„Der Krieg wird nur das Schlechteste in uns zum Vorschein bringen.“ Der Film Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter im erinnerungskulturellen Diskurs zur NS Zeit.

Wie wird die Zeit der nationalsozialistischen Diktatur und des Zweiten Weltkriegs im heutigen Diskurs erinnert? Die vorliegende Arbeit geht der Frage nach, wie ein aktuelles populär-mediales Erzeugnis – der ZDF-Dreiteiler Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter aus dem Jahr 2013 – einzuordnen ist in die erinner...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Online-Schriften aus der Marburger kulturwissenschaftlichen Forschung und Europäischen Ethnologie (Band 12)
Main Author: Blokker, Hella
Format: Masters Thesis
Published: Philipps-Universität Marburg 2019
Online Access:PDF Full Text
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Table of Contents: This thesis asks how the crimes of National Socialism and World War II are remembered in German society of today. An analysis of the threepart film Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter as a popular media event, broadcasted by the German public TV-station ZDF in 2013, embeds the film in the public discourse concerning the young, non-jewish German generation’s role during National Socialism (NS). Different theories from the field of cultural anthropology are the basis for the general idea of shifts in discourse. Foucault’s theory of discourse, the theory of normalism (in German: Normalismus) by Jürgen Link and works on collective, cultural and communicative memory by Maurice Halbwachs and Jan and Aleida Assmann are presented to show different approaches for processes of shifts in discourse. Furthermore, a view on the field of commemorative culture shows how history and history’s story can differ. A focus on how the past is told in films stresses the possible impact of films on the public memory of past events. A presentation of the German discourse since 1945 about the crimes of NS aims to show events that affected a shift in the discourse. Together with a view on newspaper debates on the film Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter, repeated discourse’s topics are filtered and transformed into categories for the following film-analysis. The main topic in discourse and analysis is the question of the German majority society’s classification as offender or victim. This theoretical and discourse basis yields an analysis of the film with a focus on filmic strategies to present the protagonists and their role during World War II. The result is that the young, non-jewish Germans are in fact presented as offenders but their crimes are combined with an excuse in every case. Moreover, in the course of the story the protagonists are – without excuse – presented as part of the resistance against the NS-system. In this interpretation, the ambivalence of the protagonists is stressed but all in all, the shown generation is presented as a victim of a tragic story. The thesis closes with a connection of the analysis’ results with the previous theoretical work. In the matter of processes of shifts in discourse, the film, because of its wide spread and strategies of authenticity, can be seen as a factor in a discourse-shift. This film as part of the latest debates on the public memory of the crimes of National Socialism is then located in the German commemorative culture. In the context of contemporary witnesses being gone soon and German right-wing popular parties trying to destabilise and denormalise the discourse on the remembrance of the NS-times and World War II, this analysis’ result is relevant for German society and their self-identity concerning their history.