• Mary Dellenbaugh-LosseEmail author
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


This chapter introduces the main concepts that will be discussed in this book, architecture, urban planning, memory, legitimate history, and post-socialist path-dependency, as well as its subject, East Berlin. It furthermore presents the fundamental assumption on which this study is based, namely that choices about architecture and symbolism in capital cities are attempts at concretizing the values and identity of that country’s residents (or at least the dominant group). Following this assumption, this book argues that the architectural and urban planning choices in Berlin after the fall of the Berlin Wall reflect specific choices about legitimate identity, memory, and history in reunified Germany. Chapter one introduces the three questions which will frame this study, namely: What do changes to the cultural landscape of East Berlin reveal about official narratives of German identity after 1990? In which ways is East Berlin a “typical” post-socialist city and in which ways is it a special case? And who were the key actors, what tactics did they employ and how did their influence and methods change over time?


East Berlin German reunification Cold war Street names Berlin wall Post-socialist path-dependence 


  1. Huyssen A (1997) The voids of Berlin. Critical Inquiry 24(1):57–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Pates R (2013) Einleitung-der “Ossi” als symbolischer Ausländer. In: Pates R, Schochow M (eds) Der “Ossi”: Mikropolitische Studien über einen symbolischen Ausländer. Springer VS, Wiesbaden, pp 7–20Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations