By Siobhan Kattago
Ambiguous reminiscence examines the position 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 paradox of German reminiscence and the continuing hyperlink of Nazism with modern German nationwide identification. The e-book discusses how sure monuments, and the methods Germans have considered them, give a contribution to the various methods Germans have handled the prior, 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, remodeling it into an abstraction within which the Jewish query is down performed. as a way to shape a brand new collective reminiscence, the writer argues that unified Germany needs to cope with those conflicting perspectives of the previous, incorporating sure elements of either perspectives. delivering a topography of East, West, and unified German reminiscence throughout the Eighties and the Nineteen Nineties, this paintings contributes to a greater knowing of up to date nationwide identification and society. the writer exhibits 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 dating to the previous, and their destiny identification as a country. In a cautious research, the writer indicates how the earlier was once used and abused via either the East and the West within the Eighties, and the way those ways 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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Excellent booklet in regards to the Nazi-occupation of Prague. Even after examining loads of literature of the camps and in regards to the destiny of these in Nazi-occupied Europe, there have been passages during this book--particularly the end--that made very tough reading.
It is difficult for me to place my finger on Weil's skill to nonetheless make his topic so emotionally strong. with no rereading any of his books, i might say that--in this book--by juxtaposing the comedian, bumbling activities of Czech collaborators and Nazis with the plight of the Jewish inhabitants made the latter all of the extra gripping.
thorough, revealing description from amazon reviewer:
The novel starts off in Nazi-occupied Prague, quickly after the invasion of Russia. There are the 9 months while "the Butcher of Prague", Reinhardt Heydrich, as Deputy Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, governed with bare terror. He observed Bohemia as an old German land, had utter contempt for the Czechs and was once one of many major architects of the "Final Solution": the Jews have been already herded into ghettoes; Theresienstadt had already been changed into a maintaining sector from which many Jews have been despatched to the gasoline chambers of Auschwitz. Weil has Heydrich remorse that during his current place he may possibly simply manage the liquidation of the Jews rather than having the ability, as earlier than, to take part in my opinion within the violence. After Heydrich used to be assassinated, the fear intensified even more.
The publication portrays the brutality and paperwork of the regime; the infighting in the diverse Nazi professionals; how the Nazis terrify one another nearly up to they terrify the folk of Prague, as while an order given via Heydrich couldn't be instantly conducted. this type of orders were to take away the statue of Mendelssohn from the roof of the Prague Academy of track whilst none of his underlings knew which of the various statues used to be that of Mendelssohn. Such events are farcical; yet we're left in without doubt that there has been by no means whatever humorous within the final result, as we persist with the precarious lives of numerous Jews and Czechs. Many have perforce to collaborate with the Germans or even take a few satisfaction in it; others reproach themselves bitterly; a number of courageously have interaction in resistance. because the ebook progresses, it turns into darker and darker because the farcical components are left in the back of. We circulate to Theresienstadt, the place the Germans pressured Jews to pick different Jews to do negative issues to but different Jews. And the discomfort, there and in Prague, maintains correct as much as the time, within the final pages, while the Soviets force the Germans out of Czechoslovakia. a number of the Nazis' sufferers had long gone to their deaths bravely, figuring out that, even though they wouldn't stay to work out it, the Germans might definitely be defeated.
Weil wrote not just as a Jew, but additionally as a lover of Czechoslovakia.
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Extra resources for Ambiguous Memory: The Nazi Past and German National Identity
1 With the disappearance of the war generation and the dwindling number of concentration camp survivors, questions of how to remember National Socialism and the Holocaust coincided with the 40th anniversary of the end of the war and sparked controversial conceptions of German national identity. During the late 1970s and 1980s, West German conceptions of national identity were influenced not only by a negative mirror-imaging between a sharply demarcated East and West, but also by a complex and evolving internal relationship with the memory of Nazi Germany.
4. Gillis, "Memory and Identity," 3. 5. For a critique of recent examinations of memory, see Charles Maier, "A Surfeit of Memory? Reflections on History, Melancholy and Denial," History and Memory 5 (Fall/Winter 1993): 136-151. 6. , A History of Private Life: Riddles of Identity in Modern Times (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991). 7. Emile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, trans. Karen E. Fields (New York: Free Press, 1995), esp. chapter 7. 8. Maurice Halbwachs, The Collective Memory, trans.
35-36. 53. , 49. 54. Etienne Balibar, "The Nation Form: History and Ideology," in Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities, ed. Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein (New York: Verso, 1988; 1991), 86. 55. Ibid. 56. , 96. 57. , 93. 58. , 94. 59. Eric Hobsbawm, "Introduction: Inventing Traditions," in The Invention of Tradition, ed. Eric Hobsbawn and Terence Ranger (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 4. 60. , 13. 61. Eric Hobsbawm, "Mass-Producing Traditions: Europe 1870-1914," in The Invention of Tradition, 270-272.
Ambiguous Memory: The Nazi Past and German National Identity by Siobhan Kattago