The Mediators: Memorialization Endeavours of the Regional Offices for Political Education (Landeszentralen für politische Bildung)
Drastic regime change results in de- and re-memorialization. After 1933, 1945, and 1989 in Germany many memorial sites were destroyed and commemorative events terminated. For example, when President Friedrich Ebert died in 1925, portraits, testimonial books, statues, and foundations to honour and mythologize him appeared.1 After 1933, when he became a non-person, all the street signs bearing his name and the public memorabilia disappeared. Yet, after 1945, inWestern Germany, schools and streets again bore his name and public foundations worked to revive his memory, characterizing him as a democratic, astute leader.2 Attempts at re-memorializing Ebert proved controversial, especially in Eastern Germany after 1989.3 Such cases illustrate that memorialization, de-memorialization, and re-memorialsation are interrelated and reflect existing political and social systems. The memorialization endeavours of the institutions explored here — Germany’s Regional Offices for Political (or ‘Civic’) Education (Landeszentralen für politische Bildung, hereafter Landeszentralen) — have reflected and influenced German commemorative trends.
KeywordsMass Grave Concentration Camp Civic Education Jewish Life Stone Block
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- 3.See D. K. Buse, ‘Many Friedrich Eberts: Critical Thoughts on an Evaluation of an Exhibition’, Internationale Wissenschaftliche Korrespondenz 36 (December, 1999), 519–29.Google Scholar
- 4.On ‘organized forgetting’ see D. K. Buse, ‘Twentieth-Century War Crimes: Germany and Beyond’, Debatte 11(May 2003), 70–92.Google Scholar