Echte Bauern - Der soziologische Dokumentarfilm (German Edition)


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Bedford, Jonathan

Then again. And in such a war such a long war! Here is something we have kept: an absolutely true and scientific account of our origins. The other animals held a council to see about creating humans Cherokee. Arguing, they fell asleep at nightfall. The coyote then took a bite from each, swallowed it all and regurgitated a Cherokee We have, of course, kept much more, perhaps because we had no books or libraries to rely on or to be burned.

My question must always be, does what we know matter? Does it matter if I interrupt your authoritative history with a correction or a footnote? I mean, to the ongoing human discourse in which your declamations must surely be short-lived? Or to you collectively and personally? He understood the relentless confusion that had made them don the uniforms, and wanted to give them a chance to turn back in their hearts at some future moment.

But that made them so afraid they became frenzied, and bayoneted him into their own complete oblivion. From now back to the beginnings of our mutual encounter, we have tried to protect you in such ways. In honor of that human bravery, I must not take comfort or make profit from the situation. As a victim, I cannot have the luxury of being the victim; nor would it be a kindness although a great entertainment! Neither can you allow yourselves the luxury of curious detachment and I know, if you have the least bit of intelligence, you must feel detached.

The England that you know is made from our deaths. As Europeans you must surely hate and fear the monstrosity of the United States, the banality of Canada, and the cheerful mindlessness of Australia. But I want you to see them as your best efforts, as the most logical extension of your culture. Your permanent settler colonies are your standard, your proper measure, not an aberration which you can disclaim.

You cannot disclaim them and maintain a necessary intelligence: intelligence demands integrity. Without that integrity there is only gangsterish cunning. The torturer: Frantz Fanon wrote that Frenchmen torturing Algerians suffered nightmares and bad nerves. The United States torturer in El Salvador feels proud and excited. He is a more perfect Frenchman, a more perfect British colonel. The US is not simply a giant cancerous part of England: it is the perfect England. Oh, Jesus! How am I ever going to sell any artwork here, talking like that?

Well, of course I know that you personally are as gentle and lost as I am, so we can discuss matters calmly and irrationally. When I began researching the lives and myths of Pocahontas and Attakulakula in London I found such a morass of lies and of important truths untold.

I realized that there was no way I could present a counter-narrative, even on the most elemental level. The story of Pocahontas as written by her husband, John Rolfe, as taken hole-cloth from a book by Richard Hakluyt, published in London in Hakluyt himself moved to Virginia later on, and Rolfe may have known him there.

The myth of Pocahontas and John Smith became an important operant in the construction of America, and had its counterparts all over the hemisphere. In Brazil the story is told about a woman named Iragema; in Mexico, Malinche. But John Rolfe determined to make it real, to participate personally in the myth.


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He was a very personal man, and his unbending loyalty to friends ultimately brought him isolation in the desperate times of war. Even when fighting the British he protected the lives of his British friends. What did he think of London in ? Where did he go, and what museums did he visit? Did he see any plays—The Tempest, perhaps? The Treaty of between England and the Cherokee Nation was of constant importance to us.

We fought with England against the colonists, which brought us grief. In the Second World War young Cherokee men went to fight with England in honor of that treaty, and there is still told around campfires the prophecy that some day men in red coats will come from across the sea to help us. We have loved England, and especially become enthralled with writing. By we had our own newspaper, written in our own newly devised alphabet, and, of course, some missionary promptly translated the King James version of the Bible, the first book written in Cherokee.

Oh, I wish I could cease being such a savage. That was the Cherokee reality before the enclosure. The objects here are not mine or yours; they are ours. All that we know we know by direct action—such as a bee sting—or by metaphor. Language is metaphor, as much as are dreams. My artwork is also metaphor, but not in a simple pictorial way. The materials, the actual objects that I change, carry their own complexities. I always intend the most complex changes and constructions possible. Then, in showing the work publicly, a different and very specific metaphoric language attaches to it.

This is what we must be aware of most. You have some ideas from reading this what my intentions are. But what are your intentions? You once knew that space is made by objects, and that as we move between and interact with objects, we are formed. We are from the past, but we echo and reverberate in the present. What a responsibility! It is necessary that, with great urgency, we all speak well, and listen well. We, you and I, must remember everything. Obviously that process cannot begin with longer lists of facts.

It needs newer, and much more complex, kinds of metaphors. Perhaps we must trust confusion more, for a while, and be deeply suspicious of simple stories, simple acts. My family has lived there for about It seems a hard irony that most Europeans these days do not see themselves as nationalistic. They feel no need for loyalty to an abstract state, but more a continued frustration with the politics and leaders of whatever nation-state they find themselves in.

Ironic because it is here where the concept of nation-states coagulated into its first solidity and then infected the entire world. Only to finally shrug it all off. This new sophistication has not yet reached Serbia and a few other Eastern countries far from the centers of Paris, Rome, or Berlin. Not very far away by the standards of Africa or the Americas, of course. And France and England must remain chauvinistically nationalist as part of their traditional strategies against each other.

Certainly we do not want too many Africans and Arabs moving in and making our lives uncomfortable. Mostly, though, we are all happily European, and are mentally free to live in several countries. Still, there is the tendency, common to much of humanity, to imagine that what is has practically always been and will probably always be.

We think Italy has always been Italy and also that it has little reality. In the days of kingdoms—though England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, and Norway still have kings and queens—Sardinia included the country of Savoy, which lay between Switzerland and France. The king of Sardinia had Savoy as part of his realm. Not long ago! One may safely prophesy, then, the end of England in the not-too-distant future. Therefore, also Brazil and the United States, but such heresy can hardly be safely uttered lest it seem that the utterer is advocating this demise.

The newest nation-state is South Sudan. Sudan was an invention of the slave trade and colonization. Its current president was once in the Egyptian army. Here is a case, most typical of Africa, wherein the super-patriotism we find in so many of the American countries would seem absurd. More to our point, what is South Sudan now supposed to do? And how? The people wanted freedom from oppression. In our present condition that desire necessitated nationhood. What is a nation-state good for anyway?

What goes on inside, as China is now so vehemently pontificating in the case of Syria, is sacrosanct against outside interference. In my own lifetime, I think the European countries would not have blinked an eye when the German government decided to kill all Jewish and Roma people if Germany had not attacked Poland— another nation-state. In short, nation-states are thuggery. They attack each other. To be successful as a people, or an area of people we must now say, needs a strong army to protect the national borders against the other nations.

Then this area of people must have strategic allies within various organized groups of thugs. This area of people might, for example, send a representative to some league of states and ask for a vote of. A word of warning: do not send your representative to petition the gang of gangs unless you have made the necessary alliances beforehand! Your area of people will lose the vote and be more vulnerable than before.

