Die bisherigen Ergebnisse des hier vorgestellten Forschungsprogramms legen insbesondere die folgenden Schlussfolgerungen nahe:. McNeill , Headrick , Adas Gerade die oben am Beispiel des Indischen Ozeans skizzierten Abgrenzungs- und Kontraktionsprozesse sind ein wichtiges Korrektiv zu der in vielen Bereichen der Diskussion nach wie vor dominierenden Teleologie einer gerichteten Bewegung der Integration.
Ferguson mit Kritik an Piot u. Auch Ma bezeichnet Studios, die bewusst im Hinblick auf eine bestimmte internationale Musiksubkultur hin gestaltet werden, als translokale Orte. Appadurai, Arjun, a: Sovereignty without Territoriality. Beck, Ulrich, a: The Cosmopolitan Perspective.
Theory, Context, and Practice, Oxford, S. Boesen, Elisabeth, Hirtenkultur und Weltkultur. Bowen, John R. Bromber, Katrin, Who are the Zanzibaris? Clifford, James Hg. Cohen, Robin; Vertovec, Steven Hgg. Theory, Context, and Practice, Oxford. Ferguson, James, Of Mimicry and Membership. Gelehrtenbeziehungen im Mekka des Jahrhunderts, in: Die Welt des Islams 43,1 , S.
Glassmann, Jonathan, Slower Than a Massacre.
Harders, Cilja, Dimensionen des Netwerkansatzes. Headrick, Daniel R. Ho, Engseng, Empire through Diasporic Eyes. Inkeles, Alex; Smith, David H. Lecocq, Baz, Fieldwork ain't always Fun. Legnaro, Aldo; Birenheide, Almut o. Modernizing the Middle East, New York. Loimeier, Roman Hg. Mandaville, Peter G. Reimagining the Umma, London. Discrepant Idioms of Political Identity. Mann, Michael, Globalizations. Marfaing, Laurence; Wippel, Steffen Hgg. Erweiterung oder Alternative? Patel, Klaus Kiran, Transnationale Geschichte. Ein neues Paradigma? Peleikis, Anja, Lebanese in Motion. Gender and the Making of a Translocal Village, Bielefeld.
Pernau, Margrit, Global history. Piot, Charles, Remotely global. This unique quality of, on the one hand, eliciting a connection with familiar historical settings but, on the other, infusing them with counterfactual conditions, creates the potential for Alternate Histories to function as interventions into collective memory discourses unburdened by the necessity of legitimizing their position. In this sense, such alternate memories, in the guise of mere counterfactual speculations, constitute an ideal means of subverting even the most central presuppositions of collective memory.
And, arguably, few contexts are better suited to illustrate this process than the case of German normalization.
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However, an attempt at a generic definition can nonetheless be helpful here. At the same time, normalization is not or, at least, not immediately, oriented towards the future, but rather represents a nostalgic vision of returning to a less burdened past. This is not to say, of course, that such an idea is any less of an ideological construct. However, one must differentiate between the narrative content and the strategic direction of normalizing trends of memory. In the But while there is a differentiation between the specificities of the respective normalizing trends within the memory cultures of each of these nations, a detailed delineation of the case of German normalization, in the context of which this phenomenon has arguably had the greatest impact, falls short.
In order to better understand the function of alternate memory for the collective memory and the collective identity of postwar Germany, one must therefore seek to understand what constitutes German normalization in particular. He discusses what he labels organic, universalizing, relativizing, and aestheticizing forms of normalization, respectively, as they pertain to the commemorative effects of allohistorical fictions. Accordingly, all historical forms of normalizing movements within postwar German memory discourse — from the relativizing traditional counter-memories in the early postwar years to the seemingly inclusive anti-memory developments following reunification — have at their narrative core an element of nostalgia for simpler, more innocent times.
As discursive strategies, however, they are, at the same time, directed ahead insofar as they are ultimately aimed at restoring an unfettered national identity. While the regressive narrative content is fundamentally ideological in nature, the progressive discursive strategy is decidedly more pragmatic. Eleonore Lappin and Bernhard Schneider St. What is of central importance — and this applies to most, if not all, normalizing trends of memory across national boundaries — is that the narrative content undergoes diachronic changes as the national and international discourses, against which these counter-memories are directed, evolve.
For the German context these historical changes have already been addressed in the previous section, and older models will be relevant in the analysis of some of the texts in the following chapters whose production and publication fall into earlier periods of postwar German history.
However, as I have outlined above, despite the fact that a tendency for overcoming the legacy of National Socialism already surfaced immediately after the end of the war, attesting to the existence of an ongoing project of German normalization, the discursive strategies employed have changed significantly with the reunification of Germany and, again, with the epistemological shift that accompanied the rise of former critics of this very project to political power in This has paved the way for a new form of positive nationalist identification.
Let us therefore take a closer look at the specific conditions of this new era of German normalization and what it means for the development and the function of alternate memory. In an introductory move, he establishes his reputation and authority not only as a critical, but also as a neutral voice in the context of German memory debates. This particular phrasing suggests that the longing for normalcy, which Walser directly evokes with his last sentence, represents not an ideological construct in itself, but rather a breaking-up of mythical discursive structures.
