Exhibiting Antifascism: Ravensbrück and the Ambivalences of East German Commemoration, 1945-1989 Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Gengler, Peter Norbert
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • This thesis examines the political messages enshrined in and transmitted by the Ravensbrück women's concentration camp memorial in the former German Democratic Republic between 1945 and 1989. I argue that the ideology displayed at the site was the product of contestation and streamlining during the 1950s between the regime and intellectuals. Initially after the war, the memorial practices at the site varied and were not overtly political. By 1959, the regime successfully monopolized and instrumentalized the history of the camp, setting in stone an official narrative that upheld the legitimacy of the East German state but excluded the voices of the vast majority of victims. However, a subjective antifascism that was at odds with the master narrative pushed for a pluralization of public memory, particularly in the 1980s. Thus, a wider range of victim groups, hitherto ignored or marginalized, were accommodated room next to the glorified communist prisoners.
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  • In Copyright
  • Jarausch, Konrad Hugo
  • Master of Arts
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  • 2013

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