What I mean is: we take this completely absurd situation as normal. We take it as the only reality. Could be imagined. When the existing nation-states were all in Europe. Even the ridiculous concept of race was more simple in its complexity. Race and Nation were the same stupid concept.

Coming from the Americas I am always impressed at how Europeans love their actual countries—how they love the land and how they do not despoil it. Olive trees thousands of years old. Countryside farms right up to the edge of the city, itself filled with parks. We know well the details of this evolution: in the first place the king and his close cousins owned all the land. Part of Sardinia was Mont Blanc and other famous Alps. I am writing this in Molise, a beautiful hilly province of southeast Italy. It has very few people because they all emigrated.

Some were still leaving for Paris on foot, with no papers, in the late s. Many still return in the summer because more than from other parts of Italy, perhaps, the emigrants keep a memory of love of the land. Before they all left, however, they had, over generations, almost completely denuded the hills and valleys of trees. Wood for cooking, for winter heat.

Too many people for the land to support. As they began to leave the land began to heal. The same was true for the Polish peasants and for all of Europe. What an ecological disaster to those places! Bread made from a non-indigenous grain which is detrimental to the natural environment.

The grandchildren of our Polish autoworker have never seen the land in which they were born. Land as amusement park. Concomitant to immigration has been colonization. This in turn hinges upon a new mine opening in Brazil. Due to more stringent ecological regulations in Brazil, the English mine there has not been able to open, so the ambassador seeks a special favor for which, we assume, he might promise a return favor in the near future. There are developing countries, we say. Zambia is one of them, developing along quite well in the early s on the strength of the sale of raw copper once it freed itself from British colonization in the sixties.

This poor country has few other natural resources, few other ways to make money. Following the example of developed, civilized countries, it can send about half of its workforce to Paris and Manchester. It can simultaneously establish a colony in the north of England, reaping huge profits from the various goods there. A second colony in Spain would not hurt.

Wait, though. Let us leave poor Zambia to dig its own grave. We must ask, is colonialism really over? Do we really live in postcolonial times? We know the truth of this suspicion when we stop and notice that more poor Zambians are getting poorer. This system results from and invents the international world of nationhood. Which are the nations outside of Europe? In the Americas, Australia, and New Zealand, a substantial and powerful portion of our system, the nations are run by the settlers. The nations are the European settlers. In every instance their mentality is colonial European.

The United States is today still commercially cutting what is left of its sequoia redwood forests, almost all of which are privately owned by lumber companies. Every country in North and South America is an ongoing, accelerating ecological disaster, exploited for money. They have no other relationship to the land. The American nations are colonial constructions against the land. Why do they not want to conserve? So that these resources can be extracted and sold. The nation then becomes strong and takes its place among the other strong nations. Because it would not otherwise be able to compete, and would die.

This is certainly correct even if it appears to be ineffective on the whole. Maybe we do not usually notice how dependent these companies are upon the various nations. In that case I would rather imagine a more distant future with no nations. It is not really miraculous that this utopia of my imagination is not run by a world government called Shellmonsantoastrozeneca; I imagine it is not, because this is the far future after many ecological and economic collapses. The multinationals have also collapsed. Would not the winemaker in Burgundy still take pleasure in making good wine without the existence of France?

The cheesemaker still make the cheese he can be proud of? I, as a member of those peoples made homeless, who live at the sufferance of those nations established specifically against us and against the land upon which we live, I can well imagine a world without nations. It would need a large police force for many years, run by a world government, of course.

But I can imagine it. What I cannot imagine in this distant future is how they operate without money. But that is another story. Unknown location. In a US government memorandum, R. Shakelford informed W. In the interview, the director revealed that his film about the Weather Underground was set for release on November 7, It remains unknown whether the soundtrack in fact helped agents track down the Weather Underground Organization, a radical anti-capitalist student group.

The filmmakers—Emile de Antonio, Haskell Wexler and,. Mary Lampson—filmed the conversation with their fugitive protagonists indirectly in order to prevent their recognition. In some of the shots, the Weathermen are seen with their backs to a mirror, as the camera films the reflection, revealing the faces of the filmmakers but not the Weathermen themselves.

However, the silhouettes you see are us. You hear us speak and believe that the voices you are hearing correspond to the silhouettes you are seeing. It is a montage of sorts, which our political circumstances demand: combining the experience of the talking head from television with the invisible speaker of the radio.

We cannot reveal more than this silenced view of a talking silhouette. In some instances, movements and lighting conditions reveal facial features through the curtain. Mary Lampson later reworked these scenes using special effects. This should not be cause for irritation. What you hear are our actual voices. We said what we wanted to say. Now our voices are searching for a new body. We are here to shoot a film that documents this quest. Henceforth, the title was to be changed to The Flight Across the Ocean, and any reference to the name Lindbergh was to be removed.

Brecht adopted facts about air travel as well as various sections from the text near verbatim. In his radio play The Tribune Der Tribun , the Argentine-German composer, conductor, librettist, and director Mauricio Kagel dismisses a specific reality in favor of the reality engendered by fiction. The invented character is only strong if the listener creates a composite of various politicians by himself. I believe the negation of a photographic reality is of elementary importance in the formulation of fictions.

Chotjewitz, the online platform So-and-So reports. With his radio play, The Trap, or, The Students are Not to Blame for Everything Die Falle oder Die Studenten sind nicht an allem schuld , the writer known for realistic storytelling caused public insecurity. Students and the state politicians, police, citizens, official orders, radio messaging clash with each other, without a mediating commentator, moderator, or presenter. A documentary radio play? He had heard the play broadcast on his car stereo, mistook it for news coverage, and informed the prime minister about a renewed outbreak of unrest.

The student protests had taken place a year earlier, but their renewed occurrence could not be discounted. According to statistics, authority engenders plausibility, in the sense of credibility not possibility, which is neither reality nor fiction. This does not mean demonstrations are theater, nor that theater is fiction, but both are made into a possible event.

Neither real nor fictitious, this event documents the knowledge gap between event and news coverage, which narrows with every presentation of documentation, only to be reopened. The date of the broadcast, on the eve of Halloween, was subsequently wielded as evidence that the program had been intended as a prank, which had been lost on the audience. During the Second World War, H. Hitler made a good deal of sport of it, you know, and actually spoke of it in the great Munich speech. Wherever you are—if it is within the BBC broadcasting range—it will feel familiar. While architecture creates place, radio creates placelessness.

