During the final decade of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), young citizens found themselves at the heart of a rigorous programme of socialist patriotic education, yet following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the emphasis of official state rhetoric, textbooks and youth activities changed beyond recognition. For the young generation growing up during this period, ‘normality’ was turned on its head, leaving a sense of insecurity and inner turmoil. Using a combination of archival research, interviews, educational materials and government reports, this book examines the relationship between young people and their two successive states in East(ern) Germany between 1979 and 2002. This time-span straddles the 1989/1990 caesura which often delimits historical studies, and thus enables not only a detailed examination of GDR socialisation, but, crucially, its influence in unified Germany. Exploring the extent to which a young generation's loyalties can be officially regulated in the face of cultural and historical traditions, changing material conditions and shifting social circumstances, the book finds GDR socialisation to be influential to post-unification loyalties through its impact on the personal sphere, rather than through the official sphere of ideological propaganda. This study not only provides insight into the functioning of the GDR state and its longer-term impact, but also advances our broader understanding of the ways in which collective loyalties are formed.
divided nation and now ‘soldered state’, namely Germany. The rebranding of Berlin from a divided, Cold War ‘frontier town’ to the capital of unified Germany plays a key role in government-led nation-building. Berlin has been described as ‘the city where, more than any other city, German nationalism and modernity have been staged and restaged, represented and contested’ (Till 2005 , 5). Rebuilding
This study set out to look at three shared features of nation-building in unified Germany and Vietnam, namely national division, the impact of communism and the interplay with regional integration. It found that the nation-building process in post-unification Germany and Vietnam cannot be understood without a close reading of their respective historical, political and cultural contexts. The following
Part I Research design and historical background The German out-of-area debate did not, as an external observer might have expected, evolve around the question of re-uniﬁed Germany’s national security interests in the post-Cold War era. Instead, it represented a battle over the lessons of the past and the expectations of Germany’s partners. The debate looked backward much more than forward, and evolved around negative notions of what dangers Germany needed to avoid rather than positive notions of what could be achieved through engaging the Bundeswehr in
, headed by the slogan ‘Germans – We can be proud of our country’, the 2001 poster campaign was loaded with controversy. Despite recent claims that unified Germany has regained a sense of ‘normality’, the expression of collective German pride is clearly still considered anything but ‘normal’. The attitudes of young east Germans exemplify the unease that surrounds the expression of patriotic pride in contemporary Germany yet, in contrast to their elders, they often have little personal memory of divided Germany, and none of National Socialism. For the majority, unified
investigations of both populations. The presence of a distinctive eastern identity is, however, often regarded as something which must be overcome in the interests of inner unity, for the ‘wall in people’s heads’ threatens to undermine the recent narrative of ‘normality’, endorsed by numerous politicians, journalists and intellectuals, who view unified Germany as ‘the natural and normal, self-evident area of reference’.2 Yet the experiences of the young generation, whose lives have straddled the 1989/90 caesura, appear to be anything but ‘normal’. As the second generation born
Does European integration contribute to, or even accelerate, the erosion of intra-party democracy? This book is about improving our understanding of political parties as democratic organisations in the context of multi-level governance. It analyses the impact of European Union (EU) membership on power dynamics, focusing on the British Labour Party, the French Socialist Party (PS), and the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). The purpose of this book is to investigate who within the three parties determines EU policies and selects EU specialists, such as the candidates for European parliamentary elections and EU spokespersons.
The book utilises a principal-agent framework to investigate the delegation of power inside the three parties across multiple levels and faces. It draws on over 65 original interviews with EU experts from the three national parties and the Party of European Socialists (PES) and an e-mail questionnaire. This book reveals that European policy has largely remained in the hands of the party leadership. Its findings suggest that the party grassroots are interested in EU affairs, but that interest rarely translates into influence, as information asymmetry between the grassroots and the party leadership makes it very difficult for local activists to scrutinise elected politicians and to come up with their own policy proposals. As regards the selection of EU specialists, such as candidates for the European parliamentary elections, this book highlights that the parties’ processes are highly political, often informal, and in some cases, undemocratic.
was understandable that his vision of a Common European Home replacing a continent divided by confrontation did not include a unified Germany. For a man of his generation who as an 11-year-old remembered the German occupation of his home village in southern Russia, he could not have thought otherwise. He had seen the devastation of war in the late 1940s when travelling by train to Moscow to begin his studies. The journey took him through Stalingrad and other cities. The view from the train window of ‘harrowing destruction, scenes of fires, and ruins of flattened
different.’49 A survey carried out amongst pupils in grade 9 at the end of November confirmed this trend, finding 69% in support of the continuance of two sovereign German states. The remaining 31% claimed to be in favour of a unified Germany, but not necessarily as a capitalist country. Indeed, 51% supported socialism as a future system, 29% advocated a ‘third way’, a combination of the positive aspects of both socialism and capitalism, but only 19% favoured capitalism.50 Whilst few had believed SED propaganda concerning the evils of Western imperialism, the FRG was
. 76 Mitter and Wolle, Untergang auf Raten, p. 500. 77 Beschloss and Talbott, At the Highest Levels, p. 134. 78 SAPMO-BA, DY 30/IV 2/2.039/329: minutes of meeting between Krenz and Gorbachev, Moscow, 1 November 1989. 79 L. Kettenacker, Germany 1989: In the Aftermath of the Cold War (Harlow, 2009), p. 136. 80 M. Görtemaker, Unifying Germany, 1989–1990 (Basingstoke, 1994), p. 93. 81 Hertle, Der Fall der Mauer, p. 273. 82 Beschloss and Talbott, At the Highest Levels, pp. 158–9; McCauley, Gorbachev, p. 304. 83 Childs, The Fall of the GDR, pp. 108–9. 84