History

The burden of the Nazi’s past: silence or voice in West Germany?

Clara Blamberger (2016), The London School of Economics and Political Science, Msc in history of international relations. 

In her historic speech on 18 March 2008 in front of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, German Chancellor Angela Merkel placed great importance on Germany and Israel’s shared past of the Holocaust. She spoke of the “indescribable suffering” Germany inflicted upon the Jewish people, Europe and the world during the Holocaust, which still elicits “shame” to the Germans. Moreover, the Chancellor proved convinced that “Germany’s future can only be based on humanity if it accepted the everlasting responsibility for the moral catastrophe” in its history. She also reminded her audience of the significance to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive, both through places of memory such as Yad Vashem or the Holocaust memorial in Berlin but also through words and actions (1)

Merkel’s Knesset speech shows the relevance of Germany’s Nazi past until today, both in Germany’s political culture as well as political thought. This essay will discuss how and why the “unmasterable past” of the Nazi period has become a core element of West German political thought. The “unmasterable Nazi past” in political thought has found considerable attention in literature. For the purpose of this essay, a brief overview of Moses’ interpretation shall be given. Moses proposes the concept of stigma to understand the dynamics of German engagement with Nazism (2). Owing to “its historical misdeeds, Germany was ‘stigmatised’ as a nation” by other countries (3).On the one hand, Germans reacted by trying to “convince themselves and others that they had invented a new collectivity, divorced from an unbearable past”. Moses dubs this group the “non-German Germans”. On the other hand, there were also those who defended “the viability of their collective identity by making the national past bearable through a variety of displacement strategies”. These were the “German Germans” (4). Moses, in fact, “sees a direct correspondence between national identity and political orientation” (5). The “Non-German Germans”, or also “nonconformist” intellectuals, advocated “redemptive republicanism”, that is, radical break and renewal for Germany after 1945. The “German Germans”, however, propagated “integrationalist republicanism”. To them, the “promulgation of a republican constitution and the establishment of democratic institutions” sufficed (6).

According to Jarausch, Germans participated in a “learning process that derived from the shock of Nazi crimes”, which he calls “recivilizing”. This “pragmatic heeding of lessons that transformed German political culture largely took place in three distinctive phases”: in the years after 1945, around 1968, and during 1989-1990” (7). Moreover, Kundnani takes up the concept of “collective memory”. “Collective memory” has been defined as “a reconstruction of the past in light of the present”, which implies that memory is selective (8). Kundnani suggests that during the history of the Federal Republic, “collective memories in which Germans appear as perpetrators have competed with collective memories in which Germans appear as victims” (9).

The “unmasterable past” of the Nazi period manifested itself within West German political thought. Derived from some of the observations above, it conveyed itself in an intellectual dispute about how to treat Nazism. One group encouraged silence towards the past as well as resurrecting a strong national identity after the war. The other demanded engagement and a radical break with the past. Essentially, the debate was about who controlled history and thus the search for German post-war identity. This struggle did not only take place at an intellectual level but also a political one. Several evolvements in the post-war years illustrate this. The immediate post-war years saw the emergence of these two strands of thought. Loosely associated with right and left wing politics, the latter perspective came to dominate the 1950s in the form of Konrad Adenauer. The “New Left” and Willy Brandt reversed this trend in the 1960s, with West Germany now engaging with the past. The debate finally culminated in the late 1980s Historikerstreit (Historians’ Dispute). It must be said that the scope of this essay is too narrow to take all details into account. There have indeed been many debates about and contributions to the Nazi past – for example how to explain Nazism and its origins. For the purpose of this study, however, only abovementioned development will be looked at.

The Immediate Post-war Years

The immediate post-war years already witnessed the evolution of the two ways of thinking, which came to characterise political thought on the Nazi past in the following decades. There were, on the one hand, those favouring both critical reflection with as well as radical renewal after Nazism. These intellectuals included Eugen Kogon, Walter Dirks, Alfred Weber, Karl Jaspers or Dolf Sternberger, who for instance edited the journal die Wangling (10). According to Forner, they overall sought “a revolutionary transformation in a non-aligned Germany – popular mobilisation, maximal participation, and democratic socialism – grounded in an honest reckoning with the past” (11).This would “redeem the German catastrophe and forge an ideal polity in the process” (12).

