GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW: Volume XXXII, Number 1 (February 2009)
    Music as a Weapon?
    Ton Steine Scherben and the Politics of Rock in Cold War Berlin

    Timothy S. Brown
    Northeastern University

    Is popular music a tool of consumer capitalist recuperation or can it be a weapon of revolutionary change? The career of the radical rock band Ton Steine Scherben, founded in West Berlin in 1970, suggests that at certain moments, radical music and radical politics can be mutually constitutive. The band’s history provides a richer understanding of the radical left-wing scene in West Berlin at a key moment of transition from the student movement of the 1960s to the anarchist and terrorist scenes of the 1970s, illustrating how an analysis of popular music in its social and cultural setting can broaden historical analysis.
    Why Germany Reformed Public Pensions, but the United States Did Not

    Stephen J. Silvia
    American University

    Most people think Germany is a “blocked-up society” incapable of reform and that the United States is open to change. When it comes to public pensions, the opposite is true. Over the last 10 years, Germany has restructured its pension system in innovative ways. It has introduced partial privatization and a “sustainability factor” that ties pensions to the ratio of retirees versus employees. In contrast, George Bush’s attempt to reform Social Security fell flat. The immensity and immediacy of the pension problem in Germany explains the success of reform, but it may not remain politically sustainable over the long run.
    Der Roman als Ausdruck des kulturellen Pluralismus:
    Überlegungen anhand der Romane Die Reise nach Trient von Kajetan Kovic
    und Nachleben von Gertrud Wilker

    Vesna Kondric Horvat
    Univerza Mariboru

    Gertrud Wilker and Kajetan Kovic, two authors with different cultural and historical backgrounds (Slovenian and Swiss) have written successful novels in the form of fictitional biographies—Nachleben and Pot v Trento (The Way to Trento)—in which they construct totally autonomous worlds that reflect both cultural pluralism and the importance of individual perspectives.
    O liebes Land, o Belgiens Erde:
    The Development of the German-Speaking Community in Belgium
    Reflected in the Light of the Flemish Struggle for Autonomy

    Jeroen Dewulf
    University of California, Berkeley

    Contrary to the widespread assumption that Belgium is a bilingual French/Dutch country, German is also an official language in Belgium. The German-speaking part of Belgium achieved its cultural autonomy in 1970, which made the approximately 73,000 German-speaking Belgians one of the best protected minorities in Europe. This achievement cannot be understood without reference to the Flemish emancipation and the transformation of the original conception of Belgium as a unitary nation, built on the foundation of shared values, into a federal nation with autonomous communities according to linguistic principles.
    Relocating the Heimat:
    Great War Internment Literature from the Isle of Man

    Jennifer Kewley Draskau
    University of Liverpool

    Wartime internment of civilians remains a thorny and oft-neglected issue. The writings of “enemy aliens” detained in the extensive camps on the Isle of Man during the Great War show how the experience of internment not only rekindled an exaggerated sense of nationalism among prisoners but also inculcated a sense of belonging and local pride in their detention camp and its environment, which eventually assumed the character of an Ersatz-Heimat.
    The Lives of Neighbors:
    Modes of Surveillance and Voyeurism in Die Mörder sind unter uns

    Robert Schechtman
    University of California, Berkeley

    A close reading of Wolfgang Staudte’s film Die Mörder sind unter uns (1946) reveals an uncanny recurrence of visual tropes of voyeurism. Situating these elements in the social and historical context of the time leads to a reinterpretation of the film, in which the characters of Susanne and an unnamed neighbor serve as foils for a critique of the pervasive atmosphere of civilian surveillance and voluntary denunciation that characterized the Nazi regime. The significance of these elements in the film emerges most clearly in light of recent historical research on denunciation that followed the collapse of the East German Stasi.
    Weimar Germany as Seen by an Englishwoman:
    British Women Writers and the Weimar Republic

    Colin Storer
    The University of Warwick

    While the literature on male writers visiting Weimar Germany, and on Christopher Isherwood and his friends in particular, is extensive, little has been written on the attitudes of the many well-known and high-profile female writers who left accounts of their impressions of conditions in the Weimar Republic. These writings reveal key differences in the attitudes of male and female intellectuals towards issues such as the occupation of the Rhineland and the changes taking place in the lives of German women, and therefore help to highlight the diverse and complex nature of British feeling towards Germany in the Weimar period.
    German Realism in the Postal Office:
    Mail-Traffic, Violence and Nostalgia in Theodor Storm’s “Hans und Heinz Kirch”
    and Wilhelm Raabe’s Stopfkuchen

    Ilinca Iurascu
    University of Pennsylvania

    How do German realist writers re-imagine the epistolary event in the modern era of postal revolutions, characterized by standardized transmission interfaces? Looking more closely at Storm’s and Raabe’s narratives, in light of the conceptual shift between the “human” and the “technological” in the field of communication, this article argues that the birth of the Reichspost, alongside new practices and categories of mail (the pre-stamped letter, the postcard, the telegraph) had become associated with the threat of violence and death. But by that token, they also engendered epistolary nostalgia, a no less troubling sentiment that pervaded late nineteenth-century cultural production.
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