With radio, one location can be used to tell the story of another, and the distinction between here and there, in- and outdoor, can blur. In the windowless, bunker-like House of the Future, a dice radio casts the mass media as the outside which enters the home and turns the latter into a matter of chance. And no throw of the dice will ever abolish chance. The future envisioned in House of the Future was dated Sanyo Electric Company prematurely reached this future; in , it put a radio dice on the market. In an interview with the magazine So-and-So, American actress Norma Jeane Mortenson, better known as Marilyn Monroe, comments on the absence of visuals in documentary radio production.

Monroe articulates what we all know: every report simultaneously covers something up—whether it be a detail, a perspective, or an incident unfolding on the margins of events. The supposed loss of the visual aspect of the voice lead to the conclusion that radio voices emerge from the spirit realm—not from this world, let alone from the recording studio.

As a result, radio voices were denied any evidentiary value, or reduced to a mere representation. Radio as medium could hence be ascribed the role of presenting, but never generating information. The boundaries between theater and news coverage proved porous, and news broadcasts were thus recognized as theaters of documentary news coverage. Two antique Olympian athletes were required to be shrouded in veils in order to be exhibited in the Qatari capital, Doha, Die Presse reported.

Before the First World War, it was also common practice in the West to obscure marble genitalia with iron, stucco, or paper. In a press statement made to the news agency So-and-So, the group schooled the minister on the Greek history of veiling and invoked the example of Pythagoras. The son of a migrant family, the philosopher used to conduct his lectures from behind a curtain.

Hence, the speaking subject moved into the invisible realm to allow his discourse to unfold independently of his person. This contradicts the theory that Pythagoras rendered himself invisible in order to lend greater authority to his words. Since the rise of the transparent state, and in light of the growing need of citizens to secure their anonymity in public, the Pythagorean curtain is enjoying renewed attention.

The Public Radio of Armenia reports on the letter of a listener who identified herself as a student of Pythagoras. Referencing historians and graphologists, the moderator states that it is unlikely that Pythagoras had any female students. This was the news. Western notions of reality are based on the fictitious chronology of these three periods, thereby placing the event, the reports, and their subsequent usage in a hierarchical relationship.

Referring to the sociologist Erving Goffman, Halberstramm argues that events in fact lack authenticity and are much closer to a scripted role-play written by numerous invisible hands. In this sense, an event documents the thoughts that determine its course, whether as an intentional script, as political manipulation, or as manufactured conditions that have allowed something unpredictable to surface. In eyewitness recollections, the event takes place a second time.

The chronological order of events serves to situate the recipient in a time after and, thus, outside the events. But the end of an event is as unpredictable as its beginning is undefinable. Every presentation intervenes in the fictitious chronology, thereby carrying forward the very event.

Here Memory, Decolonized brings radio into play as a translation device that translates events into voices. Visual images are omitted. In contrast with film, the radio does not offer a shared experience, but rather dissects this experience into an unknown number of rooms where the message weaves itself into this or that subjective chronology. I was born and grew up in Tel Aviv, and since moving to London in , my relationship to where I come from has increasingly become the source of a sense of urgency in my work.

For me, the research and the work are forms of returning. Wandering through the school corridors, I was reminded of the voices that I experienced in my own education and the impressions they left. To me, voices enact spatial and social relations and what has emerged in my research over the years is in part the implicit social and cultural. School started as an open-ended idea; there is a shared intimacy between teacher and pupils, but also there is a kind of performance that goes on in the classroom.

It was also a matter of curiosity to see if and how it has changed since I was a pupil in the s. Can you describe the process of research and recording? Initially I got permission to sit in on a couple of lessons, to listen to the teacher. Then I realized how fascinating it was to listen to the pupils as well, to their responses and interactions with the teacher, how they behave.

They form different groups, like microcosms; each classroom a kind of mini-society. This made me think about just how we are marked by these relationships. Who is your friend? Who is not your friend? How do you converse with the teacher? All these little preoccupations are a part of becoming, part of a process. I discussed the classroom setting with the sound recordist who was working with me, and we began experimenting with ways to record the field of voices in the classroom spatially. I wanted to dislocate this field of voices and sounds, and then to reconstruct them spatially for the visitor in the installation.

How the viewer-listener is positioned in relation to voices and sounds is always a central consideration in my work, so the recordings needed to reflect the directionality of the multiple voices and to register where they were situated in the classroom space. At the same time, it was necessary to convince the institutions to let me in, to get used to my presence, and to have some understanding of my project.

For each school there was a long process of achieving consent: when the headmaster was open to cooperation, I also explained the project to the teachers, pupils, and parents to get their consent. Finally, the sound recordist and I were not allowed to be present in the classroom during the lessons: we installed the microphones in advance and then had to wait in the corridor during the recording. In fact, I only listened properly to the lessons when I was back in my studio in London— that was the moment when I was confronted with the material as decontextualized, pure sound.

I became obsessed with picking out every utterance and placing it as text on the screen. It was important to me to have a multiplicity of voices and a range of subjects in School and to see how different modes of delivery by different teachers affect their interaction with the pupils. I recorded sixty-eight lessons over a period of two years. Given the conditions that had been set for me, the lessons were necessarily randomly recorded.

This was a hard but significant part of the process. So School is born of subjective research; it is not an attempt to give a documentary report or to do statistical research on the conditions of education in Israel. What kind of schools are these and what kinds of pupils attend them? I wanted, however, to revisit the kind of education that I had, schools that I went to, or similar. You could call it middle Israel. And how old are the pupils? The children are between 11 and 15 years old.

I focused on this age group because I specifically wanted to capture the performance of the voice in a particular time of transition, both physically and mentally. No other feature of a school environment as we know it is represented. I dislocate the sounds into this dark, visually blank space but I keep the spatial arrangement of the rooms and the corridor to create a directional sound environment and form a specific experience for the viewer-listener.

This space of experience will be different for each viewer-listener depending on the particular trajectory he or she takes through the installation. Yes, from the outset it made sense to me to have a multiplicity of lessons—one in each room—and for the visitor to experience this multiplicity, at times simultaneously, in the corridor.

When the cycle of lessons ends, the sounds of a school break fill the corridor: kids running and shouting, doors slamming. It is a kind of release. Then the lessons start again in all the rooms. What is created is an affective space, which I believe is also a productive one.

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I find it fascinating that something in these sounds can move from one culture into another culture through this experience. What is at stake in the absence of the image in School? I find sound more visceral, more intimate than an image, and in my work I focus on very specific sounds that encompass the voice, which is a highly loaded and emotive element.

Without the apparent certainty of an image you are stepping into something else, something ambiguous that is outside what is knowable. In darkness one listens differently as well as directionally, and School makes use of that experience and gives it weight. Paradoxically, the loss of a sense of embodiment when in darkness is important in enabling this to happen: it facilitates your immersion in the soundscape. Not only are. You get drawn into that scene, you start taking sides, deciding you like certain people and not others.