Particularly significant is also the person of Martin Walser as such or, rather, the moral locus from which his intervention originated. Traditionally, the call for an end of the alleged preoccupation with the legacy of National Socialism was linked to the political right. At the same time, they have widely proven incapable of adequately accounting for the involvement of protagonists like Walser and the emergence of the considerably more successful new narratives their reformulations represent.
These are not fringe historians of the radical Right; nor are they neo-Nazis or Holocaust deniers. However, the gradual ascension of such voices to the status of the dominant narrative is a central characteristic of the most recent developments in the collective memory discourse of Germany: Andrei S. Rather, it reflects the manifold social and cultural changes the country has undergone in the decades since the end of World War II.
Indeed they welcome these activities as long as they finally liberate the new Berlin Republic from the burdens that shackled its Bonn predecessor. Jeffrey C. Alexander Berkeley: University of California Press, , To my mind, the best contemporary summary of the conditions that define this process is provided by Lars Rensmann, who writes: This crucial distinction between the mere fact that history is made the object of discussion and what this discussion actually entails leads us back to the category of alternate memory.
Within the thus established narrative of German normalization, allohistorical fictions represent a special case. The beginnings of German-language postwar Alternate Histories are especially interesting in light of what Ceslaw Karolak posits with regard to the development of German Science Fiction, a genre which is commonly held to be the historical point of origin and still a close relative of Alternate History fictions. According to him, the majority of SF publications in Germany in the early postwar years, specifically in the s, displayed a number of distinct continuities with Nazi ideology, liberally proliferating ideas of racism and expansionism in particular.
In stark contrast, early Alternate Histories in German are Rensmann, Nationalsozialismus in der Gegenwart, Bernhard Spies 54 considerably more akin to the British and American paradigms in that the pursuit and realization of such reactionary ideals feature in them solely as pure nightmare scenarios. Germany and Austria have become strongholds of grotesque pagan mysticism and, following the death of Adolf Hitler, have descended into a state of perpetual in-fighting between the different factions of the National Socialist movement that is gradually turning into a civil war.
The absolute majority of German and Austrian allohistorical fictions focused on the Third Reich thus far has been produced after the reunification of Germany and, therefore, in the context of the era of the accelerated, reformulated German normalization defined above.
This development, I would argue, is no coincidence. As a matter of fact, its specific aptitude for relativization can already be identified in Alternate Histories preceding this era, as the discussion of some examples in the following chapters will illustrate, but it only reaches its full potential in cohort with corresponding contemporary developments in the collective memory of the reunified Germany. In comparison to official as well as other forms of literary interventions into the discourse of collective memory, allohistorical fictions benefit from their essentially ludic engagement with historical knowledge.
Remaining within the sphere of literature, other types of narratives can, at most, attempt to realize their normalizing potential against central tenets of established historical knowledge; Alternate Histories, on the other hand, perform the same task by positing alternate memories in place of real historical events. It can present counterfactual tales of German heroism in resistance to the Nazi regime, thus creating the image of a historically disproportionate degree of fundamental opposition against the National Socialist order from within the general population of the Third Reich.
Or it can depict the effects of alternate Holocausts perpetrated against the Germans in the aftermath of World War II and the inherent subtle reaffirmation of the narrative of commensurable German victimization. As all of these examples and the close readings in following chapters will illustrate, Alternate Histories are capable to complementing more conventional forms of revisionist counter-memory in unique and uniquely efficient ways.
However, it is highly debatable whether this is actually the case. That is to say, a reader of an allohistorical story, omitting the real Holocaust and instead depicting the brutal victimization of the German population, could know full well that the suffering of Germans after the war and the industrialized mass murder of Jewish and other victims preceding it cannot reasonably be considered commensurable occurrences, but still choose, in adherence to the collective counter- narrative, to tendentiously prioritize stories of German victimization in their own memory.
The Alternate Histories discussed here are prone to serving such a purpose and, as such, they are exemplary representations of the potential of literature for facilitating a process of overcoming history. The essential function of alternate memory is to contribute to the realization of a new narrative which ensures that this potential future is a prosperous one for the national collective. In The World Hitler Never Made, Gavriel Rosenfeld characterizes this phenomenon in the following terms: Individuals and groups in society may seek to normalize the past for a variety of reasons, but they do so usually out of a sense of impatience with its continued abnormality.
They may seek to relativize the past by deliberately minimizing its unique dimensions through comparisons with other more or less comparable historical occurrences. They may also attempt to universalize the past by explaining it as less the result of particularistic trends distinct to the era in question than of broader, timeless, social, political, or economic forces that they hope to call attention to […].
These strategies all reflect a desire to make a given historical legacy no different from any other and can thus be seen as part of a larger attempt to reduce its prominence in current consciousness, if not render it forgotten altogether. In the context of official commemorative discourses, the universalization of the legacy of the National Socialist era as a pervasive occurrence is largely geopolitically and historically restricted. While narratives that generalize the causes and policies of National Socialism do exist outside of German debates, they typically do not represent mainstream positions within the memory debates of other countries.
