Barbara Grüning

Memoria e riconoscimento: il caso della Germania orientale

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The aim of this paper is to reflect upon the relationship between memory and recognition analysing the forms of memories of east Germany during the GDR-era and after the reunification. The first part of the essay describes the change of the relationship between the political culture and the varied forms of memory of the German democratic Republic during the regime. A special attention is paid to understand how since the '70s changes in values and a critic confrontation with the "official memory" were important resources for the formation of a "civic society" that claimed a political, social and cultural recognition. In the second part the narrations of life-experience during the GDR are compared with the official memory of the GDR. It points out how the different collective memories of east Germans aren't recognised on the national public scene. The thesis is that the democratic character of the reunified Germany is defined only in a functional and formal sense, through a "juridical recognition", while a "social recognition" is yet to achieve. That means that the construction of a new German identity and the construction of a "new" national memory implies the understanding of "different" identities and memories, which hand down souvenirs, values and issues of public interest, essential for a public discussion in a democratic society.


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