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Studies in German History

Local Lives, Parallel Histories

Villagers and Everyday Life in the Divided Germany

Marcel Thomas

Local Lives, Parallel Histories

Studies in German History

Local Lives, Parallel Histories

Villagers and Everyday Life in the Divided Germany

Studies in German History: Local Lives, Parallel Histories

 

Thirty years after German reunification, we still know little about what division meant to Germans who lived far from divided Berlin or the inner-German border. This work uses oral history interviews and archival evidence to compare how villagers in East and West experienced the two very different social and political systems in their localities.


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Beschrijving Studies in German History: Local Lives, Parallel Histories

The division of Germany separated a nation, divided communities, and inevitably shaped the life histories of those growing up in the socialist dictatorship of the East and the liberal democracy of the West. This peculiarly German experience of the Cold War is usually viewed through the lens of divided Berlin or other border communities. What has been much less explored, however, is what division meant to the millions of Germans in the East and West who lived far away
from the Wall and the centres of political power. This volume is the first comparative study to examine how villagers in both Germanies dealt with the imposition of two very different systems in their everyday lives. Focusing on two villages, Neukirch (Lausitz) in Saxony and Ebersbach an der Fils in
Baden-Württemberg, it explores how local residents experienced and navigated social change in their localities in the postwar era.

Based on a wide range of archival sources as well as oral history interviews, the work argues that there are parallel histories of responses to social change among villagers in postwar Germany. Despite the different social, political, and economic developments, the residents of both localities desired rural modernisation, lamented the loss of 'community', and became politically active to control the transformation of their localities. The work thereby offers a bottom-up history of divided
Germany which shows how individuals on both sides of the Wall gave local meaning to large-scale processes of change.


ISBN
9780198856146
Pagina's
320
Verschenen
Serie
Studies in German History
NUR
680
Druk
1
Uitvoering
Hardback
Taal
Engels
Uitgever
OUP Oxford

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