Place and the politics of memory : a geo-ethnography of museums and memorials in Berlin / by Karen Elizabeth Till.
In this dissertation, I attempt to investigate the significance of place to the construction of collective memory and identity. To do so, I examine the histories and geographies of two concrete places in (West) Berlin before and after unification. The first is a national institution that was proposed by the Kohl administration in 1983, the German History Museum (Deutsches Historisches Museum, or DHM). The second was motivated by the discussions about the museum, and was established in 1987 at the site of the former Gestapo headquarters as a local documentary exhibition called the Topography of Terror (Topographie des Terrors). As I shall describe in the dissertation, the formation of both historical institutions provoked and involved controversial public debates which ultimately revolved around the meaning and importance of National Socialism to the construction of West German identities. Yet central to these discussions were questions about the diverse and even contradictory meanings of these places--their locations, social functions, physical and symbolic landscapes, and experiential qualities--and how they should be interpreted and represented.
Record last modified: 2018-05-22 11:47:00
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