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

By R. Wittlinger

Wittlinger takes a clean examine German nationwide identification within the twenty first century and exhibits that it has gone through significant alterations in view that unification in 1990. as a result of exterior pressures of the post-cold struggle global and up to date family advancements, Germany has re-emerged as a state that is much less hesitant to say its nationwide interest.

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But the memorial also appeals to urban dwellers with very little interest in history. 56 Thus intent and reception differ widely. The key message of the initiative – Germany demonstrating a clear, visible and unambiguous acknowledgement of its culpability – is obviously not received as such. 57 The other initiative which is said to demonstrate the acceptance of German culpability was the compensation for forced labour which was initiated under the red-green government. After the London Debt Conference of 1953 had postponed the issue of compensation for victims of National Socialism until a peace treaty had been agreed, German unification opened up the debate again and the Two-Plus-Four Treaty paved the way for this issue to be resolved at last.

26 In contrast to Richard von Weizsäcker’s was Helmut Kohl’s approach which dominated official memory in the 1980s. Kohl, a trained historian with a doctorate in history, was largely perceived as pursuing a historical revisionism which aimed at the rehabilitation of Germany with regard to its Nazi past at the expense of addressing the issue of culpability. Kohl was convinced that a ‘normalisation’ of Germany was in Germany’s best interests and he wanted to do everything possible to achieve this.

In his view this was only problematic when the memory of German suffering happened at the expense of Holocaust centred memory and German collective responsibility. 78 In spite of this criticism, Angela Merkel made it clear that she considered the commemoration of the victims of the expulsions as an important part of German memory culture and identity. She tried her best to invalidate the allegation of a relativisation of the Nazi past by emphasising that cause and effectt had to be taken into account when considering the suffering of Germans.

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