n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Transnationale Vergangenheitsbewältigung in den Volkstrauertagsreden deutscher Traditionsverbände? Anmerkungen zur Utopie einer 'Aussöhnung über den Gräbern'

Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1273



<b>Coming to terms with history from a transnational perspective? The utopia of a 'reconciliation above graves' in the memorial day speeches of German war veterans</b> <br>My reconstruction of the World War II veterans' constitution of a cultural memory is motivated by two factors: the exclusion of their organised culture from the West-German discussions since the 1970s and the immobility of their patterns of orientation. The study of memorial day speeches ("Volkstrauertagsreden") and interviews with their authors demonstrate an exemplary homogeneity of their patterns of communication. In this context, the topos of a 'reconciliation above graves' plays a dominant role. This topos aims at a transnational approach in coming to terms with history - no doubt a questionable claim. Only as a site of an artificial, that is, a rhetorically formed memory, the topos becomes understandable as an attempt to cope with biographical key experiences.

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