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Memorializing the GDR: Monuments and Memory after 1989

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Memorializing the GDR

Monuments and Memory after 1989

Anna Saunders

382 pages, 24 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-680-5 $130.00/£92.00 Hb Published (May 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-681-2 eBook

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“This is a consistently high-quality monograph, founded on a thorough awareness of memory politics. It reaches persuasive conclusions that challenge established theoretical positions in the field, especially in the way it highlights the dynamic two-way relationship between communicative and cultural memory in the evolution of post-unification memorials.” · Dennis Tate, University of Bath


Since unification, eastern Germany has witnessed a rapidly changing memorial landscape, as the fate of former socialist monuments has been hotly debated and new commemorative projects have met with fierce controversy. Memorializing the GDR provides the first in-depth study of this contested arena of public memory, investigating the individuals and groups devoted to the creation or destruction of memorials as well as their broader aesthetic, political, and historical contexts. Emphasizing the interrelationship of built environment, memory and identity, it brings to light the conflicting memories of recent German history, as well as the nuances of national and regional constructions of identity.

Anna Saunders is a Senior Lecturer in German at the School of Modern Languages, Bangor University, Wales. Her publications include the monograph Honecker’s Children: Youth and Patriotism in Eastern Germany (2007) and the collection Remembering and Rethinking the GDR: Multiple Perspectives and Plural Authenticities (2013, coedited with Debbie Pinfold).

Subject: Postwar History Urban Studies
Area: Germany


List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations and Key Terms


Chapter 1. Memory, Monuments and Memorialization
Chapter 2. Socialist Icons: From Heroes to Villains?
Chapter 3. Soviet Special Camps: Reassessing a Repressed Past
Chapter 4. 17 June 1953 Uprisings: Remembering a Failed Revolution
Chapter 5. The Berlin Wall: Historical Document, Tourist Magnet or Urban Eyesore?
Chapter 6. Remembering the 'Peaceful Revolution' and German Unity

Conclusion: Beyond the Palimpset


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