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The Boundaries of Germanness
Germans have been one of the most mobile and dispersed populations on earth. Communities of German speakers, scattered around the globe, have long believed they could recreate their Heimat (homeland) wherever they moved, and that their enclaves could remain truly German. Furthermore, the history of Germany is inextricably tied to Germans outside the homeland who formed new communities that often retained their Germanness. Emigrants, including political, economic, and religious exiles such as Jewish Germans, fostered a nostalgia for home, which, along with longstanding mutual ties of family, trade, and culture, bound them to Germany. The Heimat Abroad is the first book to examine the problem of Germany's long and complex relationship to ethnic Germans outside its national borders. Beyond defining who is German and what makes them so, the book reconceives German identity and history in global terms and challenges the nation state and its borders as the sole basis of German nationalism. Krista O'Donnell is Associate Professor of History, William Paterson University. Nancy Reagin is Professor of History, Pace University. Renete Bridenthal is Emerita Professor of History, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.
Icon of German Militarism
With his victory over the Russian army at the battle of Tannenberg in August 1914, Paul von Hindenburg became a war hero. By 1916 he had parlayed an exaggerated reputation for decisive victory into near dictatorial powers. After GermanyÆs defeat at Verdun and War Minister Erich von FalkenhaynÆs dismissal in late 1916, Hindenburg, along with his chief of staff Erich Ludendorff, took over strategic direction of the war. The eponymous Hindenburg Program attempted with some success to mobilize GermanyÆs economy for war. He also oversaw many of GermanyÆs most important wartime decisions, including the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare, Bethmann HollwegÆs dismissal as chancellor, RussiaÆs defeat and negotiation of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, and the ôLudendorff Offensivesö of 1918, which sought decisive victory on the Western Front but ended in GermanyÆs catastrophic defeat. After the war, Hindenburg played a crucial role in creating the Dolchstosslegende (the myth that the German Army had been ôstabbed in the backö by a Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy on the homefront), in leading Germany as president of the Weimar Republic, and, most tragically, in acquiescing to Adolf HitlerÆs rise to power.
Ernst Th?lmann in Myth and Memory
Throughout the 1920s, German politician and activist Ernst Th?lmann (1886--1944) was the leader of the largest Communist Party organization outside the Soviet Union. Th?lmann was the most prominent left-wing politician in the country's 1932 election and ran third in the presidential race after Hitler and von Hindenberg. After the Nazi Party's victory in that contest, he was imprisoned and held in solitary confinement for eleven years before being executed at Buchenwald concentration camp in 1944 under the F?hrer's direct orders.
Hitler's Rival examines how the Communist Party gradually transformed Th?lmann into a fallen mythic hero, building a cult that became one of their most important propaganda tools in central Europe. Author Russel Lemmons analyzes the party intelligentsia's methods, demonstrating how they used various media to manipulate public memory and exploring the surprising ways in which they incorporated Christian themes into their messages. Examining the facts as well as the propaganda, this unique volume separates the intriguing true biography of the cult figure from the fantastic myth that was created around him.
How Hitler's "Final Solution" Undermined the German War Effort
An innovative and thorough history of how Hitler's war to eliminate Europe's Jews and the Wehrmacht's war versus the Allies were in conflict with each other to the detriment of the latter.
Selected Essays and Addresses, 1906-1927
The Austrian writer Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874-1929) was one of the great modernists in the German language, but his importance as a major intellectual of the early twentieth century has not received adequate attention in the English-speaking world. One distinguished literary scholar of his generation called Hofmannsthal a “spiritual-moral authority” of a kind German culture had only rarely produced. This volume provides translations of essays that deal with the Austrian idea and with the distinctive position of German-speaking Austrians between German nationalism and peoples to the East, whether in the Habsburg Monarchy or beyond it, as well as essays that locate Hofmannsthal’s thinking about Austria in relation to the broader situation of German and European culture. “It is the true accomplishment of this translation that Hofmannsthal’s language, recreated in a clear and elegant English, regains its melody of an earlier time. If there ever was a captivating documentation of the European potential of Austria beyond the stereotypes of “Vienna at 1900,” it has been brought together in this volume of essays that responded to the tragic challenges of World War I in a constructive way.” Frank Trommler, University of Pennsylvania
Race, Sex, and Citizenship in the New Germany
In this compelling study, Damani J. Partridge explores citizenship and exclusion in Germany since the fall of the Berlin Wall. That event seemed to usher in a new era of universal freedom, but post-reunification transformations of German society have in fact produced noncitizens: non-white and "foreign" Germans who are simultaneously portrayed as part of the nation and excluded from full citizenship. Partridge considers the situation of Vietnamese guest workers "left behind" in the former East Germany; images of hypersexualized black bodies reproduced in popular culture and intimate relationships; and debates about the use of the headscarf by Muslim students and teachers. In these and other cases, which regularly provoke violence against those perceived to be different, he shows that German national and European projects are complicit in the production of distinctly European noncitizens.