You inevitably feel as if you are addressed by these voices; you become situated as another subject and implicated in the scene in which you are moving. What is the significance of translation in your work? And yes, you are right, School is in many ways a work of and about translation. A major aspect of the affective dimension of the work is the experience of reading the projected titles, synchronised with the rhythm of the voices. Sometimes they are too fast and numerous to fully. Yes, there is a certain inability to read absolutely everything, even for native English speakers. This seems to me to be at the heart of what it is to have an ethical relation to another culture.

Perhaps it comes from the fact that I inhabit this ongoing condition of translation, oscillating between two cultures and languages. In a sense, I try to reproduce that for the visitor. For example, when you read the synchronized titles, the rhythm in which the words are uttered and the breathing of the speaking voice become the rhythm of the flashing titles. The rhythm of the work choreographs sounds, light, and darkness in relation to the architecture of the space. Throughout your work, we see a distinct interest in historiography.

Instead, you focus on small,. As I mentioned earlier, I come to subjects in my work through my personal experience and from my relation to the voice. I am interested in how these are affected by and implicated in social and political conditions, but I am also grappling with my personal relation to these conditions, my mixed relationship with the place I come from.

So how important is the political dimension in School? All these things are political in a sense. It was striking how many wanted to discuss their own education in comparison with elements in the work. Yes, it is always intertwined. Some teachers have been accused by politicians from the right of bringing politics and personal political views into the classroom. As if there could be an education without politics.

I think we can definitely see this understanding of the educational institution at play in School. We feel that force of interpellation, but we also see counterforces that are actively trying to negotiate it. I was surprised at how willing and eager the pupils are to assert their own views, sometimes really contradicting what the teacher is saying. The commotion and social dynamics of the classroom enable the visitor to feel the insecurity of being a teenager.

School shows that being a teenager is fraught, partly because there is resistance to conforming to the expectations of the institution, and partly. How do you think the work will be read when shown in Berlin? At the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, we are inside a historical institution that was built by the United States in the ideological context of the Cold War with a claim to reflect the values of transparency, liberty, and the promotion of knowledge.

It is not hard to imagine that the citizenship lesson, for example, with its references to the Second World War, will resonate differently in Berlin than in Folkestone. Mass killing and the mass production and distribution of images, both still and moving, are defining traits of modernity. Narcoviolence is, among other things, a media phenomenon, and contrasting representations of it are easily found.

Ride public transportation in Mexico, and you can expect to have one or more opportunities to buy a newspaper illustrated unflinchingly with graphic color images of cadavers and body parts, their fate pronounced by sensationalist headlines. Upon boarding or disembarking from that transit system, you will likely pass a market stall selling pirated videos or music celebrating the exploits of. Not inc. Perhaps these were simply rogue agents captured on camera, hired with no funding from the US government, but the outsourcing of military duties to private contractors has been associated with flagrant human rights violations in Iran and Afghanistan, pointing to the possibility of something similar taking place in Mexico.

Yet, given the transnational dimension of the issues involved here, many of those addressing the current bloodshed in Mexico seem reluctant to simply. The artist who goes by the name of Ignacio or door Hanging from a wall-mounted pole, the part of the flag that is red—the bottom third—is extended to nearly four times its normal length, creating a pool of red fabric on the floor. In doing so, he performs a double action: looking away from the violence while addressing it head on. This paradox of spectacular invisibility is central to drug-related violence on many levels.

While the mutilated corpses of slain rivals are put on display overnight, bearing warning messages to. Warring factions post videos on the internet documenting the garroting or beheading of captured competitors, but the workings of the massive commercial system behind the violence are essentially invisible and unknowable. For documentary photographers and video makers, the question is not simply how to talk about drug violence in Mexico, but how to represent it without using the devices of nota roja photography—tabloid photojournalism—and to create images that actually provide insights into the complex dynamics that fuel the bloodshed.

The documentary photographers working on these topics do so at a moment when the profound doubts and pointed questions of a generation of photography critics and theorists have cast a powerful shadow on the documentary approach to image making, especially when it comes to images of violence. That tradition came under attack on a variety of fronts from the s onwards. In her landmark book On Photography , Susan Sontag states that: Photographing is essentially an act of non-intervention.

Part of the horror of such memorable coups of contemporary photojournalism as the pictures of a Vietnamese bonze reaching for the gasoline can, of a Bengali guerrilla in the act of bayoneting a trussed-up collaborator, comes from the awareness of how plausible it has become, in situations where the photographer has the choice between a photograph and a life, to choose the photograph.

It accuses nobody and everybody. York: Pantheon Books, Lehmanns Verlag, New editions of this book appeared in , , , , , , and This was an extremely popular work apparently. Lehmanns Verlag, , pp. In Adel und Rasse Munich: J. Goslar: Verlag Blut und Boden, , pp. See Anna Bramwell, Blood and Soil , pp. According to Petropoulos Royals and the Reich , pp. To vol. Dinter, one of the earliest supporters of Hitler, was expelled from the Party in because of his anti-Catholic zeal and his insistence that the New Germany required a Germanic religious foundation — independent not only of the established Catholic and Lutheran Churches but, in the end, also of the Party, for which Dinter expected it to provide a religious underpinning.

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Youth leaders who failed to make the transition might find themselves in a concentration camp. See Hans Siemsen, Hitler Youth , trans. Goslar: Verlag Blut und Boden, , p. In concert with their spouses, who, for business reasons perhaps, preferred to remain in the background, they provided money and helped to groom him for his leadership role. Ronald Taylor [Cambridge: Polity Press, ], pp. In the brief family history with which Herbert von Dirksen prefaced his memoirs, written in English in the late s, the former ambassador managed to make no mention of his stepmother; see his Moscow, Tokyo, London: Twenty Years of German Foreign Policy Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, Munich: Bechtle Verlag, , p.

Jonas, Der Kronprinz Wilhelm , pp. London, , pp. As a staunch monarchist, whose support for the NSDAP was related to her hope that it would bring about a restoration of the monarchy, Dirksen had probably outlived her usefulness to Hitler. Goebbels was a speaker at that meeting at the Berlin Sportpalast, and Magda Quandt was immediately seduced by his eloquence. The next day she joined the Party.

Soon she was contributing financially to it and by the fall of the year she had met and charmed Hitler himself. The following year she and Goebbels married. See Anja Klabunde, Magda Goebbels , pp. Bella Fromm gives a slightly different account. Blood and Banquets , pp. Waite, Vanguard of Nazism , pp. The close relation of the Wagners to Hitler himself is well known. Saur, , pp. So too in his contributions to Die Zweite Revolution and Wege ins Dritte Reich , he does not go on about the nature of race. He appears not to have been interested in either eugenics or euthanasia.