For several decades following the end of World War II, the same situation applied to discussions and representations of collective memory in Germany. More recently, however, the recourse to the Nazi past in comparative and ultimately relativist terms has experienced a considerable rise in German discussions.
As outlined in the previous chapter, this development coincides with a series of paradigmatic shifts for which the reunification of Germany can be identified as a starting point, but in the context of which the discursive changes that accompanied the rise to power of former critics of historical revisionism in has also played a decisive role. Evidence of this trend can be found, for instance, in the debates surrounding the German participation in the war against Serbia and the strategies of legitimization employed in this context. Emphases in the original. At the same time, its specific implementation as a narrative strategy — especially in German counterfactual literature — also exhibits distinct differences that constitute a historical progression which can be linked to the turn in non-literary discourses.
The following sections of this chapter will discuss a small selection of allohistorical fictions that represent an exemplary variety of manifestations of this universalistic theme in Alternate History, highlight the differences between their specific narrative approaches, both in terms of their national and historical setting, and illustrate the specifically German function of counterfactual universalization in the production of alternate memories.
After long periods of the repression or outright denial of a collective responsibility of Germans for the atrocities of National Socialism, the tendency to acknowledge but, at the same time, universalize it by situating it within an international and trans-historical tradition has since become a staple of the German engagement with the past. In the context of non-literary discourses, this can be considered a representative example of what Hartman has termed anti-memory.
Dick weaves an intricate tale of an allohistorical present-day America in which the effects of the alternate outcome of the Second World War are acutely apparent. In , the attempt on the life of President Franklin D. Roosevelt — which, in real history, killed Anton Cermak, the mayor of Chicago — is successful and it falls to Vice President John Nance Garner to assume the presidency.
As signs arise of impending war in Philip K. Hereafter cited as MHC. Bricker, his successor, in Without the entrance of the American forces into the war, Nazi Germany manages to overrun its European enemies and ends the war in Europe by conquering the Soviet Union in With the United States military wholly unprepared for the fighting reaching American shores, the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor succeeds in destroying the entire US naval fleet.
The virtually defenseless United States are subsequently attacked by both Axis powers on both shores, resulting in the German occupation of the Eastern part of the country and the Japanese seizing the West. The remainder of the completely outmanned and outgunned American armed forces retreats to a small section of the Rocky Mountain States which, by , remains the last enclave in the former United States not occupied by a foreign power.
However, the story itself is primarily set in the Pacific States of America PSA , the Japanese occupied zone, as it unfolds in the s. While horror stories from the German sector, still referred to as the United States of America, are present as a constant specter, the Japanese, despite having instituted a de facto racial class system, have overall proven to be relatively benevolent occupiers. This book is a metafictional story-within-the-story whose centrality for the narrative is inescapable. Written by recluse author Hawthorne Abendsen — as it turns out, the eponymous man in the High Castle —, Grasshopper represents a parallel allohistorical fiction in which the Germans lose World War II.
Contrary to the events in the main narrative, in this alternate account of history, Roosevelt is not assassinated but carries out his two-term presidency and prepares the United States for an imminent war against Germany. In an act of strategic clairvoyance, Tugwell removes the American fleet from Pearl Harbor in due time and thus prevents it from being destroyed. At the same time, a pact is forged between Britain and the Soviet Union resulting in the defeat of the German Wehrmacht on the Eastern front. Soon after, Italy betrays the Axis and joins forces with the Allies.
Following the surrender of the Japanese, the Americans enter the European theater of war and defeat Germany alongside the British. In the aftermath of the war, See MHC, In the United States, a booming labor market is created as a result of this program and the Americans begin supplying the entire world with cheap satellite televisions as a means of education.
Meanwhile, the British Empire pursues a similar project. But in contrast to their former American allies, Britain relies on forced labor and annexed resources from Germany and the Caucasus in order to supply India, Burma, Africa and the Middle East with food and new technologies. The beginning of the s also marks the beginning of ten years of an uneasy peace between the two remaining superpowers, with the United States controlling China and the entire Pacific, and Britain the Middle East, Africa and parts of continental Asia.
As the third, but overall inferior global power, Russia remains divided between the US and Britain and ultimately passive. During this period, Britain begins setting up so-called detention preserves in several South Asian countries for alleged Chinese dissidents, as a response to the overwhelmingly pro-American position adopted by China.
Having instated himself as a de facto dictator, Churchill is still in power at this time. Already anticipating the answer, Juliana proceeds to ask of the I Ching, also frequently referred to as the Oracle, the reason for inspiring Abendsen to write this particular tale: Juliana said, 'Oracle, why did you write The Grasshopper Lies Heavy? What are we supposed to learn? I know without using the chart, too. And I know what it means. He had now an almost savage expression.
With anger he said, 'Germany and Japan lost the war? Here Rosenfeld refers to what he interprets as the inability of the majority of characters in the main narrative — and, by symbolic extension, the majority of people in general — to recognize the fictitious nature of their world and break through the illusion. In fact, this secondary allohistorical scenario is, in many ways, just as bleak as that of the MHC, In Grasshopper, Germany not winning the Second World War does not result in the abolition of totalitarian control or politicized racial discrimination and does not produce a more liberal, progressive society.
Instead, elements of German fascism are projected onto Britain after the end of the war, resulting in a global proliferation of racist policies and the subjugation of large parts of the world under imperialist rule. More significant, however, is the relation of this secondary counterfactual story to actual history. Here, the suggestion that the world could have turned out just as badly even if the defeat of Nazi Germany played out more or less as it did, inevitably constitutes a universalizing perspective, an aspect of the novel that, albeit without an explicit acknowledgement of the role of Grasshopper in this regard, has also been noted by Carl Freedman: In a way that strongly resonates with what Horkheimer and Adorno call the dialectic of enlightenment, the novel sees Nazi atrocity as the extreme but perfectly logical extension of something typically and profoundly Western: the valorization of ceaseless activity, of agency, of expansion and acquisition and domination […] Capitalism, after all, is necessarily driven by an expansionist and dominative dynamic, and even in its most liberal versions is inescapably dependent upon violence […].
This type of projection clearly goes beyond a mere critique of the ubiquity and innate cruelty of Capitalism, but effectively suspends the historical specificity of the political developments in Germany that ultimately led to the singular event of the Holocaust. This difference becomes more apparent as we turn to the first example of German Alternate Histories. It is revealed in the only published review of the novel that Sissini is, in fact, the pen name of Greek economist Dimitris N.
Chorafas, who has made a name for himself not as an author of fiction but as an economics professor and financial advisor, mainly in the United States and Canada since the s. Hereafter cited as SH. It is interesting to note in this context that the use of pseudonyms, attributing especially right-wing German Alternate Histories to obscure American authors with fictional biographies, is not unheard of. See especially the so-called Stahlfront series and its aptly named author Torn Chaines. Neumann mentions that the advance manuscript still listed Chorafas as the author, indicating that the decision to use a pseudonym was made last minute in the publication process.
Broder and has become exemplary evidence of the existence of Jewish anti- Semitism. What makes his rendition of this theme unusual, however, and, in fact, the only one of its kind, is the cause which effects this greater success. However, this is not portrayed as a moral critique but rather a strategic one. While, from a primarily prescriptive perspective, this choice of alteration would first and foremost make Samuel Hitler highly problematic with regard to its historical plausibility, it also makes it an early, prototypical example of the narrative strategies that constitute alternate memory.
While the historical setting is very familiar, place and character names have been altered, effectively alienating the narrative from real history. The names of the known historical protagonists have been changed ever so slightly, while still maintaining their recognizability. Hitler is one of the few prominent characters who retains his last name, but for him, the changes are, of course, much more radical.
Hellekson, Alternate History, 8. Both Lazarus and Samuel acknowledge the brutality with which the process of Chinese unification was achieved, but relegate it to the status of a necessary evil in the process of building a great nation SH In the early chapters of the book, anti-Semitism directed at the Jewish Hitler by his immediate peers only surfaces in one short paragraph, which describes the young Samuel as an outsider in school as a result of his heritage.
The real alteration here is, of course, not the claim that a virulent anti-Semitic ideology also existed and still exists in countries like England and the United States, in a more or less identical narrative as in the German anti-Jewish tradition; the central change lies in the suggestion that British and American anti-Semitism was, at the same time, directed at Germany for having forged a historical alliance with the Jews. This depiction sets the scene for the overarching universalizing narrative of the novel: It already makes clear at an early stage that, judging from the globalized hatred of Jews, the Holocaust was basically possible anywhere and, in turn, it implicitly insinuates that the institutionalization of anti- Semitism was neither a necessary nor a particularly alluring factor in the context of the rise and the success of National Socialism in Germany.
This is most apparent when Samuel contrasts himself with Rosa Luxemburg one of the few historical characters who keep their real names , whom he understands as a misguided idealist, but whose necessary inability to succeed on the German political stage ultimately comes down to race.
The central-most representation of this is the design of the alternate Nazi flag, which is no longer adorned by a swastika, but instead features Samuel Hitler's initials SH This symbol is depicted on the cover of the only edition of the novel in such a way that the S is superimposed on the H, creating dollar sign — the traditional link between Judaism and money.
For the whole of the alternate narrative, the last aspect is of heightened importance because, to a considerable extent, the role of the Jews as scapegoats, the necessity of which for the mobilization of the masses Samuel learned from his father, is delegated to Communists. See also Oddly, however, the 'Reichstagsbrand' does not occur in the story. By Between this date and the invasion of Poland on 1 September, , national politics in Germany follow the course of real history surprisingly closely. This is, of course, no coincidence, but a programmatic trait.
Or, in other words: If Hitler had himself been a Jew and had experienced an entirely different upbringing, history would have progressed in an almost identical fashion, but the Holocaust would never have occurred in Germany. The incrimination of the United States Neuland is realized, on the one hand, through misrepresentations of actual historical developments. In this context, the text moves the institutionalized displacement and murder of the American Indians forward through time into the middle of the 20th century and, likewise, moves the Watergate Landgate scandal back to also coincide with the Nazi regime.
