identity in the Twenty-First Century dominated by German victimhood. In Caen, too, Schröder moved to private memory to illustrate German suffering, not just of the war generation but also of his own generation that was born during the war: ‘Nobody will ever forget the terrible history of the Hitler regime.

It takes a pretty good man to do all that by himself. 20 The refusal of Germans to acknowledge what had happened and the absence of guilt was also felt by Hannah Arendt. After having been forced to emigrate because of her Jewish background during the Third Reich, during a visit in 1950 she was struck by the atmosphere in Germany. The nightmare of destruction and horror was felt and talked about nowhere less than in Germany, Arendt observed. 21 This was best illustrated by what she described as a ‘simple experiment’ which consisted of her pointing out her German Jewish origin at the beginning of a conversation with a German stranger.

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