Furthermore, Karl Jaspers in 1947 published The Question of German Guilt (13). He contends, “Germans are indeed obliged without exception to understand clearly the question of our guilt, and to draw the conclusions”. Because of “human dignity” Germans “cannot be indifferent to what the world thinks of us”. More importantly, however, the life of all Germans “can have no dignity except by truthfulness toward ourselves [sic]”. He calls the guilt question “decisive” both for Germany’s approach to the world and itself as well as the “German soul”(14). On a political level, this  approach of coping with the Nazi past was represented by e.g. Kurt Schumacher of the re-created Social Party (SPD). He thought “West German critical reflection on the Nazi past” a necessary condition to move on and form a democracy (15).

Conservatism faced problems after 1945, with for instance nationalism largely discredited (16). During the post-war years, conservatives either tried “to save as many German traditions and continuities as possible” or “to remind the German people of the everlasting Christian values”(17). As a reaction to the Nazi past, it eventually split into “two major currents: a pragmatic one stressing the importance of institutions and denying the relevance of ideologies”, and a “Christian current stressing the importance of eternal values against the repercussions of modernity and secularization”. The former ultimately prevailed in the 1950s.18 Politically, Adenauer, head of the newly founded Christian Democratic Union (CDU), personified such thoughts. He prioritised economic recovery and political democratisation over confrontation with the Nazi past and opposed a “thoroughgoing purge of the West German establishment and further trials and punishment”(19) This mirrored the opinion of most Germans. The public overwhelmingly rejected dealing with the Nazi past and denied “collective guilt”. Many Germans identified with “collective suffering” after the hardships of the war. Therefore, in the immediate post-war years the two intellectual courses on the Nazi past not only originated but also already partook in a debate on the nature of the new German state.

The 1950s

With the creation of the Federal Republic in 1949, this viewpoint came to dominate the scene. Indeed, it “became a conservative feature to defend the present” against the “obtrusiveness of the German past”. Conservatives like Arnold Gehlen or Helmut Schlesky “passionately opposed the efforts to come to terms with the German past,  for they thought Vergangenheitsbewältigung was merely a strategy to discredit existing institutions in favour of more utopian political visions”(20). Furthermore, Chancellor Adenauer’s policies certainly lacked confrontation with the NS-past. The reintegration of former Nazis into West German society is an example. They were incorporated into the civil service through the 1951 Reinstatement Act and even joined government. These include SS-member Oberländer as Minister for Refugees or Globke, commentary on the 1935 Nuremberg Race Laws, as Adenauer’s advisor. Besides, actual prosecution of Nazi criminals only progressed in 1958 when the Central Office for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes was installed in Ludwigsburg. On the other hand, the Chancellor’s firm pursuit of Westbindung and European integration may be understood as post-war reconciliation policies. Comparably, the Luxembourg Agreement in 1952, which promised reparations to Israel, demonstrated an attempt at rapprochement with the Jewish State after the Holocaust. Nevertheless, both developments sought to improve West Germany’s reputation in the world. Subsequent West German-Israeli relations illustrate that Bonn’s foreign policies were dominated less by the moral obligation of the Nazi past than Realpolitik. The FRG did not establish diplomatic relations with Jerusalem until 1965, scared the Arab states otherwise recognised East Germany.

However, on the public level, reaction to the Nazi past was different. Germany’s rearmament in 1955 was for example domestically contended. This instance of antimilitarism undoubtedly counts as a result of the Second World War and its disastrous effects. Jarausch determines this reaction to be “an ideological pacifism” which should later complicate “the assumption of international responsibility through multilateral military deployment”(21). Nonetheless, collective memory in the 1950s classified Germans as victims of Nazism and its outgrowths. The general public, as Moeller pinpoints, highlighted crimes committed against Germans during the war in the East. This, among others, enabled West Germans to remember the Third Reich’s end “without assessing responsibility for its origins”. Victimisation became an imperative factor in West German self-definition after the war (22). This version of collective memory of Germans as victims undeniably fits in the general political context of the Adenauer years.

However, those intellectuals who had petitioned for renewal in the mid- to late 1940s did not stay silent during the 1950s. For one, they referred to the Federal Republic as a “restoration” and continuity with the past (23) and repeatedly condemned the FRG throughout the decade. Forner for instance chronicles how those thinkers continuously demanded “more consequential confrontation with the National Socialist past”(24) Besides, a minority, especially in Social Democratic and liberal political circles, emphasised the memory of the Jewish catastrophe (25). Moreover, philosopher Theodor Adorno decried West Germans for failing to come to terms with the past (26). According to him, fascism lived on and reflecting on the past had until the late 1950 not been achieved. Instead, a “distorted image” of “cold and empty forgetting” had materialised. Societal conditions that made fascism possible had enabled this development (27). Overall, political thought on the Nazi past during the 1950s thus retained the same debate as in the late 1940s. Adenauer’s conservative policies of integration and neglect stood against thinkers who called for more engagement with the Nazi past.

The 1960s and Their Impact

Herf suggests that both “1968 and the leftist dissent of the 1960s were a caesura in the history of West German reflection on the Nazi past”(28). According to him, since the 1960s discussion on National Socialism had expanded. The relationship between democracy and memory of the Adenauer era had also been challenged and reversed (29). Moses too contends that the 1960s have commonly been delineated “as the decade of cultural awakening, political progress and social dynamism, indeed as the breakthrough to reform and innovation after the stifling conservatism and stagnation” of the previous decade (30). Furthermore, Fulbrook pictures the 1960s a “decade of political polarisation”, again characterised by rivalry between the “comfortable conservatives” and the “idealists of the emerging New Left (31).

First of all, the early 1960s symbolised both the Eichmann Trial in Israel in 1961 and the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials in 1963-5, as well as the Verjährungsdebatt (32). All brought the Nazi past back into public consciousness. Meanwhile, the so-called “New Left” articulated their criticism of Bonn’s engagement with the past ever more strongly and insisted on greater justice and remembrance. This would strengthen democracy. A generational divide reinforced this. The younger generation proved appalled at their elders’ shortcomings towards coming to terms with National Socialism. The 1968ers, as the generation has been labelled, became increasingly outspoken, especially after the Grand Coalition in 1966 eliminated effective opposition. The years 1967/8 finally meant a radicalisation of politics, with student protests all over the country.

The 1968ers have been reminisced as a generation boosting, and in fact assuring, Vergangenheitsbewältigung in the future. They have been associated primarily with collective memories of Germans as perpetrators of Nazism. It has been claimed, as Kundnani notes, that they shifted collective memory away from victimisation to one, which founded upon Germans as perpetrators (33). However, their relationship to the past proved ambivalent. This was first of all because many within the movement, most prominently Rudi Dutschke, “ignored the Nazi past and tended to see Germany as a nation of victims”. Moreover, others like Ulrike Meinhoff explicitly included German suffering during the war in her thoughts (34). Likewise, Kundnani explains that the 1968ers’ focus on “fascism” “tended to relativise the specific character of National Socialism” and marginalised the Holocaust. In addition, they often used the Nazi past for “political ends”, e.g. Nazi metaphors and images in connection with the Vietnam War. Nevertheless, Kundani assesses that overall their collective memory was based on Germans as perpetrators (35).

In summary, the “unmasterable Nazi past” in political thought endured to be a debate between those accentuating silence and those backing confrontation with Nazism. During the 1960s, the later “won” the quarrel, ultimately ushering in a change in collective West German memory and politics. With Willy Brandt the “other Germany’ at last came to power” in 196 (36). His famous Ostpolitik mirrored Brandt’s critical review of the Nazi past. He argued that a “public reflection on the German war on the Eastern Front” was necessary to rebuild trust and normalise West Germany’s relations with Eastern Europe and Mosco (37). The SPD-Chancellor subsequently pursued reconciliation with the East. His famous Kniefall in front of the monument for the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on 7th December 1970 is only one example (38).

The Historikerstreit in the late 1980s

The SPD stayed in power until 1982. This ensured that Brandt’s politics were more or less sustained, although Chancellor Helmut Schmidt proved slightly more realist than his predecessor. Yet Schmidt became the first West German Chancellor to visit Auschwitz, and in a 1978 speech declared that the persecution of Jews remained “a cause of bitterness and shame”(39). The election of Helmut Kohl in 1982 signalled the return of the CDU to power. This has become known as the Wende, a change in political attitude. The aim of the Kohl government was to “repair the cultural damage of 1968”(40). Under Kohl, the “feeling that Germany has too little history has come to the fore”. It was attempted to rekindle historical awareness in order to restore a salient German identity (41). This search towards reinterpreting West Germany’s relationship with the past was also evident in the Berlin and Bonn museum plans of the government (42).

Maier sketches the circumstances of the 1980s as follows. First, with the early 1980s several dates of Second World War commemorations arrived which appeared ideal to testify West German democratic maturity. Likewise, the peace movement against the deployment of inter-mediate range missiles applied national arguments to validate moving away from Western demands. Finally, the 1980s signified a generational issue. It proved to be the last opportunity, as Maier exclaims, for older historians to “master the past”. In addition, the economy, that is, among others economic success, had “failed as a basis for national identity”(43).

Maier also uses the “term Bitburg history” to refer to an “ideal type of historical approach characterized by several assumptions”(44). The Bitburg Controversy relates to Kohl and Reagan’s 1985 visit to a military cemetery to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Indeed, Kohl’s government aspired for Reagan’s visit to Germany “to wipe away the last moral residues of probation under which the Federal Republic still labored”(45). However, the trip to Bitburg caused furore because SS-men were also buried at the cemetery. According to Maier, Bitburg illuminates “fundamental questions about historical judgement” along three dimensions. It gave raise to problems about both individual responsibility and the extent of collective national responsibility as well as about the uniqueness of German Nazi crimes. Maier concludes that by “their inability to discriminate reconciliation from revisionism”, the participants at Bitburg assisted in dismantling the blockades of historical discourse in West Germany (46).

The Historikerstreit, starting in 1986, has to be looked at in this context. Ernst Nolte’s article on 6 June 1986 in the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) provoked the Dispute. Nolte complained about the “’bygones that do not want to go away’”, implying the Nazi past, and especially the Holocaust(47). He castigated the use of the Third Reich as contemporary “’horror image’” and recommended “a broader comparative approach to the Holocaust, including the Armenian massacres by the Turks’”, pointing out that “’everything which the Nazis did, with the sole exception of the technical process of gassing, had already been described comprehensively in the early Twenties’”(48). In the context of Soviet Gulags predating the Holocaust, he inquired whether the Nazis “not perhaps only committed this ‘asiatic’ deed because they saw themselves and others like them as potential or real victims of an ‘asiatic deed’, such as Communist persecution”(49). Nolte turned into the “first professional historian to call publicly for the cessation of global condemnations of the Nazi era”(50).

Leftist thinkers heavily attacked this approach, especially Jürgen Habermas (51). He denounced Nolte for pursuing “the national-historical restoration of a conventional identity” by shaking off a happily amoralized past”(52). What some sensed as a “loss of history”, Habermas posits, not only shows “aspects of forgetting and avoiding”. Contrarily, he maintains that if evolvements such as the loss of national symbols or the accentuation of discontinuities rather than continuities really existed, then they merely showed the evolution of what he designates a “post-conventional identity”(53). He deems West Germany’s “unreserved opening towards Western political culture the great intellectual achievement of the post-war period”(54). Habermas reckons as well that the “only patriotism, which did not alienate us from the West was patriotism towards the constitution”(55). This can be portrayed as “pure loyalty to the constitution”, which many intellectuals hoped would advance Germany to the front of a “post-national consciousness”(56).

Nolte and Habermas’ clash caused other thinkers to get involved. Intellectuals such as Michael Stürmer or Hildebrand came to Nolte’s aid, as did Hagen Schulze, who wrote in Die Zeit that Habermas had simplified the issue and misunderstood Nolte’s arguments (57). FAZ co-editor Fest principally supported contrasting the Holocaust with other crimes, as long as this did not minimise German responsibility (58)  Meanwhile, others like Eberhard Jäckel underlined the Holocaust’s uniqueness,(59) while Rudolf Augstein harshly scathed Nolte (60). The latter, finally, reaffirmed his position in another Zeit article,61 as did Habermas (62). Eventually, the Historians’ Dispute also saw the involvement of politicians such as the CDU’s Alfred Dregger, who warned that the “’abuse’” of critical history would make the Germans “’incapable of coping with the future’”(63).

In other words, Nolte and some others promoted both an end to the condemnation of West Germany due to its past, next to a search for a strong national identity based on German traditions. Habermas and other leftist thinkers slammed this way of thought, accusing conservative intellectuals to “relativise” the Holocaust, and preferring a German identity based on constitutional patriotism. The Historians’ Dispute thence accounted for the climax of all earlier debates. It epitomised the modes of thoughts towards the Nazi past present in the Federal Republic for decades. On the one hand, there were those advocating engagement and radical break with the Nazi dictatorship and its crimes, typified in post-war intellectuals such as Jaspers or the 1960s “New Left”. In the Historikerstreit it was Habermas and others echoing this viewpoint. These were, in Moses’ words, the “Non-German Germans”, or “redemptive republicanists”. On the other end stood conservative thinkers emphasising German  traditions and pushing for silence about the Nazi past. These comprised figures such as Arnold Gehlen in the early years of the Federal Republic. Politically, it was Adenauer or Kohl who sponsored this approach during their respective terms in office. In the Historians’ Dispute, Nolte and others held this outlook. These were certainly those Moses settled to be the “German Germans”.

