History, memory and politics in the Berlin Republic (Lecture)

From 06.07.2021 9:00 to 06.07.2021 10:30 (your local time)
Alternatively from 06.07.2021 15:00 to 06.07.2021 15:00 (your local time)

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Before 1989/1990, both the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic formed distinctive narratives of the past as a source of self-positioning and legitimation. In each case, the historical role given to National Socialism and World War II was crucial. Ever since reunification, Germany had to find ways to come to terms with these Cold War narratives and at the same time develop adequate approaches to dealing with National Socialism, the division, another dictatorship in the eastern part of the country, the conflictual progression of West German politics, and finally the transformation and unification process in a European context. In a pluralistic democracy like Germany, this process was certainly prone to controversy.

The unit will introduce the participants to these developments by giving a brief overview of German remembrance and commemoration of its 20th Century history, highlighting some vivid examples and opening ample room for questions, discussion, and comparison.

Required Literature


Recorded video of the lecture:


About the lecturer

Prof. Oliver Plessow is a university professor for Didactics of history at the University of Rostock. He studied teaching in the subjects of German and history as well as German language and political science and contemporary history in M√ľnster and graduated with his Ph.D. in medieval history in 2003. He is working and researching on the pedagogical approach on mass crime, war violence and experiences of dictatorships and its representations in media, historical culture, commemorative culture and transnational Holocaust education.


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