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How has Germany absorbed the heritage of National Socialism? What became of the Nazi buildings in Munich and Berlin? Have they been destroyed, rebuilt or abandoned? What is the significance of the present state of the concentration camps of Buchenwald, Dachau, and Ravensbrück? Does their condition signify an active desire to commemorate the past, or rather of a wish to make it commonplace? Peter Reichel draws on examples from one city after another, and sometimes in one neighbourhood after another, to highlight the hesitations and the contradictions of a nation confronted with a past that will not, or should not, go away.
Two French specialists on Islam, one Algerian, the other a native Frenchman, discuss Islam and its confrontation with the Western world. Interweaving references to the past and present, they recount a long history of cultural confrontation, marked by continuous debate and violent conflict, repulsion and fascination. Resolutely optimistic, yet painfully aware of the religious intransigence which enshrouds their subject, their conversations shed new light on the conceptions of power and unity within the Muslim world.