And [for rather obvious reasons, in view of his own physical handicap — L. It was only necessary to face the problem seriously, above all to make a start without being put off by the violent prejudices which men had had ingrained in them from their upbringing and in particular from the teaching of the Church. Many in the rank and file of the Party also had misgivings about blond hair and blue eyes as indispensable signs of German-ness. Hutton, Race and the Third Reich , pp. You can suggest to your library or institution to subscribe to the program OpenEdition Freemium for books.

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Table of contents. Cite Share. Cited by. Text Notes. Full text. Hans-Dieter Hellige and E It should be noted that race theory did not necessarily imply anti-Semit On Konopath- Konopacki, Walter Laqueur Bullock gave Stark, Entrepreneurs of Ideology: Neoconservative Zoom in Original jpeg, k. Michael Bullock London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson Hauer later complained that radical elements in New editions of this book appeared in , , , , Lehmanns Verlag To vo Marie Ad Gerhard Granier, Magnus von Levetzow: Seeoffi The foreword to the fi On Epp and on the Notes 1 Curiously, in view of her activities on behalf of the National Socialist regime, there is scant published information about the Princess.

List of illustrations Caption Read Open Access. Freemium Recommend to your library for acquisition. Buy Print version Open Book Publishers amazon. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, generated 29 juin ISBN: Gossman, L. Gossman, Lionel. By Gossman. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, Hamburg Letterbox, Gerald Frank Else. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, Bassewitz, Heike von, ed. Der Esel Des Propheten. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgellschaft, Bergler, Edmund.

Laughter and the Sense of Humor. New York: Intercontinental Medical, New York: Macmillan, Biehl, Jody K. Spiegel Online International 25 Jan. Bremer, Michael. Gisela Dachs. Bronner, Gerhard. Chase, Jefferson S. Clifford, Robin. Reeling: The Movie Review Show. Cohen, Sarah Blacher. Jewish Wry: Essays on Jewish Humor. Detroit: Wayne State UP, Dachs, Gisela, ed. Eilbirt, Henry. What is a Jewish Joke? Northvale, NJ: Aronson, Freud, Sigmund. The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious. Joyce Crick. John Carey. New York: Penguin, Gilman, Sander. Goldman, Albert.

Murray Mindlin and Chaim Bermant. Graham, Benjamin, and David L. New York: McGraw-Hill, Grotjahn, Martin. Werner M. Mendel and Martin Grotjahn. Los Angeles, CA: Mara, Halkin, Hillel. Hansen, Eric T. The Hollywood Reporter. Eric T. Jauss, Hans-Robert. Wolfgang Preisendanz and Rainer Warning. Deutsche Welle. Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Judgement. Nicholas Walker. James Creed Meredith. David Ferdinand Swenson. Walter Lowrie.

The political logic of economic restructuring in the Middle East

Princeton: Princeton UP, Knobloch, Charlotte. Goethe Institut. Lepelmeier, Ulf. Mikes, George. English Humour for Beginners. London: Deutsch, Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, Patai, Raphael. Anat Zajdman and Avner Ziv. Westport, CT: Greenwood, Pinsker, Sanford. Justin Cyril Bertrand Gosling. Oxford: Clarendon, Richter, Jens. Let there be laughter! Chicago: Spertus Museum, Rosten, Leo Calvin, and Lawrence Bush.

The New Joys of Yiddish. New York: Crown, Schopenhauer, Arthur. The World as Will and Idea. Richard Burdon Haldane and John Kemp. Spalding, Henry D. Classic Jewish Humor in America. Middle Village, NY: David, Rochester, NY: Camden House, Telushkin, Joseph. New York: Morrow, Wisse, Ruth R. The Schlemiel as Modern Hero. Chicago: U of Chicago P, Zajdman, Anat, and Avner Ziv, eds. Semites and Stereotypes: Characteristics of Jewish Humor. Ziv, Avner. Jewish Humor. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, Immediately following the opening of the border between East and West Germany the desire to abolish all symbols of the forced separation was overwhelming.

The photographs provide insights into the daily life of GDR citizens and include a series of long-term portraits depicting children during the s in the GDR and accompanying their arrival into a new society after the upheaval Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 14 Aug. Anne Hector 79 humans had started was taken over by natural forces, and Mother Nature reasserted her dominion over politics, replacing the man-made border with wetlands and wildlife.

Brownshirt Princess

At the same time, substantial efforts were made, especially in Berlin, to preserve collective memories of East German history: a double line of cobblestones was embedded in the ground to mark where the Wall once stood, and an interactive GDR Museum with several life-size dioramas opened in Many books have also been written by and about those who lived in the GDR, and this terrain is not the sole prerogative of humor and satire—the dialogue is ongoing.

However, in a parallel process that mimics Mother Nature, to some extent forty years of East German culture is being distorted and covered up as biting satire, demeaning humor, and tawdry memorializing take their toll, eating away at the memories of those who grew up there. I intend to show that this erosion is the socioliterary equivalent of Mother Nature transforming the landscape, turning now fossilized memories into grotesque aberrations. Myths and legends can serve as means to convey a critical distance from events and experiences and prolong their reification as art.

The reader identifies with such scenes as they emerge from the felt and lived experience of East German and Soviet citizens, despite their grotesque distortion of this experience. Although former citizens of the GDR and the USSR can identify with these scenes more easily than others who did not experience such systems firsthand, all readers are provided easy access to 3 The former detainee, Carl-Wolfgang Holzapfel, planned his return to the prison cell as part of a live art project with the artist Franziska Vu.

Most scenes also provide a critical counterpoint from which postwall society can be evaluated. While other writers also read at public gatherings, for Hein and Kaminer reading and performing are linked: their public performances highlight the humor and playfulness in their texts. He became known widely in Germany after his semi- autobiographical vignette collection recording his memories of East Germany, Mein erstes T-Shirt, was published in Other group members have also made a name for themselves outside the group.

Anne Hector 81 music and shows geared toward immigrants and xenophilic Germans from until He, too, though not born in Berlin, has lived there since His views of the city—including its food, the Berlin dialect, as well as German culture in general—have been shaped by his position as an immigrant. Here, as in his other books, Kaminer displays his now famous ability to create puns and wordplays, mixing descriptions of awkward and humorous incidents with historical facts about Berlin as a reinvigorated center of fashion and culture.

