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Tag: Germany

Debate: What are Polish / German views on the East?

May 13th 2020 / 16.00 CET: We cordially invite you to take part in the inaugural debate in the framework of the project titled “Ost/Wschód: German-Polish Debates on the East”.

May 8, 2020 - New Eastern Europe

Evolution of memory policy in Germany

When it comes to memory of the Second World War, Germany is regarded as the world champion of reprocessing. Yet German memory politics has never been free from controversy. This is especially true for the past few years which saw national-conservative parties questioning the consensuses that had been worked out in the course of the past 75 years.

Prior to Germany’s unification in 1990, the official memory of the Second World War developed differently in the two German states. The first period that marked a divergence in memory was that of the Allied occupation which lasted from 1945 to 1949. This was followed by a long period when both states built their own narratives of the Nazi past, and created their own response to the guilt for the committed crimes. With unification came a consensus that is now at risk of being undermined.

April 6, 2020 - Christoph Meissner

To Macron or not to Macron?

When Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the former foreign minister and now federal president of Germany, once tried to describe Germany’s role in Europe; he called it the “chief facilitating officer”. France’s newfound role under Macron now seems to be that of Europe’s “disrupter-in-chief”. That these two roles do not necessarily match is no surprise.

January 28, 2020 - Liana Fix

Germany’s Weimar Republic: A narrative of ambiguity

Modernisation appeared to spell economic deprivation for large segments of the Weimar Republic’s society. They felt threatened by uncertainties; in fact, hopes and expectations about the future were disrupted. Aggression turned against democratic institutions and minorities depicted as scapegoats.

On October 15th 1929, the Fritz Lang film Woman in the Moon premiered at the Ufa-Palast am Zoo in Berlin. The cinema’s façade had been redesigned for the event. Launched from a skyscraper silhouette, a spaceship replica shuttled back and forth to the moon against the backdrop of a starry sky simulated by hundreds of light bulbs. Offering tantalising visions of future technology – not quite unlike Bauhaus architecture with its twin promise of functionalist building and re-styled urban life, it conveyed the impression of epitomising a cosmopolitan republic that eagerly embraced modernity.

November 12, 2019 - Rainer Eisfeld

Forgotten tales of Germany and Ukraine’s past

Ukraine and Germany are linked together by a long and complicated history, one with Poland in the background. Unfortunately, knowledge of this shared heritage is still not well known, particularly in Germany.

No other nation brought as much damage to Ukraine as Germany in the 20th century. During the First World War, and especially the Second World War, millions of people who then lived in Ukraine were murdered by the Germans or died because of famine, disease and exhaustion caused by the German invasions. Ukrainians and Jews were those who primarily perished. However, it is also true that not many other nations had such a positive impact on Ukraine’s civilisational progress as the Germans.

August 26, 2019 - Adam Balcer

Towards an alliance between Kyiv and Berlin?

Counterintuitive deliberations on a possible future partnership between Ukraine and Germany.

August 16, 2019 - Andreas Umland

Krupp in Greifswald

On the perils of forgetting about the Holocaust.

June 18, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

Towards a new European Ostpolitik

Instead of encouraging co-operation through the opening of potential windows for partnership, which was the guideline of the previous Ostpolitik, a new European Ostpolitik should take the concerns, direct neighbourhood and historic experiences of the more recently added EU member states seriously by developing and implementing a new strategy of partnership. The goal should not be about developing new dividing lines but establishing new platforms of communication.

Germany’s international relations are already prioritising the development of a new European Ostpolitik well in advance of July 2020, when the country is slated to assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months. European Ostpolitik will likely be translated into more concrete policies during the 18-month-long rotating trio presidency of the Council of the EU that includes successive terms led by Germany, Portugal, and Slovenia, respectively.

May 2, 2019 - Iris Kempe

How to lose friends and alienate people or Germany on Nord Stream 2

Germany’s proceedings around Nord Stream 2 will not only hurt this country, but also European common policy as a whole from a security point of view. Additionally, they are undermining Germany’s already-fragile position as the European mediator and dealmaker.

April 4, 2019 - Wojciech Jakóbik

Kashubian Poles: Struggling with the “fifth column” label

Kashubia was once a culturally independent community in what is now known as the Pomeranian region in Poland. After a history filled with wars, Germanisation, Polonisation, and Sovietisation, where should the boundaries of Kashubian cultural identity be drawn today – and to what extent does it matter?

March 18, 2019 - Balsa Lubarda

Yiddish-German: from Central Europe to the Holocaust and back?

Before the Second World War, German enjoyed the status of a global language on par with English, French and Spanish. It is a little-known fact that the German language’s vast geographic presence was possible only thanks to German-Yiddish speaking Ashkenazi Jews. While the Second World War destroyed German language and culture’s global status, it also meant the near-total 'extermination and stigmatisation of Yiddish language and culture.

January 16, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

Germany, the half post-communist country whose legacy we forget

The shadows of that 41-year divide continue to loom over many Germans today. For those in the west of the country, the east might feel like a burden. High levels of spending and investments from the west, despite being the leading cause of a successful reunification, have not brought the east perfectly in line with the rest of Germany.

November 30, 2018 - Levi Bochantin

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