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East Germany: Special Topics
Risen from Ruins by In the aftermath of the Second World War, Berliners grappled with how to rebuild their devastated city. In East Berlin, where the historic core of the city lay, decisions made by the socialist leadership about what should be restored, reconstructed, or entirely reimagined would have a tremendous and lasting impact on the urban landscape. Risen from Ruins examines the cultural politics of the rebuilding of East Berlin from the end of World War II until the construction of the Berlin Wall, combining political analysis with spatial and architectural history to examine how the political agenda of East German elites and the ruling Socialist Unity Party (SED) played out in the built environment. Following the destruction of World War II, the center of Berlin could have been completely restored and preserved, or razed in favor of a sanitized, modern city. The reality fell somewhere in between, as decision makers balanced historic preservation against the opportunity to model the Socialist future and reject the example of the Nazi dictatorship through architecture and urban design. Paul Stangl's analysis expands our understanding of urban planning, historic preservation, modernism, and Socialist Realism in East Berlin, shedding light on how the contemporary shape of the city was influenced by ideology and politics.
Call Number: Online Resource
Publication Date: 2018-04-17
DEFA after East Germany by In the late 1980s and early 1990s, East Germany's DEFA filmmakers had a brief window in which to critique GDR society on either side of the Wende, the sweeping political turn that surrounded the fall of the Berlin Wall andthe opening of the border. Building on the DEFA Film Library's retrospective Wende Flicks series and Indiana University's DEFA Project, this study examines the newly rediscovered filmic artifacts of this transitional cinema, introducing eighteen key films from 1988 to 1994 in essays by German scholars, film professionals, and cultural figures. Accompanying interviews and historical film reviews present a complex portrait of East German film art, itscommunist bloc influences, and its legacy for contemporary German film culture. The resulting anthology combines historical, autobiographical, cultural-political, and journalistic discourses to explore the tension between the hopes and frustrations these films express, the historical exigencies that overshadowed their production and reception, and the politics of their revival.Contributors: Skyler J. Arndt-Briggs, Peter Blank, Claudia Breger,Barton Byg, Knut Elstermann, Peter Kahane, Jennifer M. Kapczynski, Wolfgang Kohlhaase, Thomas Krüger, Helmut Morsbach, Benjamin Robinson, Katrin Schlösser and Frank Löprich, Nicholas Sveholm, Johannes von Moltke, Brigitta B. Wagner.Brigitta B. Wagner is an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow in Film Studies at the Freie Universität and in Time-Based Media at the Universität der Künste in Berlin.
Call Number: Online Resource
Publication Date: 2014-12-01
Rereading East Germany by This volume is the first to address the culture of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) as a historical entity, but also to trace the afterlife of East Germany in the decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall. An international team of outstanding scholars offers essential and thought-provoking essays, combining a chronological and genre-based overview from the beginning of the GDR in 1949 to the unification in 1990 and beyond, with in-depth analysis of individual works. A final chapter traces the resonance of the GDR in the years since its demise and analyses the fascination it engenders. The volume provides a 'rereading' of East Germany and its legacy as a cultural phenomenon free from the prejudices that prevailed while it existed, offering English translations throughout, a guide to further reading and a chronology.
Call Number: PT3705 .R44 2015
Publication Date: 2016-01-14
Sex, Thugs and Rock 'n' Roll by A fascinating and highly readable account of what it was like to be young and hip, growing up in East Germany in the 1950s and 1960s. Living on the frontline of the Cold War, young people were subject to a number of competing influences. For young men from the working class, in particular, a conflict developed between the culture they inherited from their parents and the new official culture taught in schools. Merging with street gangs, new youth cultures took shape, which challenged authority and provided an alternative vision of modernity. Taking their fashion cues, music and icons from the West, they rapidly came into conflict with a didactic and highly controlling party-state. Charting the clashes which occurred between teenage rebels and the authorities, the book explores what happened when gender, sexuality, Nazism, communism and rock 'n' roll collided during a period, which also saw the building of the Berlin Wall.
