1st Edition

Dresden Paradoxes of Memory in History

By Elizabeth A. Ten Dyke Copyright 2001
    344 Pages
    by Routledge

    340 Pages
    by Routledge

    The collapse of the German Democratic Republic prompted the East Germans to confront their personal, cultural and international past. This study of the 'Wende' - the turn of events in 1989 - is based on ethnographic and anthropological research conducted in the early 1990s. Liz Ten Dyke has developed a finely nuanced portrait of the city and its residents as they were caught up in the economic, political and social turmoil that characterized the immediate post-socialist period.
    By weaving together scholarly research, oral history, and "ethnographic excursions" or narratives of salient experiences, this book makes an important contribution to the study of social aspects of the past. Moving beyond paradigms presently shaping the study of memory, it details the paradoxes and contradictions inherent in remembering, making manifest the link between such contradictions and larger symbolic and political-economic contexts. In this way, the author situates the study of memory in history and shows that it is the mutability of memory, in conjuction with the uncertainty of history, that render the past a dynamic and powerful force in human society.

    Introduction. Chapter One: Working Through the Past in Germany, German History in Germany, The Post-War Period The Historikerstreit, History in the German Democratic Republic, History and Memory in the Unified Germany, Ethnographic Excursion: Two Murders, Two Demonstrations. Chapter Two: Dresden, Dresden After the Wende, Replendent Dresden Dresden's Other Histories, The Bombing of Dresden, Dresden After 1945, Ethnographic Excursion: Frau Esperanto. Chapter Three: The Ethnographic Present, Daily Life After the Wende, Respondents Narratives, Ethnographic Excursion: The Kaffeefahrt. Chapter Four: Remembering Daily Life in the GDR, Family, Education and Employment, Politics of Daily Life, Respondents Narratives, Ethnographic Excursion: Herr Beck's Report. Chapter Five: The Wende, Causes of the Wende, The Wende in Dresden, Respondents Narratives. Chapter Six: Paradoxes and Contradictions of Memory and History, Respondents Narratives. Epilogue: 1999.


    Elizabeth A. Ten Dyke