The Historikerstreit, however, was more than a mere intellectual deliberation on National Socialism and the Holocaust. As Fulbrook remarks, “history” in the Federal Republic was “extremely controversial” and a “highly political matter”(64). Maier, for example, surmises that the Historians’ Dispute also asked what sort of “national existence West Germany can enjoy”(65). Eley similarly argues that the Historians’ Dispute constituted a quest for national identity (66). Finally, Jarausch assumes that the bottom line of the quarrel was not only historical but also political (67). According to him, it targeted “not as much on the past as on the present and future”(68). Thus, the Historikerstreit also rounded off West German intellectual fight for the nature of German politics and identity. This feud had affected the Federal Republic from the very beginning and indeed came to advise its politics. Starting in the 1940s, thinkers and politicians like Adenauer and Schumacher commenced the political debate. Adenauer as Chancellor led West German political culture and identity in the 1950s with his approach of silence towards the Nazi past. The 1960s saw the leftists arising, endorsing engagement with the Nazi past and ultimately dictating the political scene in form of Brandt. The 1982 Wende saw a renewed search for strong German national identity under Kohl, which principally resulted in the Historians’ Dispute. Nolte’s notion of repaired national identity based on history and traditions stood against Habermas’ “post-conventionalism”.

The “unmasterable past” of the Nazi period hence became a core element of West German political thought in the form of an intellectual struggle between conservative and leftist thinkers, and essentially politicians, on how to best deal with Nazism, that is, avoid or cope with it. The “unmasterable Nazi past” embodied this debate because it ultimately reflected a search on German identity in light of National Socialism, with those emphasising continuity and German traditions standing against those supporting radical renewal. The question that remains is why the Nazi past proved to be so “unmasterable”. Put simply, “unmasterable past” entails that the Nazi period cannot be “mastered”, that it remains “inescapable”. It was, of course, Maier who coined this term. Indeed, Nolte proclaimed during the Historikerstreit that there was an obsession with the Nazi past in West Germany. Maier queries why it should be more obsessive than other pasts. He alleges that this was not because of the deeds themselves, that is, the Nazi dictatorship and the Holocaust, but “because of the complicity and shame, which precluded a full confrontation”. The answer to obsession was not forgetting, but “overcoming” and “repairing”. Historians should not “fetishise” Auschwitz as the “end of history”, since it was not the Holocaust alone that determined the 20th century. Instead, they should analyse it. While Maier acknowledges that differentiating between analysing and “fetishising” is difficult, he concludes that not the “method, but the use of history establishes it”. According to him, history should contribute to reconstructive efforts (69).

Meanwhile, Eley presumes that the “memory of dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the minds of the living” and that for “German historians the nightmare is never far away”(70). Jarausch speculates that “irreducible trauma of the Holocaust” continues to forbid “normalisation of German historical consciousness”(71). The “irremovable Nazi stain”, he says, continuously irritates and challenges historians. Additionally, the “incredible magnitude” of Hitler’s crimes impedes any attempt to reduce it in the eyes of the international but also domestic community (72). Jarausch postulates that the Historians’ Dispute ultimately hinted at the necessity of “critical historicization of the Third Reich”(73) Indeed, Nipperdey contributed to the Historikerstreit by proposing just that, namely to “historicise” National Socialism (74). Jarausch ascertains an approach that tries to balance time-bound scholarly analysis with timeless moral reflection”(75). According to him, the Nazi past needed to be put back into its own past for it to be relevant for the present (76).

Conclusion

Overall, the “unmasterable Nazi past” entered West German political as a debate on how to deal with the past and define West German identity. Two concluding points may be elaborated on a bit further. First, deduced from the arguments of this essay, the “unmasterable Nazi past” has not only become a core element of political thought but also literally institutionalised itself in politics, society and indeed identity. It has dictated foreign politics, especially with regards to Israel but also in the sense that Germany has rarely assumed a leadership role in international politics. Domestically, any even remotely extreme right wing movement has been looked at suspiciously. Germans, moreover, have internalised such values as anti-militarism as well as antinationalism, and have proved insecure about what it means to be “German”.

