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The fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989, signalled the beginning of the end of a divided Germany. More than any other event, it also symbolised the end of the so-called post-war era. The period in which not just European but global politics had been framed by the Cold War and the East-West divide was consigned to the past, to be replaced by an era...
The fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989, signalled the beginning of the end of a divided Germany. More than any other event, it also symbolised the end of the so-called post-war era. The period in which not just European but global politics had been framed by the Cold War and the East-West divide was consigned to the past, to be replaced by an era whose contours have not yet clearly formed. The essays collected here offer a sober, informed, and stimulating reassessment of Germany and its past by internationally recognised scholars working from within and outside the new Germany. They all proceed from the recognition that the perspective from which the German past is viewed has changed irrevocably. Unification meant that the German Democratic Republic became history and its history, historiography,and its collapse are re-evaluated. The essays examine the possibility of history being used, and possibly abused, in the service of the creation of a new national identity and question the legitimacy of the notion of Germany having followed a 'special path' of development - one that could hardly be viewed positively in the wake of the Third Reich - but which suggested that Germany had claims to being a 'normal nation'. They then go on to consider some of the radical changes to the institutional circumstances within which history is practised in the united Germany.
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