Memory and the city : architecture, monuments, and the legacy of the Third Reich in postwar Munich / by Gavriel David Rosenfeld.
My dissertation contributes to the ongoing historiographical debate over Vergangenheitsbewaltigung--the complex German term denoting the struggle of postwar German society to "come to terms" with its Nazi past--through an analysis of a neglected, yet extremely valuable, object of inquiry: the city. Using Munich, the former Nazi "City of the Movement," as my case study, I analyze the postwar evolution of the city's urban form as a reflection of its inhabitants' evolving collective memory of the Third Reich and the Second World War. Four constituent features of the city provide the primary areas of inquiry: (1) historic preservation: the reconstruction, restoration, and preservation of the city's architecture damaged or destroyed in the war. (2) architecture: the construction of new buildings in the postwar city. (3) Nazi architecture: the postwar handling of the many structures built by the Nazi regime in the city. (4) Lastly, the erection of new monuments (as well as the demolition and restoration of older ones) pertaining to aspects of the recent past. By analyzing the controversial, historically-charged debates waged over the development of these features of the city, considerable light is shed onto local collective memory. Overall, while the city of Munich emerges as a concrete example of constructed memory, it has been anything but a stable site of memory in the postwar era. In light of the debates that have surrounded the city's development, it is clear that local memory has not been monolithic but rather has been composed of three competing views of the Nazi era. These varieties of memory can best be described as "modernist," "traditionalist," and "critical preservationist" in nature; the supporters of these views all remembered the Nazi past differently and commemorated it accordingly in the city. The dissertation, in turn, examines the fluctuating influence of these groups' memories upon Munich's form over three phases of its postwar development: (1) a conservative, "restorationist" era, 1945-1958, (2) a "modernist" era, 1958-1975, and (3) a "postmodern" era, 1975 to the present. By examining how the local relationship to architecture and monuments has changed over time, a clear sense of the evolutionary nature of local memory can be gained. In the end, Munich emerges as a city generally dominated by a traditionalist view of the Nazi
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