A “usable” past at last? The politics of the past in united Germany

Ruth Wittlinger, Steffii Boothroyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The two decades since unification have witnessed considerable changes in German collective memory. Whereas views about the place that the Nazi past should occupy in Germany’s historical consciousness were still very polarized a few years before the fall of the Wall, developments since unification have resulted in a past that is much more accommodating and allows an easier identification with the German nation. A more institutionalized and internationalized approach to the Nazi past, which incorporates the memory of German suffering, is increasingly complemented by a focus on positive aspects of German history, like the successes of the Bonn Republic, the peaceful East German revolution of 1989, and unification in 1990.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-502
JournalGerman Studies Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


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