"Eigenart" vs "das eigene". German intellectuals in search of a concept of nationhood and national identity after unification
Schmitz, Helmut. (1998) "Eigenart" vs "das eigene". German intellectuals in search of a concept of nationhood and national identity after unification. Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, Vol.6 (No.2). pp. 129-147. ISSN 0965-156XFull text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09651569808454584
Adapting a quotation from Twelfth Night one could say that some countries are born nations, some achieve nationhood and others have nationhood thrust upon them. However much the Kohl government actively pursued unification, the latter is only too true of the unified Germany. The events of 1989 reopened a debate about German identity and nationhood that had seemed informed by concepts of "posttraditional identity" and "constitutional patriotism". In more than one sense a re-positioning was necessary. The political and cultural identities of the two partial states had, to a large extent, rested on each state regarding the other as its negative "Other", so much so that the fall of the East German political system and the ensuing "moderation of the harsh difference between the systems" resulted in a legitimation crisis for the GDR. Furthermore, the Federal Republic had single-handedly, if reluctantly, accepted the responsibility for National Socialism which came to constitute a historically insurmountable barrier. Ever since the views of writers like Grass and Enzensberger became generally accepted, Germany's cultural and historical identity was tied up with the Holocaust.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||D History General and Old World > DD Germany|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Arts > German Studies|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Germany -- Intellectual life -- 20th century, Germany -- History -- Unification, 1990, Nationalism -- Germany, National characteristics, German|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe|
|Publisher:||Taylor and Francis|
|Page Range:||pp. 129-147|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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