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“The Civil War of Memories”. Political Memorial Days in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg during the Weimar Republic

“The Civil War of Memories”. Political Memorial Days in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg during the Weimar Republic

In cultural research contexts, attention is often devoted to memorial days and discourses of memory in the media as a factor of political culture and of political communication. In this, a focus on the time after World War II is apparent, whilst the focus on commemorations in the Germany of the Weimar Republic still represents a gap in research. Studies already available proceed from the as yet uncontested paradigms, according to which the society and political culture of the Weimar Republic suffered from a strong fragmentation into the most varied secondary cultures. Various milieus – from national socialist to communist – are said to have merged together irreconcilable cultures of memory, which had found no common thread or even a generally accepted “National Day of Celebration”.


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Project Description

Referring to various remembrance days, this PhD-project sets out to investigate the modalities and possibilities of political communication as well as various practitioners and their communicative (inter)activity. Its goal is both to examine the fragmentation thesis more closely and to make consensual dynamics visible. The centre of its deliberations is the debate about the relationship of “unity” and “variety” in the context of a social order, as already conducted by contemporaries in the area of constitutional law: how much “difference” is possible in a pluralistic framework and where does the “excess”, that threatens the system, arise in this structural principle? The project connects with investigations of phenomena in presenting, communicating and perceiving politics in modern societies and investigates the mechanisms of public remembrance as communicative process against the background of its specific configuration in the first German democracy.

Project Information


Duration: 2007-2009

Involved persons

Janina Fuge, M. A.

Third party

Cooperation Partner

Contact person

Christiane Matzen, M. A.
Head of Science Communication

Christiane Matzen, M. A.

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17 41

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