Preliminary Programme

Wed 12 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 13 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Fri 14 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Sat 15 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00

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Saturday 15 April 2023 08.30 - 10.30
B-13 POL24 “Heimat” and Identity in a Transforming Society. Germany since the 1970s
Victoriagatan 13, A252
Networks: Ethnicity and Migration , Politics, Citizenship, and Nations Chair: Izabela Dahl
Organizers: Christian Rau, Johannes Schütz Discussants: -
Maren Hachmeister : The Home in Social Relations. What the “Old-old” Disclose about “Heimat” in a Transforming Society
Old people are believed to be advocates of “Heimat”, either they spent their entire lives in the same place or they had to leave it behind. How do people fit into this image, who lost their home while never leaving the place they live in? This paper focuses on the ... (Show more)
Old people are believed to be advocates of “Heimat”, either they spent their entire lives in the same place or they had to leave it behind. How do people fit into this image, who lost their home while never leaving the place they live in? This paper focuses on the experiences of East Germans aged between 80 and 95, the so called “old-old” of the society, who literally remained unmoved when the villages and towns changed around them after 1989. As their previous notions of “Heimat” dispersed, social relationships seem to have become more important to them. The paper will discuss how personal interactions and relationships of the elderly shaped the transforming East German society and how these produced contemporary narratives of “Heimat”. (Show less)

Christian Rau : “Bischofferode is Everywhere”? Labour Protest and “Heimat” in the Post-socialist Eichsfeld
During the post-socialist transformation, “Heimat” played a crucial role for East Germans to relocate within reunified Germany. Thereby, the “Heimat” discourse also revealed conflicts among East Germans in the wake of reunification. In the catholic Eichsfeld, a divided region during the Cold War, the conservative Christian-Democratic Party (CDU) used “Heimat” ... (Show more)
During the post-socialist transformation, “Heimat” played a crucial role for East Germans to relocate within reunified Germany. Thereby, the “Heimat” discourse also revealed conflicts among East Germans in the wake of reunification. In the catholic Eichsfeld, a divided region during the Cold War, the conservative Christian-Democratic Party (CDU) used “Heimat” to popularize a quick path to integration into the Federal Republic. This strategy was questioned, however, when the miners of Bischofferode protested against the closure of their potash plant in 1992/93, portraying the Eichsfeld as a dying industrial region. Since then, two concepts of “Heimat” clashed locally and determined the discussions about the legitimacy of the protest. The paper analyses the relationship between protest practices and the (local) “Heimat” discourse. (Show less)

Anna Saunders : Heimat Narratives and Remembering Right-wing Violence in Post-unification Eastern Germany
After the demise of the GDR, social and economic instability coupled with the growth of right-wing extremism resulted in a number of violent and racist attacks on migrant workers and riots that lasted several days. This paper will examine the ways in which these attacks have been remembered in the ... (Show more)
After the demise of the GDR, social and economic instability coupled with the growth of right-wing extremism resulted in a number of violent and racist attacks on migrant workers and riots that lasted several days. This paper will examine the ways in which these attacks have been remembered in the public sphere since unification, primarily through the activities of grassroots initiatives which have led to exhibitions, the establishing of archives, online documentation and physical memorials. These activities have not been without controversy, however, and raise interesting questions relating to notions of “Heimat” and its disruption – for victims, perpetrators and bystanders. As this paper will demonstrate, remembering such events today continues to be central to the construction of local identities, and to narratives of inclusion and exclusion. (Show less)

Johannes Schütz : Heimat, History and Identity. The Political Impact of Amateur Historical Studies in the GDR
From its very beginning, the GDR tried to establish legitimacy through historical narratives. The state party made thousands of amateur historians, who conducted their studies as leisure activities, participate in this ideological project – every chronicler had to prove the necessary and inevitable victory of socialist society when researching local ... (Show more)
From its very beginning, the GDR tried to establish legitimacy through historical narratives. The state party made thousands of amateur historians, who conducted their studies as leisure activities, participate in this ideological project – every chronicler had to prove the necessary and inevitable victory of socialist society when researching local history. The paper will focus on the practices of those hobby historians, looking at the ways in which they went along with the official demands and how they tried to find their own ways in dealing with historical issues. Furthermore, it will be pointed out how these practices lasted beyond German reunification and are still a practice used to construct local identity. (Show less)



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