GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW: Volume XXVII, Number 3 (October 2004)
    The Debate about a Center against Expulsions: An Unexpected Crisis in German-Polish Relations?

    Pawel Lutomski
    Stanford University

    The growing tendency in the cultural discourses among the Germans to see themselves as victims, and not solely as perpetrators, of World War II causes much bewilderment among their Polish neighbors. A recent proposal to locate a center commemorating victims of the Vertreibungen in Berlin brought about an explosion of outrage in Poland and resulted in an unusual tension in the bilateral relations. This article examines some aspects of this tension and argues that Polish political and cultural elites are not meeting the challenge posed by a cultural process in which important parts of German self-understanding are being redefined.
    "Living on" in the American Press: Ruth Kluger's Still Alive and Its Challenge to a Cherished Holocaust Paradigm

    Linda Schulte-Sasse
    Macalester College

    After stirring a literary sensation in Europe, Ruth Kluger's weiter leben has had a relatively modest reception in the U.S., where it appeared in 2001 under the title Still Alive: A Holocaust Girlhood Remembered. Did the book have little to say to America or might it have said things that America, or at least its official critics, were not ready to hear? Schulte-Sasse reviews reviewers who cannot help but miss the point of Still Alive, as they force Kluger into the very mold of a sentimentalizing Holocaust discourse that her book refuses.
    The Shopper as Voter: Women, Advertising, and Politics in Post-inflation Germany
    * * * Winner of the DAAD Article Prize * * *

    Julia Sneeringer
    Queens College, CUNY

    Selling soap with suffragettes? A 1924 advertisement for Persil did just that, encouraging housewives to cast a "vote" for the detergent. Indeed, that year-the first of Weimar's post-inflation "golden" period-saw a curious spate of ads that used the imagery and language of political campaigns to sell a range of products to German consumers, particularly female shoppers. Sneeringer takes a serious look at these often humorous bits of pop culture ephemera, using them to think about how advertising shaped discourses about politics, gender roles, and the very meaning of democratic choice.
    "The German Discovery of America": A Review of the Controversy over Pining's 1473 Voyage of Exploration

    Thomas L. Hughes
    Senior Visiting Research Scholar, German Historical Institute

    Was there a German Discovery of America? This article reassesses in detail the controversy over Didrik Pining's 1473 voyage of exploration in the North Atlantic-a German-led, Danish-sponsored, Portuguese-financed expedition seeking a northwestern route to Asia. Since 1925, when the story was first publicized, much public acceptance has been offset by pro and con arguments among German and non-German scholars. Considerable circumstantial evidence exists supporting the central proposition. Historians are still looking for the additional piece of evidence that will tilt the balance one way or the other. Meanwhile the verdict remains "not proven" or alternately, "not disproven."
    Fontanes Frau Jenny Treibel: Ein stummer Sirenengesang als Raubspiel

    Sylvain Guarda
    United States Naval Academy

    Through a close analysis of the two key characters, Professor Schmidt and the artist figure Adolar Krola in Theodor Fontane's Frau Jenny Treibel, Guarda explicates the puzzling conciliatory tone of the epilogue and brings to light a ritualistic dimension carried forward through Professor Schmidt's siren song. The novel reveals itself to be far more than a satire on the bourgeoisie as has generally been argued. It is in essence a playful act of piracy couched in a siren song and shares many artistic features with Fontane's other works such as Schach von Wuthenow (1883) and Der Stechlin (1898).
    Motors and Machines, Robots and Rockets: Harry Piel and Sci-Fi Film in the Third Reich

    Florentine Strzelczyk
    University of Calgary

    The prolific German film actor, director, and producer Harry Piel can be considered the first German pop-culture icon of action entertainment during the 1920s and 1930s. The sci-fi and action features of the "dynamite director" and "man with nerves of steel" showcased the smooth surfaces and powerful forces of technology and charged technological advance with hopes for and fears of political change, dreams of national grandeur, and expectations of individual opportunity. Piel's 1933/34 films provide a superb example of how visions of technology folded into National Socialist utopias and illusions, while offering seemingly non-ideological spaces of leisure and mass entertainment.
    The Impact of Two Reunification-Era Debates on the East German Sense of Identity

    Dolores L. Augustine
    St. John's University, Jamaica, New York

    In the aftermath of German reunification, the churchman-turned politician Manfred Stolpe and the writer Christa Wolf were swept up, along with several other former East German intellectuals and public figures, in a series of controversies over their alleged past collaboration with the secret police. These disputes became symbolically powerful debates on the significance of past support for the communist dictatorship and the place of Easterners in a nation-state dominated by the West. Many eastern Germans supported and identified with Stolpe and Wolf, and in the process fortified a sense of a separate eastern identity.
    Models for Young Nationalists and Militarists: German Youth Literature in the First World War

    Andrew Donson
    University of Massachusetts, Amherst

    In 1914 and 1915 war fictions of wildly patriotic crowds and an exciting war of movement overwhelmed the book and magazine market for youth, displacing fairy tales, foreign classics, girls’ novels, and anti-war Socialist fiction. In the most lurid of these narratives, male teenagers volunteered against their parents’ wishes and fought with stupendous prowess. Police records show that, although some deputy commanding generals prohibited this fiction, youth from a variety of social classes regularly circumvented the bans. The reading experience of the war youth generation arguably prepared them for the nationalism and militarism of right-wing organizations after 1918.
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