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Title: Sharing a Divided Memory: The First Halfof 20th Century History in the Cultures ofRemembrance in Post-Cold WarGermany and Poland
Authors: Christoph Thonfeld
Issue Date: Jun-2019
Publisher: 國立台灣師範大學歷史硏究所
National Taiwan Normal University Department of History
Abstract: The relationship between Germany and Poland in the first half ofthe 20th century had been mostly one of aggressive territorialcompetition and resettlement of people. After the collapse of thecommunist regimes in Poland and East Germany, followed by Germanreunification, the history of this relationship has been reconceptualisedwithin the framework of European integration. Despite overallprogress, there are still numerous obstacles that need to be overcome.Thus, seen from the perspective of cultures of remembrance, itbecomes obvious how fragile the re-established neighbourlyrelationship and both countries’ quest for internal and bilateralnormalization still are. Ever since 1945, there has been an “on-goingsaga of competitive victimhood” between people in both countries,where the wrongs one has done to the other have to be minimized ordelegitimized in order to build a national identity on a sense of beingdeeply wronged. Reconciliation efforts quickly reached a short-lived peak in 1994/5 but this rapid rapprochement was derailed around themillennium when both sides realized that there were still a number ofunresolved issues concerning the recent past. These incidentssignalled a return to more re-nationalized approaches to historicalmemories. Another ten years later, both sides became increasinglyaware that a more pragmatic approach to the opposite side was neededin order to further develop the bilateral relationship despite remainingdifferences concerning the views of the past. Thus, we can see overthe past three decades a succession of different emphases in Germanand Polish approaches to the memory of central aspects of theirentangled 20th century history, which were alternately based ontrends towards Europeanization, contested cosmopolitanisation orreflexive particularism.
Other Identifiers: 2F848D25-EBB0-3741-D625-62FCE8746FB0
Appears in Collections:臺灣師大歷史學報

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