The article by Birthe Kundrus provides an analytical overview of recent developments in the historiography of German colonialism. The author points to the change from marginalization of topics pertaining to German colonial experience to the rediscovery of German empire as a major influence in modern German history (far beyond the period of formal colonial rule). German imperialism is specific due to the constellation of a long absence of colonial rule and long-lasting colonial patterns of politics and mentality; having been a latecomer on the scene of colonial politics, Germany tried to catch up with Great Britain and France and her imperialism was therefore more enthusiastic and intense. Another issue of debate regarding German colonial history is the connection between German overseas colonialism and the politics of German empire, the Weimar Republic, and the Third Reich in East-Central Europe. While inquiring into all of these new trends and debates, Kundrus cautions against overstretching the borders of analytical concepts that can result in locating colonialism everywhere and hence nowhere. The process of former peripheral experience becoming the central defining experience in modern German history is presented in the article in all its complexity and controversy.


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pp. 29-46
Launched on MUSE
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