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

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By Siobhan Kattago

Ambiguous reminiscence examines the function of reminiscence within the development of a brand new nationwide identification in reunified Germany. the writer continues that the contentious debates surrounding modern monumnets to the Nazi prior testify to the anomaly of German reminiscence and the ongoing hyperlink of Nazism with modern German nationwide id. The publication discusses how definite monuments, and the methods Germans have seen them, give a contribution to the various methods Germans have handled the prior, and the way they proceed to house it as one nation. Kattago concludes that West Germans have internalized their Nazi prior as a normative orientation for the democratic tradition of West Germany, whereas East Germans have universalized Nazism and the Holocaust, remodeling it into an abstraction within which the Jewish query is down performed. with a view to shape a brand new collective reminiscence, the writer argues that unified Germany needs to take care of those conflicting perspectives of the prior, incorporating yes features of either perspectives. supplying a topography of East, West, and unified German reminiscence throughout 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 previous, and their destiny id as a state. In a cautious research, the writer indicates how the earlier was once used and abused by means of 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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Though some analysts, such as Ulrich Herbert, argue that West German memory of the Holocaust occurred during four phases roughly corresponding to four decades, others, such as Norbert Frei, list five periods or phases of memory in the Federal Republic, differentiating the period of Allied occupation from the four decades. Since I agree that a difference has to be made between the period of Allied occupation and the founding of the Federal Republic, I primarily follow Frei's distinctions. 3 Jeffrey Olick, on the other hand, outlines three models of the German nation: the reliable, the moral, and the normal nation.

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). For Halbwachs's work on the Holy Land, see the translated conclusion, "The Legendary Topography of the Gospels in the Holy Land," in his On Collective Memory, 193-235. 21. Jacques Le Goff also contributes to history of memory by analyzing five different levels of social memory: (1) ethnic memory in primitive societies, (2) the rise in memory from prehistory to antiquity, (3) medieval memory, (4) the progress of written memory from the sixteenth century to the present, (5) the current overflowing of memory.

The modern democratization of memory entails contestation and debate about whose memory is being represented in the identity of a collective group. With the democratization of memory, memories long repressed or excluded from public debate are posed as countermemories to the dominant, accepted memory. Yet, as others (among them Adorno, Nora, and Huyssen) have noted, the democratization of memory also fosters the spectaclization or ossification of the past, which reduces reflection to stereotypical cliches.

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