Facing the Nazi Past: United Germany and the Legacy of the by Bill Niven

By Bill Niven

Facing the Nazi Past examines how the communist East seen the occasions of those years very another way from West Germany in the course of the chilly struggle. Following the unification of Germany, those contrasting thoughts of the 3rd Reich have contributed to a brand new viewpoint in this interval of German history.

Facing the Nazi Past explores the advancements and debates that have been symptomatic of this shift in the direction of a extra open war of words with the earlier, such as:

* identical to resistance to Hitler in united Germany * alterations at focus camp memorial websites when you consider that 1990 * the commemoration of eight may well 1945 in 1995 * how the revelations in Goldhagen's startling ebook Hitler's keen Executioners prompted new dialogue * the plans for the development of a Holocaust Memorial.

Anyone; scholars, students or readers, who're taken with the research of ecu historical past, will locate this a captivating and informative learn.

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Additional resources for Facing the Nazi Past: United Germany and the Legacy of the Third Reich

Sample text

In the GDR, as in the Third Reich, political opponents were persecuted, freedom of opinion was suppressed, and rights of movement were denied—most brutally by shooting fugitives at the border. But there were qualitative differences in the degree and extent of this persecution; the methods of East Germany’s Socialist Unity Party (SED) were not generally murderous and certainly not genocidal. Moreover, in contrast to National Socialism, the GDR was, on paper at least, committed to equality and social justice, not destructive nationalism.

Hamburg sought to avoid confronting its past by asserting that it was now operating a penal system in accordance with the highest standards of justice. Worse, there was an all too pervasive implication that the problem under the National Socialists had been the inhumane way the camp was run. Of course this had been one of the problems, indeed the main one. But the other problem had been that the people incarcerated under Hitler were innocent. It was not just the penal environment that was criminal in Neuengamme camp, but the fact that people had been imprisoned there in the first place.

It thus continued to function as a ‘transit’ camp, a role which it had had in the Third Reich. After liberation in 1945, it was used to imprison SS men. From 1946 to 1947, it was used as a United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration camp, housing displaced persons (DPs) such as former concentration camp inmates, forced labourers and prisoners of war. As of 1947–1948, it served as collection camp for Germans who had been forced to leave the Sudetenland and other areas east of the Oder and Neiße rivers.

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