Twenty Years on: Competing Memories of the GDR in Postunification German Culture

Twenty years on from the dramatic events that led to the opening of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the GDR, the subjective dimension of German unification is still far from complete. The nature of the East German state remains a matter of cultural as well as political debate. This volume of new research focuses on competing memories of the GDR and the ways they have evolved in the mass media, literature, and film since 1989-90. Taking as its point of departure the impact of iconic visual images of the fall of the Wall on our understanding of the historical GDR, the volume first considers the decade of cultural conflict that followed unification and then the emergence of a more complex and diverse textual memory of the GDR since the Berlin Republic was established in 1999. It highlights competing generational perspectives on the GDR era and the unexpected afterlife of the GDR in recent publications. The volume as a whole shows the vitality of eastern German culture two decades after the demise of the GDR and the centrality of these memory debates to the success of Germany's unification process. Contributors: Daniel Argeles, Stephen Brockmann, Arne De Winde, Wolfgang Emmerich, Andrea Geier, Hilde Hoffmann, Astrid Kohler, Karen Leeder, Andrew Plowman, Gillian Pye, Benjamin Robinson, Catherine Smale, Rosemary Stott, Dennis Tate, Frederik Van Dam, Nadezda Zemanikova. Renate Rechtien is Lecturer in German Studies, and Dennis Tate is Emeritus Professor of German Studies, both at the University of Bath, UK.