Call Number: Online Resource
Publication Date: 2007-12-30
Cold War on the Airwaves by Founded as a counterweight to the Communist broadcasters in East Germany, Radio in the American Sector (RIAS) became one of the most successful public information operations conducted against the Soviet Bloc. Cold War on the Airwaves examines the Berlin-based organization's history and influence on the political worldview of the people--and government--on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Nicholas Schlosser draws on broadcast transcripts, internal memoranda, listener letters, and surveys by the U.S. Information Agency to profile RIAS. Its mission: to undermine the German Democratic Republic with propaganda that, ironically, gained in potency by obeying the rules of objective journalism. Throughout, Schlosser examines the friction inherent in such a contradictory project and propaganda's role in shaping political culture. He also portrays how RIAS's primarily German staff influenced its outlook and how the organization both competed against its rivals in the GDR and pushed communist officials to alter their methods in order to keep listeners. From the occupation of Berlin through the airlift to the construction of the Berlin Wall, Cold War on the Airwaves offers an absorbing view of how public diplomacy played out at a flashpoint of East-West tension.
Call Number: Online Resource
Publication Date: 2015-11-01
Fashioning Socialism by Fashioning Socialism is the first history of communist fashion in East Germany. Using clothing as a lens to read society, the author unveils wider tensions between the regime and the population and within the regime itself. In telling the surprising - and often bizarre - story of communist haute couture, fashion shows, seasonal clearance sales, the textile and garment industries, and everyday consumer practices, this book explores the paradoxical causes, forms, and consequences of East Germany's attempt to create a communist consumer culture during the Cold War. In attempting to compete with capitalism on the West's terms, East Germany unwittingly bred disgruntled consumers - consumers who ultimately tore down the Wall. Topics covered include gender and consumption, Americanization and Sovietization, women as consumer-citizens, and much more. A rare glimpse into consumerism under state socialism, this book offers unique insights into the Cold War, the dynamics and collapse of communism, and modern consumption.
Call Number: 306.30943109 St59f
Publication Date: 2005-08-01
Film and Memory in East Germany by Anke Pinkert explores films produced in the Soviet Occupation Zone and East Germany from the end of World War II through the early 1960s, offering new insights into how Germans dealt with the aftermath of the war. In her cultural analysis of the relationship between modern historical violence, cultural memory, and cinematic representation, Pinkert argues that the cinematic productions of East Germany offer a corrective to misperceptions about German responses to the legacy of the war. Film and Memory in East Germany considers antifascist films of the immediate postwar period, which depict the reintegration of former soldiers into society and the crisis of masculinity that accompanied the aftermath of the war; the socialist films of the late 1940s and 1950s, which attempt to shape a new national imaginary through stories of exemplary socialist womanhood; and, finally, the cinematic return to 1945 in socialist modernist films of the 1960s.
Publication Date: 2008-07-09
Writing in Red by In the German Democratic Republic words and ideas mattered, both for legitimizing and criticizing the regime. No wonder, then, that the ruling SED party created a Writers Union to mold what writers publicly wrote and said. Its chief task was ideological: creating a socialist and antifascist culture. But it was also supposed to advance its members' professional interests and enable them to act as public intellectuals with a say in the direction of socialism. Many writers demanded that it pursue this second function as well, which brought it into conflict with the SED. This book explores how the union became a site for the contestation of writers' roles in GDR society with consequences well beyond the literary community. Union leaders, pressured by the SED or the secret police, usually acquiesced in enforcing regime demands, but by the 1980s many authors had adapted to the rules of the game, exploiting theirunion membership to insulate themselves from reprisal for their carefully worded critiques and in so doing beginning to break down limitations on public speech. The book explores how and why in the 1970s the Writers Union helped normalize relations between writers and state, yet over the course of the 1980s inadvertently aided the expansion of permissible speech, ultimately helping destabilize the East German system.Thomas W. Goldstein is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Central Missouri.
Publication Date: 2017-11-15
Transformation and Education in the Literature of the GDR by Perhaps never before has a state emphasized education to citizenship more than in the new nation founded in 1949 as the German Democratic Republic. For forty years, educational and cultural policy played a pivotal role in effortsto build and sustain a socialist state on German soil. Party and state held teachers and writers responsible for demonstrating the superiority of socialism, infusing pupils and readers with a commitment to the emerging state, andproviding persuasive role models of der neue Mensch each was challenged to become.Utilizing an innovative triangular framework, this book demonstrates how mentor-protegé(e) rubrics, traditionally associated with the socialist Bildungsroman, came to characterize text-external and text-internal relations within diverse narrative forms. Thus, leading writers such as Hermann Kant, Christa Wolf, Brigitte Reimann, and Christoph Hein played with the genre's patterns of transformation as they engaged with the intellectual, societal, and aesthetic dilemmas of GDR life. This book shows that understanding representations of educational transformation in GDR literature, a topic largely overlooked by critics, is central to an aesthetic appreciation of that literature more broadly.Jean E. Conacher is Senior Lecturer in German within the School of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics atthe University of Limerick, Ireland.