Finally, has the “unmasterable Nazi past” been “mastered” since the late 1980s? It did remain as controversial as ever after reunification. Debates in the 1990s for example surrounded the Goldhagen Controversy or the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. Merkel’s above-quoted speech likewise displayes its continued, at least symbolic, significance. Recently, however, a change has occurred. For one, a young generation has emerged that has almost no direct ties to the Nazi past, as does the considerable large part of Germany’s population with a migration background. Additionally, Germany has arguably for the first time pursued independent, or non-aligned, foreign policy when it did not participate in the 2003 Iraq War or abstained from the 2011 Libya intervention. It has also grown into Europe’s leader in the context of the Euro crisis. German image abroad has also improved, with the country and its citizens enjoying prestige and respect among large parts of the international community. On the other hand, the increase in radical right wing movements as a result of Europe’s current refugee crisis has returned some memories of the past and been monitored sceptically. Therefore, while it seems some steps towards overpowering the “unmasterable past” have been made, it still haunts Germany until the present. It remains to be seen what the future relationship between Germany and its “unmasterable past” will look like.

References

(1) Merkel, Dr. Angela. Knesset, 18 March 2008. Bulletin der Bundesregierung, Nr.26-1, 18 März 2008. Retrieved from http://www.bundesregierung.de/Content/DE/Bulletin/2008/03/Anlagen/26-1- bk.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=1 (accessed on 18/04/2016).

(2) Moses, Dirk A. German Intellectuals and the Nazi Past. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007, Kindle Edition, p.17.

(3) Wolin, Richard. “The Decline of German Mandarins”, in Modern Intellectual History 10:1, 2013, p.251

(4)Moses, p.32.

(5) Strote, Noah B. “Structuring German postwar ideology: review of A. Dirk Moses, German intellectuals and the Nazi past”, in Theor Soc 38:3, 2009, p.331.

(6) Moses, p.41.

(7) Jarausch, Konrad Hugo. After Hitler. recivilizing Germans, 1945-1995. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006, pp.270-2.

(8)Kundnani, Hans. “Perpetrators and Victims: Germany’s 1968 Generation and Collective Memory”, in German Life and Letters 64:2, 2011, p.273.

(9) Kundnani, p.273.

(10) Forner, Sean A. German Intellectuals and the Challenge of Democratic Renewal. Culture and Politics after 1945. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp.21ff.

(11) Forner, p.280.

(12) Forner, p.111.

(13) Jaspers, Karl. The Question of German Guilt. New York: The Dial Press, 1947.

(14)Jaspers, p.28

(15) Herf, Jeffrey. “Post-Totalitarian Narratives in Germany: Reflections on Two Dictatorships after 1945 and 1989”, in Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions 9:2, 2008, p.165.

(16) Van Laak, Dirk. “From Coservative Revolution to Technocratic Conservatism”, in Müller, Jan-Werner (ed.) German Ideologies since 1945: studies in political thought and culture of the Bonn Republic. Basingstoke, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, p.152.

(17) Van Laak in Müller, p.152.

(18) Van Laak in Müller, p.148.

(19) Herf, Jeffrey. Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1997, p.209.

(20) Van Laak in Müller, p.156.

(21) Jarausch, 2006, pp.272-3.

(22) Moeller, Robert G. “Remembering the War in a Nation of Victims: West German Pasts in the 1950s”, in Schissler, Hanna (ed.) The Miracle Years. A Cultural History of West Germany, 1949-1968. Princeton, Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2001, pp.84-6.

(23) Forner, p.280.

(24) Forner, p.319, also 280ff.

(25) Herf, Jeffrey. “Politics and Memory in West and East Germany since 1961 and in Unified Germany since 1990”, in Journal of Israeli History 23:1, 2004, p.40.

(26) Adorno, Theodor W. Eingriffe. Neun kritische Modelle. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1963, p.139.

(27) Adorno, p.139.

(28) Herf, 1997, p.334.

(29) Herf, 1997, p.334

(30) Moses, p.160.

(31) Fulbrook, Mary. A History of Germany, 1918-2014: the divided nation. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, 2015, p.167.

