Dritte Generation Ost: Wer wir sind, was wir wollen (Politik & Zeitgeschichte) (German Edition)
Ich will dies, das und jenes haben. Sprich, Reparationen. Und umgedreht. Go to hell. You left something at home? And vice versa. The intermingling of the political and personal level is epitomised in the metaphor of the curtain, borrowed from the concept of the Iron Curtain that, according to a speech by Winston Churchill from , separated the Soviet sphere from the West.
The emphasis of the metaphor thus shifts from the iron wall that painfully separates people to a curtain that hinders visual contact and thus encourages mutual stereotyping. By generalising the concepts of conflict and division, she supports the notion that the early Cold War was a conflict between two equals. Once again, the blending of the spheres relies on a lack of agency. In a lesson about the air strikes on Dresden in February and the aftermath, Julia draws on the notion of division and conflict to construct the Cold War as a story of reconciliation.
Da war alles platt. Hier ziemlich bei uns. That was all flattened.
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Which bomber squadron? Und das ist in dieser Bombennacht kaputtgegangen Das ist richtig schick mit ganz vielen Edelsteinen. It was really a wonderful and valuable object. The narrative template of reconciliation comes along with the re-employment of the idea that the Americans became as good as the Russians had always been.
In the following, I will analyse more interactive situations, beginning with a unit about the different political and social orders in the future occupation zones. Talking about changes in Germany after , Julia first portrays the Western powers, especially the US, in a traditional Western fashion as representatives of democracy:. Wer regiert? Wer hat die Regierung dahin gesetzt? Wie ist dieses Land gesellschaftlich aufgeteilt? Who rules it? Who put the government in power?
The jeans factories? The car factories? I […] want to know the principle. Da ist eine Privatperson der Besitzer. Man nennt das auch kapitalistisch oder imperialistisch. This is also called capitalist or imperialist. The mixing of discourses with the resulting ambivalence also affects the representation of the Soviet Union.
In one lesson, a student is asked to repeat some of the contents from a previous lesson at the wall map:. They wanted to make democracy, so to speak. Nur die Frankreich, Amerika und die britische. Only France, America and the British. Es passt da irgendwo an diese Stelle, mhm zustimmend. Das ist Deutschland. Wo warst du denn? Where did you go? In the final classroom situation, Julia reconstructs former GDR discourse when interacting with the students and dealing with the textbook. Regarding denazification in the Soviet occupation zone, it says:.
Kommunisten ersetzt. Die Kommunisten nutzten die Entnazifizierung aber auch, um politische Gegner […] auszuschalten. So wurde die Entnazifizierung hier zum Mittel kommunistischer Herrschaftssicherung. But the communists also used denazification to eliminate political opponents […]. Denazification was thus used as a means to secure communist power. Denazification was used as a means to secure communist power. Ihr habt mitgeschrieben. You have all copied from the board.
What is happening in the offices? My analysis shows that Julia has developed a repertoire of accounts of the Cold War consisting of both individual narratives and underlying narrative templates. She thus de-politicises the historical conflict while also attributing a political component to the division within her family. In class, the mixing of the spheres and the non-assignment of agency recur in reconciliatory accounts of the Cold War. Other classroom situations triggered different accounts.
In student-teacher dialogues, Julia constructed ambivalent images of the two major actors by combining traditional Eastern and Western patterns of interpretation.
When including the traditional Western textbook as an additional authority, and thus relinquishing her own level of control to a certain extent, she resorted to former GDR narratives. While Julia seems to have acquired some traditionally Western ideas, these instances suggest an internalisation of GDR discourse. The fact that Julia reinterprets narratives not by openly criticising but by tacitly altering them confirms James C.
According to Scott, whose subject of study was a group of Malaysian peasants in the s, such resistance usually does not occur in the form of conscious and articulated revolution, but partly by constructing alternative narrations on the basis of shared norms Scott This also indicates that it is still taboo to openly challenge presumably official versions of history in Germany. The teaching of recent history thus reveals a severe lack of discussion. Instead, members of this generation are urged to adapt the images they construct of themselves to new expectations, which, however, remain vague and unspoken.
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In the course of this study, we have encountered traces of a considerable gap between the way in which Julia experiences and positions herself towards Cold War discourse and the way in which the students relate to it. More research on the younger generation is needed to enrich the debate and contribute to our understanding of how the legacy of the GDR and the history of the Cold War are dealt with in Germany. As Reh points out, some actors, such as the union Erziehung und Wissenschaft Education and Science , had a more differentiated view on education in the former GDR ibid.
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The material was collected between June and November by Kathrin Zehr, whom we would like to thank for her support. The interviews and lessons were recorded, transcribed, and rendered anonymous by giving code names to persons and places mentioned. As a rule I quote from them by indicating the file name and the location of the quote in minutes of recording as indicated in the transcription. The quotes I use in the text were translated from German by the author.
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The original files can be consulted at the Georg Eckert Institute in Braunschweig on the basis of respecting and guaranteeing the privacy rights of the people involved. Die hat nur 10 Mark gekostet. Und wie geht das hier alles weiter? Ja, das war schon hart. Ich habe am November, wenn das der Montag war, eine Klassenarbeit schreiben wollen. Das war also wochenlang vorher Thema. Ibid, - Auch bei den anderen Klassenlehrern so.
Also nur heroisch dargestellt. Hier dann ankam und sich praktisch neu orientieren musste.
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