Historical Tourism: Reading Berlin’s Doubly Dictatorial Past

  • Mary Fulbrook


Berlin was in many ways both symbol and flashpoint of much of twentieth-century German, European and Cold War history; it is now arguably one of the most historically self-aware cities in the world. Berlin appears, on a cursory visit, to be a city that bears even the lowest points in its history not only openly but brazenly, self-consciously, almost obsessively — certainly in contrast with a city like Vienna, where the Nazi past is remarkably quiescent. There is barely a street in Berlin’s centre that does not have a plaque, a memorial, a sign telling passersby about what previously stood or occurred on a particular site: from imperialism and industrialization, through Weimar modernism, into the depths of terror and persecution under Nazism; and through Cold War division and Communist repression to, finally, the capital of the united Germany of today.1


German Democratic Republic Mass Murder Nazi Regime Public Memory Holocaust Memorial 
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© Mary Fulbrook 2009

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  • Mary Fulbrook

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