A Dispute Over Words:
“German Camps” and “German Crimes”
Author: Joanna Lubecka, PhD
We owe the conscious formulation and use of the concept of historical politics to the Germans (Geschichtspolitik). The term “honestly” is crucial here. Historical policy is a fact, and conducting it is not in itself a negative phenomenon.
In German history, the best example of the imposition of a narrative by the authorities was the period of fascism in which the entire semantic system, corresponding to the new power, was created.
If we agree that the goal of external historical politics is to take care of the best possible international image of a country, then we will probably agree that the task put before the Federal Republic of Germany (formed in 1949) was not an easy one. The international situation turned out to be favorable — the Cold War pushed Germany into the “embrace” of the West, sensitive questions remained unanswered, and even worse, indifference prevailed in West German society towards the Third Reich, as some called it, the “calming of the German conscience.”
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This article first appeared in The Warsaw Institute Review – Date: 21 June 2017
Reprinted with permission from Warsaw Institute – www.warsawinstitute.org