Anna Saunders
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The parameters of patriotism
in Honecker’s children
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This chapter examines the specific parameters of patriotism in post-war Germany and the GDR's patriotic programme of the 1980s. It discusses how the state attempted to play off the evils of the imperialist world against the assets of socialism in order to create what was often referred to as ‘socialism in the colours of the GDR’ and describes how the five distinct elements of patriotic education combined to encourage the formation of a patriotic youth. This chapter suggests that the GDR's patriotic programme was relatively successful given the high membership rates in the Free German Youth (FDJ), the demonstrations of apparent loyalty at national anniversaries and the widespread acceptance of the Jugendweihe.

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Honecker’s children

Youth and patriotism in East(ern) Germany, 1979–2002


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