A similar strategy is applied to both Poland and the Soviet Union, only here with the added dimension that the projections are directly invoked to legitimize German acts of war against both nations. A recreation of the real Holocaust, but without German SH And, later in the war, Operation Barbarossa is justified in a similar fashion: While the entire text is characterized by a relativist tone, these passages epitomize its overall universalizing strategy. By projecting the real historical anti-Semitism of the Third Reich onto other nations and contrasting it with the fictitious rationality and relative humanity of Altland, the text creates an alternate memory narrative which enables the inclined reader to harness certain aspects of this counterfactual scenario for a revision of the collective memory of National Socialism.
It propagates nothing less than the necessity of a total re-evaluation of the character and legacy of National Socialism by suggesting that the factual historical developments between the end of the First World War and the beginning of the Second were not primarily contingent on the ideological disposition of a majority of Germans — i. Consequently, the Third Reich is not only able to retain leading scientific minds such as Albert Einstein Dreistein , but even recruit Jewish scientists from other countries, such as J.
With the most influential scientific minds of the s now concentrated and collaborating in Altland, the most groundbreaking innovations do not only occur there before anywhere else, they also — for a large This alteration also extends to other academic fields and includes a number of prominent psychologists and other representatives of the Social Sciences. Perhaps the most poignant — and, from a historical perspective, most grotesque — example is the fact that the entire Frankfurter Schule remains a part of German academia under the alternate National Socialist regime SH Meanwhile, the cumulative efforts in Altland speed up the development and manage to successfully test the first atomic bomb on 16 January, While there is no definitive date given for the beginning of the serial production of the A4 rocket, the passage in which this is mentioned is located well before the outbreak of the war in the text.
In real history, the rocket was not ready for regular use until It is significant to note that this final victory of Altland, despite being a major alteration in its own right, does not come without its share of revisionist undertones. This is represented, on the one hand, by the relativist portrayal of the aftermath of the bombing of Norfolk, in which the victims of the attack itself are altogether absent and the narrator exclusively focuses on retaliatory violence perpetrated by Americans against German See SH In contrast, the first successful test in the context of the Manhattan Project was conducted on 16 July, An explicit date for these two events is curiously absent here, but it seems a safe assumption that the progression follows the same timeline as the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the surrender of Japan, putting them within three and nine days of the first bombing, respectively.
For the reader, this SF turn of events does not actually not come as a surprise. Hitler IV is, in fact, the first incarnation we encounter in the text, coordinating the bombing of Baltimore in the proleptical first chapter. More importantly, however, in the narrative as a whole, this is not a sudden, but a gradual development.
The final chapter displays distinct aspects of anti- modern angst, pessimistically foreshadowing a dystopian future in which technology will claim See SH The development of advanced computer systems is, without question, the most important technological allohistorical motif and by far the most significant scientific acceleration in the text. As early as the mids, the Third Reich implements a de facto automatization of the lower ranks of government with a database processing information in ways and dimensions far ahead of its time.
“Public History” – Sublation of a German Debate?
Februar , um 7. Therefore the question arises: Which sectors of See SH It is not mentioned whether he is recruited from the United States or never leaves Europe in the first place. Here, it is not the victory of Nazi Germany that is the center of SH The story is told on two narrative levels, covering two alternative timelines. The primary narrative centers on two main protagonists: The British history student Michael Young and the German physicist Leo Zuckermann. The specific historical knowledge this particular field of research has afforded him is put to advantageous use — after his dissertation is vocally rejected as prosaic tripe by his supervisor — when he accidentally meets Leo Zuckermann, an elderly German physicist and Cambridge fellow.
As a result of this realization, he is plagued by such immense guilt that he becomes obsessed with the past and eventually develops a device to see backwards through time — the Temporal Imaging Machine, or TIM. While TIM is no time machine in the strictest sense, Michael and Leo eventually discover that they are able to use the device as a transmitter for very small objects. Regardless of his personal situation, the fact that Hitler never lived, he naturally assumes, must mean that the world has been altered for the better.
It is only gradually that he realizes his error. Again, the reader is presented with a second narrative, which is now presented from the perspective of Rudolf Gloder. Virtually worshipped by his men for his honorable personality and camaraderie that appears to know no rank, in this alternate timeline, Gloder evades death as a result of the risky maneuver Hitler had dared him into in the previous timeline by sending a willing subordinate in his stead.
After this event, it is finally revealed that Gloder is merely acting the part of the likeable comrade to foster his own advancement and that he is indeed a cunning careerist who literally leaves dead bodies in his trail on the way to the top. As the story progresses, Gloder follows a similar path as Hitler in real history, only with much greater success at every step, as a result of his particular intellectual and social talents. Meanwhile, in Princeton, Michael quickly learns that the alternate history he created is not actually improved at all.
Michael soon realizes that history has, in fact, turned out much worse through the removal of Hitler. In the following years, Gloder not only manages to achieve a greater degree of unification among the disparate political factions Making History, Internationally, he fosters the image of a cosmopolitan benevolent statesman, resulting in mutual trade agreements with Great Britain, and in even receives the Nobel Peace Prize. Finally, in , the world realizes that Gloder has harbored a secret agenda all along.
