New Perspectives on the Old GDR and Young Länder
This volume represents the efforts of fifteen scholars from Europe and North America to work through the complex and sometimes compromising past and the current struggles that together define eastern German identity, society, and politics ten years after unification. Their papers offer an exemplary illustration of the variety of disciplinary methods and new source materials on which established and younger scholars can draw today to further differentiated understanding of the old GDR and the young Länder. In a volume that will interest students of German history, cultural studies and comparative politics, the authors show how utopian ideals quickly degenerated into a dictatorship that provoked the everyday resistance at all levels of society that ultimately brought the regime to its demise. They also suggest how the GDR might live on in memory to shape the emerging varieties of postcommunist politics in the young states of the Federal Republic and how the GDR experience might inspire new practices and concepts for German society as a whole. Most importantly, the papers here testify to the multidisciplinary vitality of a field whose original object of enquiry disappeared over a decade ago.