By Siobhan Kattago
Ambiguous reminiscence examines the function of reminiscence within the development of a brand new nationwide identification in reunified Germany. the writer keeps that the contentious debates surrounding modern monumnets to the Nazi prior testify to the paradox of German reminiscence and the continuing hyperlink of Nazism with modern German nationwide id. The booklet discusses how convinced monuments, and the methods Germans have considered them, give a contribution to the several methods Germans have handled the earlier, and the way they proceed to accommodate it as one state. Kattago concludes that West Germans have internalized their Nazi previous as a normative orientation for the democratic tradition of West Germany, whereas East Germans have universalized Nazism and the Holocaust, reworking it into an abstraction within which the Jewish query is down performed. so that it will shape a brand new collective reminiscence, the writer argues that unified Germany needs to take care of those conflicting perspectives of the earlier, incorporating yes elements 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 id and society. the writer exhibits how public debate over such concerns 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 dating to the previous, and their destiny id as a country. In a cautious research, the writer indicates how the earlier used to be used and abused by way of either the East and the West within the Nineteen Eighties, and the way those methods merged within the Nineteen Nineties. This fascinating new paintings takes a sociological method of the function of reminiscence in forging a brand new, integrative nationwide id.
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Additional resources for Ambiguous Memory: The Nazi Past and German National Identity
17 Adorno warned that, " 'Coming to terms with the past' does not imply a serious working through of the past, the breaking of its spell through an act of clear consciousness. " 18 Highly critical of previous attempts to confront and work through the Nazi past, Adorno warned that most West German attempts to come to terms with the past were actually evasions and repressions stemming from a desire to be free of the past. " 19 Whereas many saw a break between National Socialism and the democratic culture of the Federal Republic in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Adorno was concerned with the continuity of National Socialism in the present.
54 For Balibar, central to our notion of the modern state is a conception of narrative and the continuity of the subject. The unfolding narrative from the moment of national awakening to valiant defense of the motherland or fatherland entails the nation as an incomplete project which manifests itself differently in various historical epochs. " 55 Narratives of national history represent past people as ethnically distinct from others who form an ethnically distinct natural community. 56 A fictive ethnicity is produced and reproduced in such a way that ethnicity does not appear as a fiction but as objective reality.
For Anderson, nationalism is the expression of a radically changed form of consciousness. " 50 Anderson is not arguing that nationalism is the product of the end of religious thought, but that nationalism has to be considered within the context of the simultaneous decline of religious communities and dynastic rule coupled with the rise of a standardized print culture. The decline of religion and divine lineage occurred during a shift in the apprehension of time. " 51 Standardized Culture and the Nation The "origins" of national identity formation are based on the social and cultural institutions of a vernacular language, print capitalism, and a standardized educational system.