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The Political Role of East- and West-German Writers Before and After 1989.

  • Academic Journal
  • Debatte: Review of Contemporary German Affairs; Aug2010, Vol. 18 Issue 2, p223-236, 14p
  • This article is devoted to the role of East- and West-German writers before the Turning Point in 1989 and their attitude towards the idea of reunification of Germany after the fall of the Wall. The majority of the politically involved West German writers for many decades supported the Sozialelemokratische Partei Deutschlands. The most crucial political events of the 1960s like the great coalition and the students' revolt tested their political determination. In 1989 many of them were skeptical or, like Grass, absolutely rejected the idea of the reunification of Germany, supported by the majority of the society and politicians. They feared that building of a big country could lead to the destruction of the founding myth of the Federal Republic of Germany (genocide-stigma) and revive of the conservative ideas from before the War. The East German writers were even more strongly opposite to the reunification, but for completely other reasons. The reunification of Germany meant the end of the political conditions they were used to live in and the painful loss of all the privileges that most of them were offered by the state. Both the West- and the East-German writers were criticized for their attitude as not fitting to the expectations of the society. This critic gradually led to the loss of authority of this group, concerning its political opinions and activities. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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