"The trauma must remain inaccessible to memory"
In the wake of the attack, the Wehrmacht occupies nearly all of Eastern Europe, as well as Turkey and Greece. A short time later, the Western European nations surrender without a fight and Germany strikes a cooperative agreement with the United States. In response, the United States sever diplomatic relations and a rebellion breaks out in Britain, which is brutally quashed by German forces. Rumors emerge from the Jewish Free State about systematic killings of its inhabitants, causing the United States to threaten war on the German Reich, which does not break out, however, due to American fears about the development of superior German weapons systems.
Homosexuality is still a crime in the Making History, Not in Europe. While initially it appears that, in the second timeline, at least Auschwitz did not exist, the reader later learns that, instead of a concentration camp, the town of Auschwitz was home to a German research facility in which Dietrich Bauer and Johann Kremer conducted experiments on a very special substance.
Kremer had previously become aware of a strange case of localized infertility in the late 19th century in the Austrian town of Braunau am Inn. The Jews were a threat. A real threat. Something had to be done, everyone thought so. After all, the one constant in the two timelines is the widespread resentment of the German population, which the text explicitly emphasizes at various occasions. Militarily we are doing well, we have a clear advantage, everyone knows that. It is only on the home front that we are losing.
Morale is being fucked by the Bolsheviks, the pacifists and the artist queers. I suppose I should have known better. The circumstances were still the same in Europe. There was still a vacuum in Germany waiting to be filled.
There was still fifty years of anti- Semitism and nationalism ready to be exploited. Rather, there are several clear indicators that not only acknowledge, but in fact highlight the responsibility of the German people for the legacy of National Socialism and the Holocaust. Like Dick, Fry does not direct his narrative at a German audience and he does not partake in the popular normalizing trends of postwar Germany. Rather, his narrative is targeting the forgetfulness of his compatriots, of those who would allow revisions of history to go unchallenged.
This group is represented in the text itself by the reaction of the two CIA agents interviewing Michael, as representatives of the last remaining opponent of the alternate Nazi Germany, when one of them dismisses the previously secret information about Making History, Carl, the protagonist, a student of political science at the University of Munich, decides to visit Luise, his cousin, in Dresden.
Already the spontaneity of his travel plans and the casual agreement between him and Luise must have appeared strange to a contemporary reader, with an increased awareness of the bureaucracy involved in travelling from West to East Germany in Throughout the story, Carl continuously reflects on the past and present of this alternate Germany beginning with subtle remarks and passing observations, ultimately building to a radical externalization of aspects of real German history onto other countries.
This potential for misinterpretation, however, is gradually removed as the story progresses. Another notable change laid out in this passage is the exchange between the French man and the Hungarian teenagers, when they speak about their travels across Europe and state that they are currently also headed for Nuremberg to stay with friends.
The teenagers respond that it was precisely this historic character that attracted them in the first place. While changing trains in Hof, he encounters a large group of students on a school trip waiting on the platform and, subsequently, three buses from which senior travellers emerge in droves. The realization that the city of Wroclaw was evidently not ceded to Poland in the aftermath of World War II represents a threshold in the narrative: From here on in, there can no longer really be any question about significant changes to history as the reader knows it. Consequentially, its casual integration into the story — establishing not merely the fact that the city presently still belongs to Germany, but implying more generally a state of German normalcy — indirectly, but efficiently, addresses this status and thereby caters to a position that is, at best, equally as concerned with the suffering of Germans as a result of the loss of the war as with the suffering of their victims in the twelve years prior.
The students speak with a heavy Saxonian accent and the buses, Carl notes, are all from Chemnitz. Aside from the revealing reference to the city that was actually Karl-Marx-Stadt in the GDR, the utter normalcy that is conveyed in the description of this encounter once more constitutes a key aspect of its description. Like the forfeiture of German territories in the previous passage, this episode addresses an essential element of postwar discourses of German loss: the division of Germany.
While the existence of two separate German states constituted a general paradigm of the way in which the Second World War negatively affected the German population, the freedom of movement of the citizens of the GDR or, rather, the absence thereof, has always featured as an especially significant tenet — both in pre West Germany and in post-unification debates — of the integral demonization of East Germany in official and popular See ibid.
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At the same time, his own critical, sarcastic perspective on these impressions establishes himself as a representative of more a more modern, a more progressive Germany, effectively guarding against potential allegations of over-idealizing German traditions. Carl and the Professor from Bonn near Cologne discuss the history of Spanish literature following the Francoist coup in , during which the German government remained neutral.
In response to the fascist takeover, many members of the literary community of Spain fled the country and sought refuge, as it turns out, in the much more liberal Germany. In the alternate Germany, the trip from Munich to Leipzig is unhindered by any effects of the real historical division of Germany. While seated in the dining car, Carl is joined by a middle- aged Italian woman who instantly notices the textbook on fascism in Italy that he is reading.
While the overall historical development — that is, the time and circumstances of the rise and fall of Italian fascism — remain largely unchanged, some key characteristics are tellingly altered. But most centrally it is the emotional subjectivity of her recollections that drive the narrative. Der Rest: biologischer Unrat. Over her family history, which she remembers as being defined by living in fear of the authorities, the account goes on to comment on the racist policies of the regime: This passage is at once a crucial historical alteration and an effective means of projection with See ibid.