They thus provide an ambiguous camouflage for the scar left by the Wall: humor mitigates the travail of memorialization. Strategies of Humor: The Grotesque and the Rhetorics of Play Methods for creating humor include the carnivalesque as put forward by Mikhail Bakhtin and the grotesque as outlined by Geoffrey Harpham. Bakhtin defines the carnival as a social institution and the carnivalesque as a method in literature of depicting a time when the ordinary rules of society and culture are in abeyance and there is a flattening or reversal of the social hierarchy, creating the potential for the masses to criticize the authorities Bakhtin Grotesque configurations of the physical body 5 The radio show was shut down by the RBB on December 31, , because of a lack of funding; however, it continues to be broadcast on the Internet under the name Radio multicult2.

Harpham sees the grotesque as a gross exaggeration that holds onto some aspects of reality, but allows familiar and unfamiliar objects to intermingle Harpham 5. Although the unfamiliar paints a gloss over the familiar, the two together transcend the sum of their parts and create a new, independent entity. The carnivalesque and grotesque modes provide a basic strategy of humor that appears simple on the surface: humor is produced when incongruous events, actions, or words are juxtaposed. In fact, it is talismanic of their brand of humor. Often this playfulness also serves to convey grotesquerie, rebellion against authority, or satirical criticism.

As the term is used here, the rhetorics of play express the way play is placed in context within broader value systems, which are assumed by the theorists of play rather than studied directly by them. The seven rhetorics he delineates are the rhetoric of play as progress, as fate, as power, as identity, as the imaginary, and as frivolous, as well as the rhetoric of the self. All furthermore contribute to producing defamiliarization. This identity- forming rhetoric, displayed during carnivals, group rituals, and festivals, reaffirms existing affiliations and differentiates one group from all others.

In the texts by Hein and Kaminer discussed here, identity is constantly under assault. Who or what is German? What is Germany? Who or what is Self, who is the Other? Their game-like constructions are playful and amusing, often containing fantastical and untrue segments, but they also set up situations that provoke serious reflection regarding the characteristics that make up German identity.

Play can have many different applications, but art and literature showcase it as a major instigator of creativity. Frivolity is the third rhetoric utilized in this chapter: The rhetoric of play as frivolous […] is usually applied to the activities of the idle or the foolish. But frivolity, as used here, is not just the puritanic negative, it is also a term to be applied more to historical trickster figures and fools, who were once the central and carnivalesque persons who enacted playful protest against the orders of the ordained world. In his texts the formerly oppressed get a chance to speak up and find vindication by criticizing the authorities without being punished for it, a benefit that Bakhtin associates with the carnivalesque Bakhtin It is a fact that drivers had to use a GDR highway to get to their destination in the West; however, Hein invents imaginary clauses to his law, one of which stipulates that people found wandering on the berm should automatically be considered GDR citizens and treated as such.

Humor here comes in the guise of absurdity; it is used to stop the action for a moment to give the reader a chance to think. Stopping the forward action and presenting a distorted, funhouse mirror of the world are means Hein uses to produce defamiliarization so that his readers come to see objects in unfamiliar formats. Instead, Hein focuses entirely on the difficulties the boy encounters in adjusting to his new life in the East.

He is adopted immediately, but his East German parents struggle to fulfill his consumer demands. The parents cannot deal with a child socialized in the West. Hein describes this incident and its consequences with an objective tone, although, had they been experienced in real life, they would have been traumatic. Not surprisingly, these differences have dominated public and private discussions since unification. After this failed experiment, Holger was reunited with his parents in the FRG.

Did Holger remain single because of his childhood trauma? We will never know. Ambiguity is the result of this mixing of modes. Although we are presented with real memories, their scars are disappearing from view. Definition eines Genres. Against the backdrop of what appears to be an amusement park, the two adoptive parents stand with obligatory smiles on their faces, while the child in the middle maintains a bemused expression. The shot captures a moment of forced togetherness that appears ironic in the context of what should have been experienced by participants as a happy outing.

This time, a group of acting students is required to work in factories to learn about the everyday life of the working class He suggests that budding actors, and not writers, accompany the workers and study them to be able to portray them properly on stage in future theatrical productions. The story takes an unexpected turn, however, as the students assimilate perfectly; one student even gives up acting to continue working at the factory.

In the process writers were sent to factories to speak with workers. Furthermore, acknowledging the ideas of the future actors would have undermined the privileged status of the factory workers. These particular supervisors, in fact, were so rigid that they did not see the actors as possessing the legitimacy to make suggestions at all and thus abolished the experiment altogether.

In this vignette Hein demonstrates how, although purportedly a classless society, social distinctions persisted in the GDR. His vignettes are embedded in the context of real existing socialism—that is, people experience shortages of consumer goods and work supplies; they can only travel to a limited number of countries, generally belonging to the Eastern Bloc; and education follows a predetermined path.

As befits the humorist, however, Hein portrays people who defy the system and look beyond these restrictive conditions. Even though the head of the GDR government is enthusiastic about the project, it is never realized because the leader of the Soviet Union has to approve it and denies the request without any explanation. This inexplicable display of power shows how the GDR government was under the yoke of the Soviet Union and could not act independently.

After his antlike machine is rejected, Pape gets so discouraged with his restrictive working conditions that he builds an airplane modeled after a dragonfly and flees to France. Here, we laugh about the ant and dragonfly research because it appears fantastical and incredible, but at the same time we learn how scientists were treated in Eastern Bloc countries and realize why some left for a freer environment where they could pursue their dreams and further their careers.

The author sheds light on many similar incidents in his other vignettes and the black humor in some emerges from a similarly incongruous final plot twist. One nuclear scientist featured in this series, Heinz Barwich, who was not granted the freedom to perform his work in the GDR, defected to the West. Hein not only crafts new myths about the GDR, but he also shows how such myths came into being in the wake of unification. One example of this myth creation is the way daily life in the GDR has become elevated to a new plane of remembrance which emphasizes its enjoyable sides and ignores the actual hardships living there entailed.

Life in the GDR was difficult, but not much of this truth remains or is getting passed down to younger generations. The episode that gives the book its title is an application for permanent residence in the Federal Republic submitted by the head of the East German government, First Party Secretary Erich Honecker, in July The technique of defamiliarization depicts familiar events or objects in unusual contexts, making them appear novel: if the leader of East Germany wants to be a West German, what does his request imply about the desirability of living in the GDR?

There could be no greater questioning of GDR identity. And, by extension, who or what is a GDR citizen? Along with this defamiliarization, carnivalesque effects are achieved through exaggeration and the introduction of the unusual, even as the event depicted here questions the validity of the East German identity. Again we witness an incongruity that elicits humor while issuing a critique of GDR society and its cumbersome bureaucratic rules.

