For roughly the first decade after the demise of the GDR, professional and popular interpretations of East German history concentrated primarily on forms of power and repression, as well as on dissent and resistance to communist rule. Socio-cultural approaches have increasingly shown that a single-minded emphasis on repression and coercion fails to address a number of important historical issues, including those related to the subjective experiences of those who lived under communist regimes. With that in mind, the essays in this volume explore significant physical and psychological aspects of life in the GDR, such as health and diet, leisure and dining, memories of the Nazi past, as well as identity, sports, and experiences of everyday humiliation. Situating the GDR within a broader historical context, they open up new ways of interpreting life behind the Iron Curtain - while providing a devastating critique of misleading mainstream scholarship, which continues to portray the GDR in the restrictive terms of totalitarian theory. Mary Fulbrook, FBA, is Professor of German History at University College London.
Her most recent books are A Small Town near Auschwitz: Ordinary Nazis and the Holocaust (2012) and Dissonant Lives: Generations and Violence through the German Dictatorships (2011). She is currently directing an AHRC-funded collaborative project on Reverberations of War in Germany and Europe: Communities of Experience and Identification since 1945. A former Chair of the German History Society, and Chair of the Modern History Section of the British Academy, she has written widely on the GDR. Andrew I. Port is an Associate Professor of history at Wayne State University in Detroit, and Review Editor of the German Studies Review. His research focuses on modern Germany, communism and state socialism, labor history, social protest, and comparative genocide. His first book, Conflict and Stability in the German Democratic Republic (2007), appeared in German translation as Die Ratselhafte Stabilitat der DDR (2010), and his current project looks at German reactions to genocide in other parts of the world since 1945.
Publisher: Berghahn Books
Number of pages: 314
Weight: 590 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm