Synopses & Reviews
Germany, Poland, and Postmemorial Relations addresses the relationship between German and Polish memory discourses and practices after 1989, following the collapse of communism, the unification of Germany, and Polands accession to the EU. As opposed to the bilateral approach of other memory studies, this volume focuses on the interdependencies of German, Polish, and Jewish collective memories and their dialogic, transnational character. The contributors pose critical questions about the dynamics of the public discourse of memory and their cultural manifestations. Their findings indicate shifts in the Grand Memorial Narrative of Polish-German relations, from an engagement with a politics of entitlement to an EU-facilitated politics of reconciliation. They expand the operative notion of postmemory from the individual dimension to the collective, and reveal postmemory's formation as vulnerable to political, cultural, and economic pressures. This volume is addressed to a broad academic and non-academic audience interested in Central European culture and history.
Following the end of the Cold War, Germans and Poles engaged in wide-reaching reassessments of their shared traumatic past. This volume examines the roles the German occupation, the Holocaust, and the postwar expulsion of Germans from Poland have come to play in contemporary German-Polish relations. Expanding the notion of "postmemory" from an individual dimension to a collective one, contributors show the ways in which postmemory's formation is vulnerable to political, cultural, and economic pressures. Their findings show the many ways in which the Polish-German 'grand memorial narrative' has shifted from a Cold War politics of entitlement to an EU-facilitated politics of reconciliation.
About the Author
Kristin Kopp is an associate professor of German Studies at the University of Missouri. Joanna Nizynska is an associate professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and teaches Polish Studies at Harvard University.
Table of Contents
Between Entitlement and Reconciliation: Germany and Poland's Post-Memory after 1989; Kristin Kopp and Joanna Nizynska
PART I: THE POLITICS OF POSTMEMORY
Shadows of Memory in Polish-German Relations (1989-2005); Wanda Jarzabek
History by Decree? The Commission of Historians of the German Democratic Republic and the People's Republic of Poland 1956-1990; Stefan Guth
'The Law Alleviates Concerns': Legal Dimensions of Polish-German Reconciliation; Pawel Lutomski
Eclipsing the Polish-German Past to Construct a Post-Socialist Polish Memory-Culture; Heidi Hein-Kircher
PART II: THE GRAND NARRATIVES OF POSTMEMORY
When Poland was Home: Nostalgic Returns in Grass and Wolf; Angelika Bammer
Declaring War: Attitudes Towards the Years 1939-1945 in the Literature of the Post-1990s; Przemyslaw Czaplinski
Liberation from Memory: Memory, Post-Memory, or Subverted Memory in What Does the Messenger Girl Doby Foks and Libera; Marek Zaleski
Interviews with Jan T. Gross (2007/2009); Jesse Labov & Jan T. Gross
Genre and Intervention: Reflections on the Reception of Neighbors and Fear; Jessie Labov
Relocating Auschwitz: Affective Relations in the Jewish-German-Polish Troika; Erica Lehrer
The 'Lodzermensch': From Cultural Contamination to Marketable Multiculturalism; Winson W. Chu
'We are Prussia Today': Polish-German Variations on a Vanished State; Gregor Thum