Vilém Flusser Archiv

Seeing such an absurd statement, the reader will likely grab the volume with a smile on his or her face to find out what is behind it. We can imagine what awaits us in a book bearing such a title. Because they were next-door neighbors, East Germans yearned for West German consumer products shown to them on television, sent to them in care packages by their West German relatives or friends, or brought back by pensioners who were allowed to travel there.

What passed for knowledge about other countries and cultures often derived from myths, legends, apocryphal stories, and stereotypes rather than from reality. The stereotype of the Other also reaches a level of reductive grotesquerie in such stereotypes, and as we have seen in Harpham 5 , one of the effects this grotesquerie produces is laughter. Kaminer faced such stereotypes daily after settling in Berlin, and he reveals them to have been created and perpetuated by foreign films. Reaching back to the time before the communists assumed power in Russia, these stereotypes were found especially in films made in the United States and marketed around the world.

Sie waren allesamt wild, unrasiert und unberechenbar. Kaminer shows that this mechanical, oversimplified, and clownish view of the Russians was incorrect, but implies that it allowed Americans and all Western nations, by extension to feel superior to the enemy Other. Such depictions served the purpose of keeping the viewers in line with the ideological agendas set forth by governments in the Cold War era, despite the fact that they had been allies for several years during the Second World War.

Although he is an immigrant who has assimilated for the most part into German society, Kaminer is not German by birth. This position as an outsider in Germany gives him a unique vantage point, because he can look at the changes that took place after , as well as the Cold War past, from a detached, distanciated perspective. Rather than talking about the bad quality of the food directly, Kaminer implies that you were considered a good Soviet pioneer if you ate it without looking at it. Taking this social imperative as an extended metaphor for the kind of behavior expected more generally in the Soviet Union, we can assume that criticism was never desirable, and that those citizens best adjusted to this requirement would get the furthest on the career ladder as adults.

Aber die Russen waren auch nicht dumm. Kaminer 9 The event and the calculated way it is organized expose farcical characteristics of both political systems. Playing with such characteristics unmasks the insincerity of official announcements delivered by politicians and other members of both governments, demonstrating these leaders to be incapable of improving relations between the two nations.

That officials from each system supposedly allow direct communication with the enemy at the height of the Cold War is an unlikely scenario, but the entire interaction is controlled in such a way that it sheds light on the type of supervision under which people lived on both sides of the Iron Curtain. The above miniature ends with a paragraph clarifying the misunderstanding regarding Russians purportedly not having sex during Soviet times.

When a tall, blond American in a lumberjack shirt asks about the sex life of the Russians, a plump Russian woman with a sophisticated coiffure commits the error of only partially answering the question. Man wusste zu wenig aus erster Hand. Man konnte sie angeblich wochenlang kauen. The author uncovers the banal fact that for many socialist citizens satisfying their consumer desires was more important than democracy and political freedom. In so doing, his legends also glorify the Other. This coming-to-terms with a new reality is not unique to the Russian people; it also pertains to the East Germans after joining the Federal Republic of Germany.

Conclusion When a wound is deep and fresh, it hurts, generally preventing people from being lighthearted about it. They cannot not indulge in banter, jokes, or satire. However, once the wound is attended to and the healing has begun, the pain can give way to humor and embellished stories about its origin. As long as the division existed, it was a wound and was generally treated seriously, with gravity, in the arts. Once the Wall fell and German unity became a fact, however, the healing could begin. Its treatment in the arts then opened up to levity, although even here, frivolity for the sheer fun of it was still rare.

In their works, the past, even when it is banal or depressing, is treated with affection. Although their humor may be a way of providing a critical distance, it is never mean-spirited or vengeful; there is no settling of accounts over wrongs. Hein employs third-person narration, which produces a greater distance from his tall tales, so that they appear more contrived. In fact, their many similarities override the differences. The process of achieving this insight brings the humor to the surface.

The humor also gives the accounts the sharp edge that makes them memorable. The sum of these accounts extends the individual vignettes to the lands of the grotesque. The reader wonders how people survived at all and gains respect for the survival strategies Eastern Europeans devised.

The narrative playfulness in their texts thus provides an ambiguous, literary overgrowth which partially covers this unpleasant past. Indeed, the past, in the form of legacies from the Kaiserreich, the Weimar Republic, and the Third Reich common to both the FRG and the GDR , is also rising to the surface of this new Germany and forms part of the overgrowth that is spreading to cover the wound of separation.

These inescapable bonds are both part of the scar left by the Wall and part of the cultural and literary overgrowth which has begun to cover it. Herr Jensen steigt aus. Mein erstes T-Shirt. Hennig, Falko, ed. Volle Pulle Leben. Kaminer, Wladimir. Es gab keinen Sex im Sozialismus. Ich bin kein Berliner.

Geschichten aus einem vergangenen Land. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. Palimpsests: Literature in the Second Degree. Channa Newman and Claude Doubinsky. Grix, Jonathan, and Paul Cooke, eds. East German Distinctiveness in a Unified Germany. Birmingham: U of Birmingham P, Harpham, Geoffrey Galt. Aurora, CO: Davis, orig. Hector, Anne. U of Massachusetts-Amherst, Hennig, Falko. Radio Hochsee.

Hilscher, Torsten. Huizinga, Johan. Homo Ludens. Boston: Beacon, Jauer, Markus, and Wolfgang Kiel. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, Preisendanz, Wolfgang. Humor als dichterische Einbildungskraft. Richter, Neela. Ross, Gordon Charles. National Identity in East Germany. Jonathan Grix and Paul Cooke. David H. Martens, Theorie der Prosa. Fischer, Das Buch der Unterschiede. Warum die Einheit keine ist. Berlin: Aufbau, Wolle, Stefan.

Die heile Welt der Diktatur. Alltag und Herrschaft in der DDR Michele Ricci Bell advocates assert the importance of such individual and collective processes in shaping the present and future. Yet other positions on memory work, whether focused on oppressive or everyday memories of the GDR, evidence a more skeptical view, drawing attention to the dangers of coercing participation.

These cabaret texts reveal that, while memory work emerged in the early s as topical for political cabaret, cabaret writers were by no means unified in their attitudes toward its usefulness for understanding and coming to terms with the changes brought about by the Wende. By means of a variety of satirical modes, these post cabaret writers treat contemporary forms of memory work sometimes with empathy and at other times mockingly, exposing potentially dangerous motives behind memory work, while assessing critically both the wholesale suppression of personal and collective memory, as well as the cherishing of it without discernment.

This conclusion derives, for one, from the way the genre defined its purpose: subtle jabs at the Party. After , despite the dramatic political and social changes brought about by the Wende that might have rendered political cabaret obsolete, the cabaret troupes of the former East continued to perform, addressing new audiences and adopting new objects of critique.

