Peter Reichel

Germany and its Memories Translated from the German by Olivier Mannoni. Publication date : March 1, 1998

How has Germany absorbed the heritage of National Socialism? What became of the Nazi buildings in Munich and Berlin? 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? In Germany more than elsewhere the memory of the past is closely linked to places. 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. This is a very topical examination of the way in which a country can represent its past and come to terms with its history--and with its contradictions, horrors, and silences. Peter Reichel teaches at the Institute of Political Science in Hamburg. He is the author of The Fascination of Nazism, published by Odile Jacob.