In Pursuit of German Memory: History, Television, and Politics after Auschwitz

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"The collective memories of Nazism that developed in postwar Germany have helped define a new paradigm of memory politics. From Europe to South Africa and from Latin America to Iraq, scholars have studied the German case to learn how to overcome internal division and regain international recognition. In Pursuit of German Memory History, Television, and Politics after Auschwitz examines how Germans in particular have dealt with the moral challenges of the nation's horrific past and reveals universal strategies of collective remembering and forgetting that have shaped identities and memories in many parts of the world." Wulf Kansteiner's analysis of German history, politics, and media reveals a complex social geography of collective memory. In Pursuit of German Memory underscores the fact that German memories of Nazism, like many other collective memories, combine two seemingly contradictory qualities: they are highly mediated and part of a global exchange of images and story fragments but, at the same time, they can be reproduced only locally, in narrowly circumscribed networks of communication.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780821416396
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2006
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The vagaries of collective symbolic guilt 3
2 Finding meaning in memory : a methodological critique of collective memory studies 11
3 The rise and fall of metaphor : German historians and the uniqueness of the Holocaust 31
4 Between politics and memory : the historians' debate and West German historical culture of the 1980s 54
5 Narrative invention and historicization : how modern was the Nazi genocide? 86
6 Entertaining catastrophe : the reinvention of the Holocaust in the television of the Federal Republic of Germany 109
7 Nazis, viewers, and statistics : television history, television audience research, and collective memory in West Germany 131
8 The radicalization of German memory in the age of its commercial reproduction : Hitler and the Third Reich in the TV documentaries of Guido Knopp 154
9 High politics and communicative memory : collective guilt management in the Adenauer era 183
10 The long good-bye of the war generations and the search for liberal politics of memory : from Adenauer to Schmidt 214
11 Fighting about the future of the past : the difficult process of cultural memory production in the Kohl era 248
12 Normalization : the Europeanization of German political memory since the 1990s 280
Conclusion : toward a social geography of collective memory 316
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