More importantly, it coincides with the emergence of a particular form of revaluing of the GDR past often referred to as Ostalgie. Castein From this perspective, casting an eye on past events—not to mention on the ways that these events are managed and processed—had little relevance for the East German political cabaret stage. In addition to factors related to the role of cabaret in socialism, there was an ideological disincentive to treating and thus drawing attention to forms of memory work in the GDR, to the extent that they might have taken up the most pressing object of collective memory work in Germany as a whole, namely, that regarding the Nazi past.

To perpetuate such a sense of individuation, however, would have undermined SED objectives. Likewise, in socialist cabaret, treatment of the individual experience or perspective ran counter to—and was potentially threatening in—a society that favored a collective over an individualized view of its citizens. The issues surrounding the preservation of the myth of antifascism as well as the devaluation of individual memory experience as a function of a socialist ethos were both conditioned by the GDR regime such that once it unraveled, these two factors lost their relevance.

While the past could not be changed, it seemed that its bearing on the present and future would make it an especially appropriate topic for cabaret during the post period. Michele Ricci Bell As the following analysis of individual texts will reveal, in critiquing memory work, cabaret writers found a broad framework for revisiting particular aspects of the GDR past, both damning and benign, in order to assess their relevance in shaping the present and future for former GDR citizens.

Brownshirt Princess

This framework includes, for instance, the pressing issues of guilt and complicity. Lastly, the memory work invoked in the nostalgic remembrance of the GDR, sometimes referred to as Ostalgie, is in its various forms dealt with in cabaret texts. See also Brockmann The memory work associated with identifying oneself or others either as victims or perpetrators in the GDR regime appears in post cabaret texts more often than any other theme related to this topic.

Not only, as Schultz and Wagener suggest, did the question of victimhood run both along and within national borders, it also involved both collective and individual guilt and suffering.


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  • Arzt: Das ham jetzt viele, das ist keine Krankheit. Whether or not he was a perpetrator before , the patient is now a victim of this violent blocking of memory. Michele Ricci Bell himself is the person in question. Was mich betrifft, da bin ich mir noch immer nicht sicher, nur…was Sie betrifft, da bin ich mir fast sicher! The doctor, in displaying his expert ability to interrogate, as well as his knowledge of activities in which a Stasi informant might have engaged, unwittingly exposes his own relationship to that history. Indeed, by assisting another in his memory work, the doctor completes his own.

    For both patient and doctor, individual memory is a place where uncomfortable truths may be harbored and suppressed, and from which they may reemerge unpredictably. Rather, we see the doctor, with his politely phrased question, hoping for a quick escape from having to perform his own memory work.

    And why not? B: geil Hab ich auch eine Akte? B: Meine war doch bestimmt die dickste, so dagegen, wie ich immer war. In the end, as Helmut tries to defend himself, we see that no facts about his past could suffice to counter the conviction of his colleagues that he belongs in the villain category: C: Wie soll ich euch denn beweisen… F: Das ist DEINE Sache In what can only be seen as a deliberate move to highlight the witchhunt the search for former Stasi officials turned into, Ristock exploits the moral implications of the Stasi file, which appears in several post cabaret texts, to show how it can play a role in facilitating the failure of memory work.

    Notably, a failure to remember, or even to mention the past in the public sphere, is problematized here, not memory work itself. The text suggests, rather, that engaging in memory work would prevent such denial from happening. Indeed, Ensikat implies that the memoirs spun by those only too willing to forget might be likened in their fanciful content to fairy tales. B: Richtig. Die Ho-chi-Minh-Strasse gibt es nicht mehr. A: Aber mein Bruder gibt es noch, hoffentlich. B: Die Ho-chi-Minh wurde umbenannt. A: Wenn mein Bruder vielleicht auch umbenannt wurde […]. Strangely, after , it was not the memories of East Germans that failed.

    The overwhelming nature of such a change for this man is underscored, for one, by his absurd, but also empathy-invoking, suggestion that perhaps his brother, too, was drawn in by this tide of change and forced to change his name. And, unlike the kinds of memories that one might like to suppress, these are of the familiar and comforting variety. At the time of unification, GDR citizens entered, as Ten Dyke suggests, a world in which their memories were rendered irrelevant.

    Nevertheless, these undertones are balanced by the genuine plight of this individual who attempts to reconcile his memories in a world that is no longer his own. The first, an eastern German woman, stakes a claim to her house that is now being seized by a western German baker. F1: Das war so: Mein Mann hatte doch damals diesen Ristock 65 As the process of recollecting in legal testimony continues, each additional story is appended to the one before, trumping the previous one in significance. The last claim, however, takes precedence over the rest, not only because of its relative age, but also because the claimant has left no victim in his wake.

    Taken together, they fulfill the task of connecting a vast array of problematic memories of the past century. Revealing this paradox in a series of skits, Ristock shows that there are ethical ramifications of working collectively to bridge historical memories. This type of memory work requires clarifying and verifying individual memories, especially when personal interests are at stake.

    Aber wissen Se, wie die geschmeckt haben? As this critical analysis reveals, though the texts vary in their positions toward the feasibility and desirability of memory work for eastern Germans after , they all highlight important, if uncomfortable, issues. Moreover, there is a sense in these two texts that remembering correctly can bear ethical fruit, whether as a corrective for past wrongs or as a precedent for future developments. At times, it appears to be the privilege of the few to forget, and at other times, to remember.

    Whether cautiously optimistic about the prospects for memory work, or decidedly cynical, these cabaret texts persistently raise the issue of hypocrisy as a central factor in determining the feasibility and efficacy of memory work. When they emphasize the limits and potential abuse of memory work and imply that it is futile, they understate the importance of efforts to come to terms with individual and collective pasts.

    Viewed from a different perspective, this understatement might be read as a conscious move to preserve the more positive memories of the GDR in the face of growing claims of its status as an Unrechtsstaat. Viewed from the most positive angle, depicting the results of memory work with satirical humor can be seen as a democratizing gesture, such that neither remembering nor forgetting may be wielded as a privilege of the few, but can be initiated by anyone without duress and as a personal choice.

    Das letzte Ende: Gibt es ein Leben nach der Wiedervereinigung? Ensikat, Peter, and Wolfgang Schaller. Textbuch: Auf Dich kommt es an, nicht auf alle. Private Archive of the Herkuleskeule, Dresden, Otto, Rainer. Ristock, Inge. Schaller, Wolfgang. Secondary Works Adam, Hubertus. Berdahl, Daphne. Katherine Pence and Paul Betts. Brehm, Erich. Die erfrischende Trompete. Berlin: Henschelverlag, Brockmann, Stephen.

    Literature and German Reunification. Castein, Hanne. Zum Theater der DDR. John Flood. Chamberlin, Brewster.

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