Constitutional Structures of German Unification
In the mid-summer of 1989 the German Democratic Republic-- known as the GDR or East Germany--was an autocratic state led by an entrenched Communist Party. A loyal member of the Warsaw Pact, it was a counterpart of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), which it confronted with a mixture of hostility and grudging accommodation across the divide created by the Cold War. Over the following year and a half, dramatic changes occurred in the political system of East Germany and culminated in the GDR's "accession" to the Federal Republic itself. Yet the end of Germany's division evoked its own new and very bitter constitutional problems. The Imperfect Union discusses these issues and shows that they are at the core of a great event of political, economic, and social history.
Part I analyzes the constitutional history of eastern Germany from 1945 through the constitutional changes of 1989-1990 and beyond to the constitutions of the re-created east German states. Part II analyzes the Unification Treaty and the numerous problems arising from it: the fate of expropriated property on unification; the unification of the disparate eastern and western abortion regimes; the transformation of East German institutions, such as the civil service, the universities, and the judiciary; prosecution of former GDR leaders and officials; the "rehabilitation" and compensation of GDR victims; and the issues raised by the fateful legacy of the files of the East German secret police. Part III examines the external aspects of unification.
Literature and the Architecture of the Referent
The placein the title of Claudia Brodsky's remarkable new book is the intersection of language with building, the marking, for future reference, of material constructions in the world. The referentBrodsky describes is not something first found in nature and then named but a thing whose own origin joins language with materiality, a thing marked as it is made to begin with. In the Place of Language: Literature and the Architecture of the Referent develops a theory of the referentthat is thus also a theory of the possibility of historical knowledge, one that undermines the conventional opposition of language to the real by theories of nominalism and materialism alike, no less than it confronts the mystical conflation of language with matter, whether under the aegis of the infinite reproducibility of the image or the identification of language with Being.Challenging these equally naive views of language - as essentially immaterial or the only essential matter - Brodsky investigates the interaction of language with the material that literature represents. For literature, Brodsky argues, seeks no refuge from its own inherently iterable, discursive medium in dreams of a technologically-induced freedom from history or an ontological history of language-being. Instead it tells the complex story of historical referents constructed and forgotten, things built into the earth upon which history takes placeand of which, in the course of history, all visible trace is temporarily effaced. Literature represents the making of history, the building and burial of the referent, the present world of its oblivion and the future of its unearthing, and it can do this because, unlike the historical referent, it literally takes no place, is not tied to any building or performance in space. For the same reason literature can reveal the historical nature of the making of meaning, demonstrating that the shaping and experience of the real, the marking of matter that constitutes historical referents, also defers knowledge of the real to a later date. Through close readings of central texts by Goethe, Plato, Kant, Heidegger, and Benjamin, redefined by the interrelationship of building and language they represent, In the Place of Language analyzes what remains of actions that attempt to take the place of language: the enduring, if intermittently obscured bases, of theoretical reflection itself.
Essays on European Culture, Germans, and Jews
The nineteenth- and twentieth-century relationship between European culture, German history, and the Jewish experience produced some of the West’s most powerful and enduring intellectual creations—and, perhaps in subtly paradoxical and interrelated ways, our century’s darkest genocidal moments. In Times of Crisis explores the flashpoints of this vexed relationship, mapping the coordinates of a complex triangular encounter of immense historical import.
In essays that range from the question of Nietzsche’s legacy to the controversy over Daniel Goldhagen’s Hitler’s Willing Executioners, the distinguished historian Steven E. Aschheim presents this encounter as an ongoing dialogue between two evolving cultural identities. He touches on past dimensions of this exchange (such as the politics of Weimar Germany) and on present dilemmas of grasping and representing it (such as the Israeli discourse on the Holocaust). His work inevitably traces the roots and ramifications of Nazism but at the same time brings into focus historical circumstances and contemporary issues often overshadowed or distorted by the Holocaust.
These essays reveal the ubiquitous charged inscriptions of Nazi genocide within our own culture and illuminate the projects of some later thinkers and historians—from Hannah Arendt to George Mosse to Saul Friedlander—who have wrestled with its problematics and sought to capture its essence. From the broadly historical to the personal, from the politics of Weimar Germany to the experience of growing up German Jewish in South Africa, the essays expand our understanding of German Jewish history in particular, but also of historical processes in general.