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From Monuments to TracesArtifacts of German Memory, 1870-1990$
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Rudy Koshar

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780520217683

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520217683.001.0001

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(p.143) Chapter Three Reconstructions
From Monuments to Traces

Rudy Koshar

University of California Press

After World War II, there was a need to reconstruct important buildings and monuments that had been damaged in Germany. Rebuilding, regardless of its form and whether it emphasized modernization and revolution or preservation of tradition, could never be divorced from the German past. This chapter discusses the importance of reconstructions in the German memory landscape. The experience of Germans after the World War II shows that reconstruction could mean that something which had been broken or lost can be reestablished and reconnected. Monuments and ruins had once dominated ways of thinking and speaking about the German memory landscape, but reconstructions in all their varied forms commanded attention from 1945 to 1970, as Germany emerged from the most murderous military and racial struggle in human history.

Keywords:   World War II, rebuilding, reconstructions, monuments, ruins

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