(32) Federal Law outlined the statute of limitation for murder to be 20 years, which would apply to all NS-crimes in May 1965. West Germans generally backed the law, preferring the Third Reich to be in the past. However, due to international pressure, the statute of limitation was eventually extended until 1969, 20 years after the FRG’s creation. It was later completely abolished.

(33) Kundnani, p.274.

(34) Kundnani, p.274.

(35) Kundnani, pp.274-5.

(36) Herf, 1997, p.344.

(37) Herf, 1997, p.344.

(38) Herf, 1997, p.344-5.

(39) Herf, 1997, p.346.

(40) Moses, p.220.

(41) Olick, Jeffrey K. “The Unmasterable Past: History, Holocaust, and German National Identity (Book Review), in Theory and Society 21:2, 1992, p.291.

(42) Jarausch, Konrad H. “Removing the Nazi Stain? The Quarrel of the German Historians”, in German Studies Review 11:2, 1988, p.292.

(43) Olick, p.291.

(44) Maier, Charles S. The Unmasterable Past: History, Holocaust, and German National Identity. Cambridge, London: Harvard University Press, 1997, p.13.

(45) Maier, p.10.

(46) Maier, p.15.

(47) Jarausch, 1988, pp.286-7.

(48) Jarausch, 1988, p.287.

(49) Jarausch, 1988, p.287.

(50) Jarausch, 1988, p.287.

(51) Habermas, Jürgen. “Eine Art Schadensabwicklung”, in Die Zeit 29/1986. Retrieved from http://www.zeit.de/1986/29/eine-art-schadensabwicklung (accessed 25/04/2016).

(52) Jarausch, 1988, p.287.

(53) Habermas in Die Zeit.

(54) Habermas in Die Zeit.

(55) Habermas in Die Zeit.

(56) Heuser, Beatrice. “The Historikerstreit: Uniqueness and Comparability of the Holocaust”, in German History 6:1, 1988, p.77.

(57) Schulze, Hagen. “Fragen, die wir stellen müssen”, in Die Zeit 40/1986. Retrieved from http://www.zeit.de/1986/40/fragen-die-wir-stellen-muessen/komplettansicht (accessed 25/04/3016).

(58) Jarausch, 1988, p.288.

(59) Jäckel, Eberhard. “Die elende Praxis der Untersteller”, in Die Zeit 38/1986. Retrieved from http://www.zeit.de/1986/38/die-elende-praxis-der-untersteller (accessed 25/04/2016).

(60) Augstein, Rudolf. “Die neue Auschwitz-Lüge”, in Der Spiegel 41/1986. Retrieved from http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-13519376.html (accessed 25/04/2016).

(61) Nolte, Ernst. “Die Sache auf den Kopf gestellt”, in Die Zeit 45/1986. Retrieved from http://www.zeit.de/1986/45/die-sache-auf-den-kopf-gestellt/komplettansicht (accessed 25/04/2016).

(62) Habermas, Jürgen. “Vom öffentlichen Gebrauch der Historie”, in Die Zeit 46/1986. Retrieved from http://www.zeit.de/1986/46/vom-oeffentlichen-gebrauch-derhistorie/ komplettansicht (accessed 25/04/2016).

(63) Jarausch, 1988, p.288.

(64) Fulbrook, p.247.

(65) Maier, pp.5-6. 66 Eley, Geoff. “Nazism, Politics and the Image of the Past: Thoughts on the West German Historikerstreit 1986-1987, in Past and Present 121, 1988, p.278.

(67) Jarausch, 1988, p.292.

(68) Jarausch, 1988, p.292.

(69) Maier, pp.167-8.

(70) Eley, pp.171-2.

(71) Jarausch, 1988, p.295.

(72) Jarausch, 1988, p.299.

(73) Jarausch, 1988, p.299.

(74) Nipperdey, Thomas. “Unter der Herrschaft des Verdachts”, in Die Zeit 43/1986. Retrieved from: http://www.zeit.de/1986/43/unter-der-herrschaft-des-verdachts/komplettansicht (accessed 25/04/2016).

(75) Jarausch, 1988, p.299.

(76) Jarausch, 1988, p.299.

Primary Sources

Websites

Augstein, Rudolf. “Die neue Auschwitz-Lüge”, in Der Spiegel 41/1986. Retrieved from http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-13519376.html (accessed 25/04/2016).

