The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, signaled the beginning of the end of a divided Germany. More than any other event, it also symbolized the end of the so-called postwar era. The period in which not just European but global politics had been framed by the Cold War and the East-West divide was consigned to the past, to be replaced by an era whose contours have not yet clearly formed. The essays collected here offer a sober, informed, and stimulating reassessment of Germany and its past by internationally recognized scholars working from within and outside the new Germany.
They all proceed from the recognition that the perspective from which the German past is viewed has changed irrevocably. Unification meant that the German Democratic Republic became history and its history, historiography,and its collapse are reevaluated. The essays examine the possibility of history being used, and possibly abused, in the service of the creation of a new national identity and question the legitimacy of the notion of Germany having followed a “special path” of development—one that could hardly be viewed positively in the wake of the Third Reich—but which suggested that Germany had claims to being a “normal nation.” They then go on to consider some of the radical changes to the institutional circumstances within which history is practiced in the united Germany.
Hardcover | $73.99
Published by Humanity Books Jul 01, 1997| 295 Pages| 6 x 9| ISBN 9781573923736
“… contributors … have explored a fascinating and preoccupying question, and that is how Germany can locate a usable past. Their answers are multiple, the possible pasts certainly plural and sometimes contradictory.” —Professor R.J.B. Bosworth, University of Western Australia