GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW: Volume XXIX, Number 3 (October 2006)
    Nationalists, Nazis, and the Assault against Weimar: Revisiting the Harzburg Rally of October 1931

    Larry Eugene Jones
    Canisius College

    Germany’s right-wing organizations gathered in Bad Harzburg in October 1931 to celebrate the unity of the “national opposition” and to lay the foundation for the transfer of power from the government of Heinrich Brüning to the radical Right. But unity proved ephemeral, for before, during, and after the rally serious divisions surfaced within the so-called national front, most notably between the National Socialists and the conservative members of the ‘national opposition” as embodied by Alfred Hugenberg’s German National People’s Party and the Stahlhelm. The rally thus failed to fulfill its promise and, in the end, only hardened the divisions within the radical Right.
    Exotic Heimat: Province, Nation, and Empire in Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks

    Todd Kontje
    University of California, San Diego

    Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks depicts the decline of the Hanseatic city-state of Lübeck and the rise of the German nation-state dominated by Prussia and the modern metropolis of Berlin. Buddenbrooks also reflects the development of global trade and overseas colonies, particularly in the trans-Atlantic realm. Mann’s novel about his nineteenth-century Heimat thus engages the panoply of fears that accompanied the process of German nationalization in an age of empire, including anxiety about the collapse of traditional social hierarchies, the inversion of gender roles, and the danger of racial contamination.
    Blick-Wechsel: Deutsche und Polen zwischen Kriegsende und Vertreibung im Werk von Henryk Worcell

    Elzbieta Katarzyna Dzikowska
    Uniwersytet Wroclawski

    Jürgen Joachimsthaler
    Technische Universität Dresden

    The post-1945 population exchange in formerly German, now Polish, Silesia led to a brief, tense encounter between the Polish newcomers and the Germans about to be expelled, lending the latter an unexpectedly human face. The unease this caused among Poles—below the official legitimation strategies—becomes visible especially in the work of Henryk Worcell, who repeatedly wrestled with this emotion- and guilt-laden human encounter over the years. On the surface his work presents the official political-cultural codes of national, social, and gender confidence, but this conceals his increasingly perplexed attempts to come to terms with this deeply ambivalent moment.
    The GDR’s Failed Search for a National Identity, 1945–1989

    Dietrich Orlow
    Boston University

    During their almost half century of rule in East Germany the Communists worked hard to create a new German national identity. This national identity was to be antifascist, progressive, and socialist. Their initial focus was all of Germany, but after the building of the Berlin Wall and especially under the leadership of Erich Honecker, the Communist party (SED) concentrated its efforts on creating a separate “socialist nation.” All of these efforts failed, because in the final analysis the SED’s attempts at nation building under the maxims of Marxism-Leninism ignored the importance of the fundamental ingredients that make up national identities.
    Franco-German Conversations: Rahel Levin and Sophie von Grotthuß in Dialogue with Germaine de Staël

    Donovan Anderson
    Grand Valley State University

    When Germaine de Staël published De l’Allemagne in the fall of 1813, Europe was undergoing rapid change. The nationalistic rhetoric in German states that accompanied the defeat of Napoleon created an unfavorable environment for the reception of a French book on Germany. As a result, Staël’s book elicited negative reactions in the German literary community. In contrast, the German-Jewish salonnières Sophie von Grotthuß and Rahel Levin offered more nuanced responses. In their correspondence, they contested an exclusive and inward-looking German identity and took Staël’s book as an opportunity to reflect on questions of authorship.
    Wunderwaffen of a Different Kind: Nazi Scientists in East German Industrial Research

    Dolores Augustine
    St. John’s University, Jamaica, New York

    Nazi scientists and engineers played a central role in the rebuilding of the economy and technical universities in East Germany after the Second World War. They influenced thinking about economic priorities, in particular convincing the SED of the centrality of high-tech research. The careers of two scientists at Carl Zeiss Jena, Paul Görlich and Herbert Kortum, illustrate continuities between the Nazi and Communist periods.
    Shadows of the Past: National Socialist Backgrounds of the GDR’s Functional Elites

    Heinrich Best and Axel Salheiser
    Collaborative Research Center 580, University of Jena

    Although antifascism was a constitutive ideologeme of the GDR, there was no thorough cleansing of its functional elites from persons with a National Socialist past or family background. An analysis of the Central Cadre Database of the GDR Council of Ministers shows that among higher administrative executives, managers, and other leading personnel the share of former members of National Socialist organizations or descendants of (pre-1945 service class) parents with National Socialist affiliation was several times higher than the share of cadres with a personal or family background in pre-1945 working-class parties (including Social Democrats) or a record of anti-fascist resistance.
    “Surviving the Swastika?” The Advancement of Zeiss Managers in Nazi Germany and the Postwar East German State

    Rüdiger Stutz
    Universität Jena

    Most histories of regional business elites under the twentieth-century dictatorships have assumed an irreconcilable opposition between “economy” and “power.” In the science-based industries in particular, they argue that a non-political management pursued a strategy of structural and technological innovation. Under Nazism and in the postwar East Germany, however, industrial elites used persistence and participation as two alternative yet intertwined options. Outwardly, the combined effect of these approaches was to preserve the continuity of businesses, chiefly during the eras of upheaval, 1933–34 and 1945–48. Internally these basic orientations spawned competing networks of different factions of party politicians, bureaucrats, and company managers.
    Continuities in the Identity Construction of Industrial Chemists, 1940–1970

    Georg Wagner-Kyora
    Universität Hannover

    Prominent sections of the German chemical industry’s elites were notoriously close to the Holocaust and mass murder of compulsory laborers. Yet the scientists maintained a broad continuity of their traditional bourgeois mental dispositions, even as they displayed deep loyalty to the Nazi regime. They managed to hold on to their leading positions in the late 1940s through the establishment of the East German state and preserved an elitist habit of bourgeois networking. This continuity led into an intergenerational continuity when a new intelligentsia took over in the 1960s. It adopted its predecessors’ bourgeois mentality and developed an even stronger non-ideological type of managerial cooperation.
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