Habermas, Jürgen. “Eine Art Schadensabwicklung. Die apologetischen Tendenzen in der deutschen Zeitgeschichtsschreibung”, in Die Zeit 29/1986. Retrieved from http://www.zeit.de/1986/29/eine-art-schadensabwicklung (accessed 25/04/2016).

Habermas, Jürgen. “Vom öffentlichen Gebrauch der Historie”, in Die Zeit 46/1986. Retrieved from http://www.zeit.de/1986/46/vom-oeffentlichen-gebrauchder- historie/komplettansicht (accessed 25/04/2016).

Schulze, Hagen. “Fragen, die wir stellen müssen”, in Die Zeit 40/1986. Retrieved from http://www.zeit.de/1986/40/fragen-die-wir-stellenmuessen/ komplettansicht (accessed 25/04/3016).

Jäckel, Eberhard. “Die elende Praxis der Untersteller” 38/1986. Retrieved from http://www.zeit.de/1986/38/die-elende-praxis-der-untersteller (accessed 25/04/2016).

Merkel, Dr. Angela. Knesset, 18 March 2008. Bulletin der Bundesregierung, Nr.26-1, 18 März 2008. Retrieved from http://www.bundesregierung.de/Content/DE/Bulletin/2008/03/Anlagen/26-1- bk.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=1 (accessed on 18/04/2016).

Nolte, Ernst. “Die Sache auf den Kopf gestellt”, in Die Zeit 45/1986. Retrieved from http://www.zeit.de/1986/45/die-sache-auf-den-kopfgestellt/ komplettansicht (accessed 25/04/2016).

Nipperdey, Thomas. “Unter der Herrschaft des Verdachts”, in Die Zeit 43/1986. Retrieved from: http://www.zeit.de/1986/43/unter-der-herrschaft-desverdachts/ komplettansicht (accessed 25/04/2016).

Books

Adorno, Theodor W. Eingriffe. Nein kritische Modelle. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1963.

Jaspers, Karl. The Question of German Guilt. New York: The Dial Press, 1947. 17

Secondary Sources

Eley, Geoff. “Nazism, Politics and the Image of the Past: Thoughts on the West German Historikerstreit 1986-1987, in Past and Present 121, 1988.

Forner, Sean A. German Intellectuals and the Challenge of Democratic Renewal. Culture and Politics after 1945. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Fulbrook, Mary. A History of Germany, 1918-2014: the divided nation. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, 2015.

Herf, Jeffrey. Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1997.

Herf, Jeffrey. “Politics and Memory in West and East Germany since 1961 and in Unified Germany since 1990”, in Journal of Israeli History 23:1, 2004.

Herf, Jeffrey. “Post-Totalitarian Narratives in Germany: Reflections on Two Dictatorships after 1945 and 1989”, in Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions 9:2, 2008.

Heuser, Beatrice. “The Historikerstreit: Uniqueness and Comparability of the Holocaust”, in German History 6:1, 1988.

Jarausch, Konrad H. “Removing the Nazi Stain? The Quarrel of the German Historians”, in German Studies Review 11:2, 1988. Jarausch, Konrad Hugo. After Hitler. recivilizing Germans, 1945-1995. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Kundnani, Hans. “Perpetrators and Victims: Germany’s 1968 Generation and Collective Memory”, in German Life and Letters 64:2, 2011.

Maier, Charles S. The Unmasterable Past: History, Holocaust, and German National Identity. Cambridge, London: Harvard University Press, 1997.

Moeller, Robert G. “Remembering the War in a Nation of Victims: West German Pasts in the 1950s”, in Schissler, Hanna (ed.) The Miracle Years. A Cultural History of West Germany, 1949-1968. Princeton, Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2001.

Moses, Dirk A. German Intellectuals and the Nazi Past. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007, Kindle Edition.

Olick, Jeffrey K. “The Unmasterable Past: History, Holocaust, and German National Identity (Book Review), in Theory and Society 21:2, 1992.

Strote, Noah B. “Structuring German postwar ideology: review of A. Dirk Moses, German intellectuals and the Nazi past”, in Theor Soc 38: 3, 2009. 18

Van Laak, Dirk. “From Coservative Revolution to Technocratic Conservatism”, in Müller, Jan-Werner (ed.) German Ideologies since 1945: studies in political thought and culture of the Bonn Republic. Basingstoke, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Wolin, Richard. “The Decline of German Mandarins”, in Modern Intellectual History 10:1, 2013.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s