While the Italian fascist system did include racist and anti-Semitic elements, they did not develop a significant status in the policies and propaganda of the regime until the formation of the Axis in the wake of the German intervention into the war in Abyssinia in support of the Italian forces. Man kann es ja wirklich kaum verstehen[. Without the legacy of an essentially extrinsic ideology weighing on their collective conscience, the alternate Germans enjoy freedoms that the Italians are denied, the foremost of which is a positive national identity.
This difference is explicitly acknowledged by the Italian woman, who expresses her envy for Carl, as representative of the German people, by marveling: The relative subtlety of the previous passages is finally abandoned here. Italics in the original. The counterfactual mode specifically enables this kind of casual, selective historical elision and permits it to function, at the same time, as a source for the formation of new memories that ultimately facilitate an overcoming of the real legacy of the fictionally omitted events. Rather, here Hitler never enters the sphere of politics at all, but instead realizes his adolescent dream of becoming a professional painter.
After the real historical two failed attempts, the alternate Hitler decides to apply for admission into the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna for a third time and is finally accepted. In counterfactual retrospect, these years of patriotic heroism are described as having a profound influence on the development of his later style. However, there is a considerable problem with this reading. By itself, this level of the narrative may indeed be taken to imply that German society experienced considerable improvements as a result of the fact that Adolf Hitler never ascended to political power.
Rosenfeld acknowledges the existence of this critical voice, but not the fundamental impact it has on the speech itself. Only an examination of both layers of the narrative in combination reveals the meticulous generalizations at work in the text and calls into question the seamless comparisons with earlier German Alternate Histories of the Third Reich. Wo ich es endlich zum leitenden Angestellten in der Kulturabteilung gebracht habe? Vielleicht sollte ich auswandern.
The alternatives for this choice, however, are significant here. Und was haben wir stattdessen? Hitler, nichts als Hitler! This idea of endless expansion and prospective global domination again engenders distinct associations with the Third Reich. In parallel with the speech itself, the critical commentary thus serves to accentuate the thinly veiled negative aspects of the alternate Germany within the laudatory whole and echoes the real memory of National Socialism sometimes subtly, sometimes less so. One can only speculate as to why the United States are absent from this list, seeing as they are commonly the representation of choice in popular criticisms of globalization.
However, the fact that Wedemeyer-Schwiersch suggests such a broad selection of analogues only emphasizes the universalistic direction of her allohistorical approach. At the same time, this is precisely what enables the narrative to function as an alternate memory. Wedemeyer-Schwiersch creates a quasi-fascist Germany which does not merely resemble the actual Nazi Germany, but which is at the same time recognizably and intentionally linked to the political economy of contemporary globalized Capitalism, in which international corporations wield immense political power. The exemplary texts in this chapter illustrate in detail the ways in which Alternate Histories can perform the function of universalizing the legacy of National Socialism.
The contrast between Philip K. While the two non-German stories approach the premise of a German victory in the Second World War from very different angles, the discursive functions they perform are overall rather similar. On the one hand, the main narrative presents the reader with the notion that the defeat of the United States would not have necessarily resulted in a dystopian society. By depicting life in the Japanese-occupied Western states as characterized by a relative normalcy, the novel questions the hegemonic American memory narrative of World War II as the fight against an absolute evil.
On the other hand, the second alternative course of history portrayed in the fragmentary elements of Grasshopper suggests that a victory over the Nazis need not have necessarily been a preferable outcome. However, while this narrative technique unquestionably represents a universalization of elements of German fascism by suggesting that they were not exclusive to the Nazi regime in its specific historical setting, it does not effectively relativize National Socialism itself.
But here the primary focus is not on British but on German society. By imagining the removal of Hitler from history as the cause for an even greater success of the Nazi movement, Making History emphasizes the socio-political conditions from which it drew its power. In this sense, both non-German Alternate Histories in this chapter contain universalizing elements, but do not provide an exculpatory narrative that revises the causes and effects of real historical events. Conversely, this is precisely the function of all three German-language examples in this chapter. Here, too, the complicity of the German population in the rise of National Socialism is obscured by suggesting that the arrest of Hitler and a small number of his early collaborators would have resulted in Germany developing unhindered into a tolerant and open society.
At the same time, the historical crimes committed in the name of the Third Reich are once more projected onto other nations. The character of the Italian woman functions as a stand-in for the guilty conscience of postwar Germans and the counterfactual exaggeration of the atrocities committed by the Italian fascists conceals the specific historical conditions that produced the Holocaust. This is evident especially in the fact that, like non-literary forms of anti-memory, this narrative no longer relies on a denial of German guilt by externalization, but predominantly on situating it within a relativist framework.
Instead, the narrative is aimed primarily at cultivating the notion of a universal commensurability of National Socialist ideology. Here, envisioning Germany under a different leader as more successful but just as authoritarian as the Third Reich does not serve to foreground the socio-political conditions that led to the rise of National Socialism. Rather, it serves as a parable in which the alternate quasi-fascist Germany is no different from any other authoritarian system and in which the specific characteristics of German fascism are dissolved into a reductionist critique of globalized Capitalism.