Publication Date: 2020-01-22
A Critical History of German Film, 2nd Edition by From early masterpieces such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) and Metropolis (1927) to the post-1945 films of Fassbinder, Herzog, and Wenders, German film constitutes a crucial part of the history of world cinema. It helped to shape Hollywood cinema and had a major impact on other cinemas as well. This tried and tested book, popular in college classrooms and among general-interest readers, is the most comprehensive and readable introduction to the history of German cinema, specifically designed to meet the needs of those who want a comprehensible, accessible introduction to the subject. There is no other book that covers the history of German cinema in the same depth and also explores the genesis and meaning of the most important masterpieces in German film history. It does so in chapters devoted to each of thirty-two individual films and in seven interchapters that provide context for historical periods from early German cinema to postunification. The book now appears in an improved, expanded, and up-to-date second edition that covers five additional films, expands the coverage of women's cinema, and brings the history of filmmaking in Germany up to the present moment. The book is specifically designed to appeal to cinema aficionados and for use in college classrooms, where it has been greeted with acclaim by students and teachers alike.Stephen Brockmann is Professor of German at Carnegie Mellon University.
Publication Date: 2020-04-15
The Writers' State by Twenty-five years after the demise of the German Democratic Republic, there is perhaps more scholarship being produced on all aspects of that country than ever. This is true also in the field of literary studies, but especially in English-language literary scholarship there has been a strong imbalance toward a focus on the last three decades of GDR literature. The literature of the earlier GDR has mostly been dismissed or ignored by scholars, as the discontinuities between the early and late GDR have been emphasized over the considerable continuities. This book seeks to redress that state of affairs, examining the literature produced from the very beginnings of what became the GDR through the 1950s. In doing so it applies to GDR literature the insight gained by scholars over the past few decades that the immediate postwar period was more complex, more meaningful, and more rewarding of study than it was long deemed to be. Far from all being mere propaganda or rote socialist realism, the literature of the early GDR has much to tell us about the budding socialist state, even as it goes far in explaining the developments in the later GDR.
Publication Date: 2015-12-21
East Germany from Stalinization to the New Economic Policy, 1950-1963
Originally microfilmed as Records of the U.S. Department of State Relating to the Internal Affairs of East Germany, this digital collection provides an in-depth look into the creation of the East German state, living conditions, and its people. Documents included in this collection are predominantly instructions to and dispatches from U.S. diplomatic, and consular personnel regarding political, military, economic, social, industrial, and other internal conditions and events in East Germany.
Socialism on Film
This collection of films from the communist world reveals war, history, current affairs, culture and society as seen through the socialist lens. It spans most of the twentieth century and covers countries such as the USSR, Vietnam, China, Korea, much of Eastern Europe, the GDR, Britain and Cuba. - See more at: http://www.socialismonfilm.amdigital.co.uk/#sthash.McOpse05.dpuf
Neues Deutschland Digital Archive
This collection contains all obtainable published issues of Neues Deutschland from the first issue in 1946 through 2017. The Neues Deutschland is a newspaper that provided firsthand accounts of the 20th Century’s most momentous events from the Cold War’s epicenter, and today still continues publishing as one of Germany's national dailies. This collection has been digitized in full image and accompanying full text.
U.S. Declassified Documents Online
U.S. Declassified Documents Online provides immediate access to a broad range of previously classified federal records spanning the twentieth and twenty first centuries. The collection brings together the most sensitive documents from all the presidential libraries and numerous executive agencies in a single, easily searchable database.The types of materials include intelligence studies, policy papers, diplomatic correspondence, cabinet meeting minutes, briefing materials, and domestic surveillance and military reports. Materials cover virtually every significant foreign policy development and international crisis, from the years leading up to the First World War through the end of the Cold War. Topics include the outbreak and course of the Second World War, the end of colonialism in the global south, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, U.S. relations with non-aligned states in the 1960s, U.S.-Soviet relations in the era of détente, international trade, nuclear proliferation, conflict in the Middle East, and the War on Terrorism.
East Germany: History
Suggested search terms:
- Germany (East) -- Politics and government
- Germany (East) --- History
- Germany (East) -- Social conditions
The German Democratic Republic by A clear, concise and thought-provoking introduction to the history of East Germany which engages critically with key debates and advances new interpretations of the origins, development and demise of the GDR. Peter Grieder also offers an original conceptualization of the GDR as a totalitarian welfare state.
