GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW: Volume XXVIII, Number 1 (February 2005)
    Model or Myth? The Constitution of Westphalia of 1807 and Early German Constitutionalism

    Ewald Grothe
    Bergische Universität Wuppertal

    The constitution of the Kingdom of Westphalia, imposed by Napoleon on a kingdom he created as a client state, was long dismissed as a tool for Napoleonic aggrandizement. But as the first written constitution in German history it set a critical precedent for constitutional government. Was it a model, and if so, to what degree, or is this just a myth? The imitation of French constitutional principles is undisputable, but these principles neither served as immediate models, nor were they a true copy. Yet for all of its conceptual faults, the 1807 constitution stands as the first step toward a liberal state with parliamentary representation in Germany.
    Fashionable Dancing: Gender, the Charleston, and German Identity in Otto Dix's Metropolis

    Susan Laikin Funkenstein
    University of Wisconsin-Parkside

    Otto Dix's Metropolis (1927-28), a triptych of an upper-class fashionable jazz club flanked by sauntering prostitutes, expresses a conflicted fascination with popular culture. Because of the artist's engagement with the mass media, Metropolis reveals his deep personal investment in dance, the centrality of women in a growing Weimar cultural discourse, and how these concerns meshed and clashed with prevalent notions of German identity, heritage, a nd crisis after World War I. Throughout, Metropolis depicts paradoxical views of international and regional German styles in fashion, female liberation and containment, preoccupation with mass media, Renaissance painting, jubilance and misery.
    From LTI to LQI: Victor Klemperer on Totalitarian Language

    John Wesley Young
    Richmond Times-Dispatch

    Victor Klemperer argued in LTI that the Nazis used language to produce a fanatical but servile population incapable of critical thought and highly susceptible to mass suggestion. Critics have questioned Klemperer's underlying assumptions about language, and evidence from the book itself tends to contradict his claim that the LTI or language of the Third Reich "reigned supreme." Although he seemed to deny the fundamental equivalence of Nazi and Communist discourse, his diaries and even some passages in LTI indicate that Klemperer, a postwar convert to the KPD, regarded Soviet and East German Communist language as disconcertingly similar to the LTI.
    Thomas Bernhard's Frost and Adalbert Stifter: Literature, Legacy, and National Identity in the Early Austrian Second Republic

    Timothy B. Malchow
    Valparaiso University

    Thomas Bernhard's Frost combines allusions to Adalbert Stifter's Der Nachsommer with references to horrific traces of World War II in the Alpine landscape of the young Austrian Second Republic. Thus Bernhard's text can be read as his aesthetic participation in the discourse on the meaning of postwar Austrian national identity. Whereas identification with Habsburg cultural achievement, such as Stifter's work, allowed Austrians to repress their involvement with Nazism and the war, Bernhard adapted Stifter's Bildungsroman to present the war as an ineradicable legacy that is inseparable from Austrian identity.
    Athletics, Aesthetics, and Politics in the Weimar Press

    Theodore F. Rippey
    Bowling Green State University

    The public discussion of professional and amateur athletics that unfolded in the pages of the Weimar press testified to the growing conviction that sport, for better or worse, had become a primary force in the reshaping of the German cultural landscape. Sport-related reporting, commentary, and criticism confirmed sport's relevance to broader debates over modern aesthetics, national fitness, economic rationalization, and the massification of German society. One critic in particular, Siegfried Kracauer, provided exceptional insight into how the progressive potential that many observers saw in sport was all but extinguished as sports culture became a component of mass culture.
    Expellees on Strike: Competing Victimization Discourses and the Dachau Refugee Camp Protest Movement, 1948-1949

    Brenda Melendy
    Texas A&M University, Kingsville

    We know that Germans moved very quickly from the Endsieg propaganda of the Nazis to a victimization rhetoric in early post-World War II years. Yet even before the extent of the mass murder of Jews had penetrated average German's consciousness, expelled ethnic Germans in 1948-1949 used Holocaust metaphors to present their desperate case. In the context of a hunger strike staged by expellees, and the subsequent trial of the strike's leader, expellees living at a refugee camp at Dachau consciously used the proximity of their camp to the former concentration camp to strengthen political agency.
    When West Meets East and Decides to Stay: Shared Historical Experience in Volker Schlöndorff's Die Stille nach dem Schuss (The Legend of Rita, 2000)

    Jennifer Marston William
    Purdue University

    In Volker Schlöndorff's film Die Stille nach dem Schuss, German-German history is not strictly divided into East and West, yet both sides retain their unique identities. The film's plot, built around the fictionalized but factually based story of a West German terrorist, who voluntarily integrates herself into East German society, allows Schlöndorff to incorporate historical and cultural elements of both East and West Germany without favoring one side over the other. Throughout the film various details of props, scenery, and characterization reinforce this sense of a shared yet differentiated historical experience.
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