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Risen from RuinsThe Cultural Politics of Rebuilding East Berlin$
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Paul Stangl

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781503603202

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503603202.001.0001

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Landscapes of Commemoration

Landscapes of Commemoration

(p.30) 1 Landscapes of Commemoration
Risen from Ruins

Paul Stangl

Stanford University Press

After the war, Berliners’ dire need for housing and infrastructure sometimes presented a life or death struggle. Some resources and labor were diverted to transform the symbolic dimension of the urban landscape. The Allies called for the removal of all public symbols of Nazism and German militarism, and German officials at the local level were delegated the task of identifying these sites. The Berlin Magistrat developed lists of street signs and monuments to be removed as symbols of Nazism, militarism, and Prussian monarchy. The process involved debate that followed party lines. German Communists took the most iconoclastic stance, due to a view of German exceptionalism that traced the roots of Nazism to the Prussian state. German Communists and the Soviet Military Administration (SMAD) began constructing memorials to honor their fallen, imposing narratives that honored enemies of the former Reich.

Keywords:   Street names, memorials, Soviet war memorial, Socialists’ Memorial, German exceptionalism

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