Call Number: 943.1087 G871g
Publication Date: 2012-11-02
Behind the Berlin Wall by Few historical changes occur literally overnight, but on 13 August 1961 eighteen million East Germans awoke to find themselves walled in by an edifice which was to become synonymous with the Cold War: the Berlin Wall.This new history rejects traditional, top-down approaches to Cold War politics, exploring instead how the border closure affected ordinary East Germans, from workers and farmers to teenagers and even party members, 'caught out' by Sunday the Thirteenth. Party, police and Stasi reports reveal why onein six East Germans fled the country during the 1950s, undermining communist rule and forcing the eleventh-hour decision by Khrushchev and Ulbricht to build a wall along the Cold War's frontline.Did East Germans resist or come to terms with immurement? Did the communist regime become more or less dictatorial within the confines of the so-called 'Antifascist Defence Rampart'? Using film and literature, but also the GDR's losing battle against Beatlemania, Patrick Major's cross-disciplinarystudy suggests that popular culture both reinforced and undermined the closed society. Linking external and internal developments, Major argues that the GDR's official quest for international recognition, culminating in Ostpolitik and United Nations membership in the early 1970s, became its undoing,unleashing a human rights movement which fed into, but then broke with, the protests of 1989. After exploring the reasons for the fall of the Wall and reconstructing the heady days of the autumn revolution, the author reflects on the fate of the Wall after 1989, as it moved from demolition into therealm of memory.
Call Number: 943.1087 M288b
Publication Date: 2010-01-25
State and Minorities in Communist East Germany by Based on interviews and the voluminous materials in the archives of the SED, the Stasi and central and regional authorities, this volume focuses on several contrasting minorities (Jehovah's Witnesses, Jews, 'guest' workers from Vietnam and Mozambique, football fans, punks, and skinheads) and their interaction with state and party bodies during Erich Honecker's rule over the communist system. It explores how they were able to resist persecution and surveillance by instruments of the state, thus illustrating the limits on the power of the East German dictatorship and shedding light on the notion of authority as social practice.
Call Number: Online Resource
Publication Date: 2011-08-30
The History of the Stasi by The East German Ministry for State Security stood for Stalinist oppression and all-encompassing surveillance. The "shield and sword of the party," it secured the rule of the Communist Party for more than forty years, and by the 1980s it had become the largest secret-police apparatus in the world, per capita. Jens Gieseke tells the story of the Stasi, a feared secret-police force and a highly professional intelligence service. He inquires into the mechanisms of dictatorship and the day-to-day effects of surveillance and suspicion. Masterful and thorough at once, he takes the reader through this dark chapter of German postwar history, supplying key information on perpetrators, informers, and victims. In an assessment of post-communist memory politics, he critically discusses the consequences of opening the files and the outcomes of the Stasi debate in reunified Germany. A major guide for research on communist secret-police forces, this book is considered the standard reference work on the Stasi and has already been translated into a number of Eastern European languages.
Call Number: Online Resource
Publication Date: 2014-01-30
Born in the GDR by The changes that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 were particularly dramatic for East Germans. With the German Democratic Republic effectively taken over by West Germany in the reunification process, nothing in their lives was immune from change and upheaval: from the way they voted, the newspapers they read, to the brand of butter they bought. But what was it really like to go from living under communism one minute, to capitalism the next? What did the East Germans make of capitalism? And how do they remember the GDR today? Are their memories dominated by fear and loathing of the Stasi state, or do they look back with a measure of fondness and regret on a world of guaranteed employment and a relatively low cost of living? This is the story of eight citizens of the former German Democratic Republic, and how these dramatic changes affected them. All of the people in the book were born in East Germany after the Berlin Wall was put up in August 1961, so they knew nothing other than living in a socialist system when the GDR fell apart. Their stories provide a fascinating insight not only into everyday life in East Germany, but about how this now-vanished state is remembered today, a quarter of a century after the fall of the Wall.
Publication Date: 2015-01-01
Comrades of Color by In keeping with the tenets of socialist internationalism, the political culture of the German Democratic Republic strongly emphasized solidarity with the non-white world: children sent telegrams to Angela Davis in prison, workers made contributions from their wages to relief efforts in Vietnam and Angola, and the deaths of Patrice Lumumba, Ho Chi Minh, and Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired public memorials. Despite their prominence, however, scholars have rarely examined such displays in detail. Through a series of illuminating historical investigations, this volume deploys archival research, ethnography, and a variety of other interdisciplinary tools to explore the rhetoric and reality of East German internationalism.
Publication Date: 2015-12-01