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Contemporary debates, German History

German Identity

The New York Times has an interesting article about Germany and a change in the way it views its national identity.

Twenty years after reunification, Germany has come to terms with itself in a way that the postwar generation proclaimed would never be possible and Ms. Schlöndorff’s post-Berlin Wall generation finds completely natural.

The shift is evident on the airwaves, where German songs are staging a comeback against the dominance of American pop, and in best sellers about Goethe and Schiller or in discovering Germany by foot, by car and by train from the Bavarian Alps to the old Hanseatic ports on the Baltic Sea.

In Parliament, politicians have debated ending conscription, threatening the post-Nazi ideal of an army of ordinary citizens, as German soldiers fight in Afghanistan. Despite fears of rising income inequality, Germany’s economic engine is humming and unemployment has fallen significantly in the former East Germany.

Read the entire article here.

Of course, the German pop band “Die Prinzen” realized this new phenomenon years ago and made fun of it in this video:

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About GG

Gundolf Graml is Associate Prof. and Dir. of German Studies at Agnes Scott College. He has a Ph.D. in German Studies from the University of Minnesota and has published articles on German and Austrian film and tourism. He is currently writing a book about tourism and Austrian national identity after 1945. Other research projects include critical whiteness studies and, most recently, investigations into the connection between memory and nature. At ASC, Gundolf Graml teaches courses on a broad range of topics, from German 101 to German and Austrian Cinema and Afro-German History and Culture.

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