Stated Memory – East Germany and The Holocaust – East German memorial concentration camps

 

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pg 40 -These sites provided the East German government an irresistible opportunity to propagate its view of history, one replete, as we have seen, with gaps and half truths.

pg 40 – As essay published in 1988 by Ottomar Rothmann, an east german who worked in the Buchenwald camp museum, illustrates concisely the pedagogical task of the camps. Since Buchenwald was opened as a museum in 1948 some 12 million visitors from almost every country had visited. of the approximately 400,000 visitors per year , approx 230,000 were east german youths. … purpose of the camp exhibitions was to transmit the legacy of the resistance struggle against the german fascists  In this task, he added proudly, the museum worked closely with the antifascist SED.

pg 41- The memorial sites were not merely interest in purveying “history,” Rothemann emphasized repeatedly , but rather the continuity between past and present

pg 41 – The museum were similar in construction and approach, an approach outlined in a special statute passed in 1961. According to this law, the sites were to demonstrate; ….  the victim themselves receive little attention

Remembering the Jewish Victims

In the Buchenwald brochure the section explaining the Nazi concentration camp system concluded; “The German fascists imprisoned 18 million people from every European country in concentration camps. 11 million died in them ” ( Ritscher 22) .. the six million Jews merge without mention with HItler’s other victims

After 1989

pg 61 -After the opening of the wall in 1989, The East German concentration camp memorials entered a period of crisis from which they have yet to emerge. The former directors of the Ravensbruck , sachsenhausen, and Buchenwald memorial were dismissed and … replaced by western germans with academic backgrounds in history.

pg 63 – Since 1989 the memorial sites have over and again confronted the question of whose history should be commemorated and in what fashion.

 

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