After all, the resistance movement was not only, as Gordon A. To a certain extent, the psychology behind the metonymic identification of the vast, compliant majority of Germans with a small number of seemingly valiant heroes is understandable and, for the most part, harmless. Hans Wagener Stuttgart: Reclam, , For a more recent overview of its cinematic representation, cf.
Within the context of Alternate History, however, the capacity of the memory of German resistance to act as an exculpatory narrative is taken a step further with the counterfactual envisioning of successful and consequential acts of opposition against the Nazis. In each case, the basic premise is the representation of instances of German resistance against the National Socialist regime that did not exist, or did not have the same impact, in real history.
In contrast to both other chapters, the concrete individual implementations of this premise are much more varied here, that is, the same motif is incorporated into three very different allohistorical scenarios. Juli, German dissidence is an integral aspect of the original alteration of history, with the story imagining a victorious German Reich after the successful assassination of Adolf Hitler. Germany has defeated the Soviet Union in with a successful summer offensive launched against Moscow, reached a peace accord with a pro-German British government in after Churchill has been run out of the country and fled to Canada , and has entered into a state of perpetual Cold War with the Americans in , as a result of the establishment of mutually assured nuclear destruction.
Cited in the following as FL. What begins with the discovery of an unidentified dead body quickly expands into a story of a widespread conspiracy to cover up the German past. Utterly disillusioned with National Socialism, he is brought in to investigate a drowning death near Schwanenwerder, a residential island for the Nazi elite in the Havel river on the outskirts of Berlin. The initially anonymous body is soon identified as Josef Buhler [sic], a high-ranking Party official.
March soon learns that another prominent Nazi, Wilhelm Stuckart, is also dead — allegedly by his own hand but under suspicious conditions. In the course of his investigation, March meets Charlie Maguire, an American reporter who had been secretly in contact with Stuckart, who has promised her the story of a lifetime. Through the involvement of the Gestapo the two discover that there is a third man, Martin Luther, who is connected to the other two but has disappeared.
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In spite of repeated interference by the Gestapo and a story about the three men being involved in an international art theft ring, which quickly turns out to be a ruse, March and Maguire follow their leads to a bank in Zurich, where they find proof that Luther is still alive. Back in Berlin, Luther contacts Charlie and they agree on a meeting, but Luther is shot by a sniper before he can divulge any information. Andreas Hillgruber Munich: dtv, Previously, March had already been able to link the three dead Nazis to a conference held in the Wannsee district of Berlin in , but could find no additional information on that meeting.
In preparation for the treaty with the Americans, the regime had been trying to finally tie up all loose ends of this secret by eliminating everyone involved, explaining the deaths of Buhler, Stuckart and Luther. March and Maguire decide to smuggle the documents out of the country via the neutral Switzerland in order to disclose the information to the public. Maguire takes on a false identity and leaves for the Swiss border, but March is betrayed by his indoctrinated son and arrested by the Gestapo.
He is subsequently freed by a seemingly friendly Gestapo officer and helped by Arthur Nebe, the head of the Kriminalpolizei in Berlin, but quickly realizes that it was only a set-up in order to find Maguire and the documents. He leads his old colleagues eastward, in the wrong direction, not only to give Charlie time to cross the border, but also in search of any material evidence of the Holocaust.
Fassbender also notes that the novel ultimately also became a bestseller in Germany, but that a not insignificant part of that success was due to its popularity with a Neo-Nazi audience. See ibid. And then it all starts going wrong. No police promotions for ten years. Divorced, And then the reports start. Blockwart: persistent refusal to contribute to Winter Relief. Overheard in the canteen making disparaging comments about Himmler. Overheard in bars, overheard in restaurants, overheard in corridors Although widely unaddressed in discussions of the novel, the name Xavier March sticks out of the text like the proverbial sore thumb.
Whereas all other German characters, many of which represent actual historical personae, are assigned obviously German names, the protagonist remains conspicuously Anglophone. So much so, in Why, then, did this character go so unappreciated by many German readers? In contrast, Gavriel Rosenfeld notes that Harris has also gone on record with more apologetic statements. See Rosenfeld, Hitler, n He is not only a loner in terms of his personality, but also in a political sense.
We knew when we moved into their houses, when we took over their property, their jobs. In accordance with this function, it is ultimately also March who refutes the myth that the Holocaust proceeded entirely unbeknownst to the German public, when even the Gestapo henchman torturing him after his arrest claims that he simply did not know: Nonetheless, the construction of the Final Solution as a closely guarded secret which, after all, provides the novel with its most fundamental theme, remains problematic.
At the same time, however, this is mitigated by two central factors. The first is the fact that, in contrast to both German Alternate Histories discussed in this chapter, in which the revelation of the secret genocide holds a potential for liberation, in Fatherland it is clearly marked as a threat. The disclosure of the secret of the Shoah does here not represent the promise of turning the previously oblivious Germans against the Nazis, but rather of turning the world against them.
The second factor is that it is ultimately not a German — good or otherwise — who reveals or, at least, has the chance of revealing the damning information to the world.