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"East and West German Collective Memories of the Holocaust and War"

By Rich Fisher


Tulsa, Oklahoma – On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak with Mark Wolfgram, a political science professor at OSU, who tells us about his interesting new book, "'Getting History Right': East and West German Collective Memories of the Holocaust and War" (Bucknell University Press). This work explores the social, political, artistic, and cultural legacy of the Third Reich as it was experienced --- and created --- in the decades after WWII by the people of both East and West Germany. Drawing extensively on such pop cultural expressions as film, TV, radio, and newspapers, Wolfgram's book stems from the assertion that (as noted on the book's back cover): "To understand political life, scholars must embrace not only material political power, but also the symbolic and cultural roots of power. [Thus] the research presented [in this book] makes extensive use of public opinion data, cinema attendance, and television viewer data, as well as other sources, to look at the multiple meanings that East and West Germans assigned to the Holocaust and World War II across time. Rather than culture merely being an extension of political power, this work argues that culture and the boundaries of the cultural matrix shape the use of political power by different social actors."