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Deutsche Geschichte in deutsche Geschichten der neunziger Jahre

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. H.-J. Knobloch en_US
dc.contributor.author Garbe, Joachim Erich Ewald
dc.date.accessioned 2012-08-17T05:27:12Z
dc.date.available 2012-08-17T05:27:12Z
dc.date.issued 2012-08-17
dc.date.submitted 2000
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/6052
dc.description D.Litt. et Phil. en_US
dc.description.abstract The demolition of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the unification of the two Germanies less than a year later led to a search for a new national identity - a process in which German history was reconsidered. This initiated a number of debates about how the German past, especially the atrocities that had been committed during the fascist era, should be remembered. There was a strong tendency to downplay guilt and to consider this chapter of German history closed. Eventually, however, the opposite tendency gained prominence in public discourse. Particularly around 1995, the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II, and in subsequent years German society appears to be more interested in history than before. This thesis examines the role that novels and short stories, which were published in Germany during the nineties, played in the process of re-evaluating the German past. Taking into account that the telling of stories is a crucial element of remembrance, authors of fictional works that deal with the past, in whatever way, contribute to the collective memory of a nation. The seven chapters of this thesis examine different aspects of redefining the past. Attacks on authors like Christa Wolf and Giinter Grass and other intellectuals, especially by the conservative media, demonstrated that traditional perspectives were reconsidered. The ensuing debate, and how authors responded in their works, is examined in the first two chapters. The third chapter traces the effects that unification had particularly for those who had lived in the GDR and who were now struggling to reposition themselves in the historic process. The novels analysed reveal that unification affected West Germans to a much lesser extent. The following three chapters deal with the huge impact that a guilt-ridden past had and still has on the lives of Germans. A number of novels show that family life was severely affected by the historical burden which older generations were carrying, and that the silence which surrounded this burden was an irritating factor for younger generations. Authors of all ages try to come to terms with this issue in various ways, especially in autobiographical works. One dominant insight arises from most of the texts: the German language is often regarded as contaminated, and German daily life - in both the GDR and the FRG - was strongly influenced by the lack of communication between the generations. In this context those works that deal with the relationship between Jews and others are of particular interest. The final chapter discusses works published in 1997 and 1998 en_US
dc.language.iso de en_US
dc.subject German literature - History and criticism en_US
dc.subject German literature - 19th century - History and criticism en_US
dc.title Deutsche Geschichte in deutsche Geschichten der neunziger Jahre en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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