Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Civil Society and Memory in Postwar Germany

CAD$120.95 (C)

  • Date Published: September 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107177468

CAD$ 120.95 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Blending history and social science, this book tracks the role of social movements in shaping German public memory and values since 1945. Drawn from extensive original research, it offers a fresh perspective on the evolution of German democracy through civic confrontation with the violence of its past. Told through the stories of memory activists, the study upends some of the conventional wisdom about modern German political history. An analysis of the decades-long struggle over memory and democracy shows how grassroots actors challenged and then took over public institutions of memorialization. In the process, confrontation of the Holocaust has been pushed to the centre of political culture. In unified Germany, memory politics have shifted again, as activists from East Germany have brought attention to the crimes of the East German state. This book delivers a novel and important contribution to scholarship about postwar Germany and the wider study of memory politics.

    • An innovative and accessible perspective on the history of German postwar memory politics, that will appeal to specialists and readers who are new to the subject
    • A thorough analysis of the interactions between civil society and state in memory politics is combined with compelling stories of memory activism
    • Presents new arguments and concepts about the interpretation of memory, which will appeal to those interested in the wider study of memory politics
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    Advance praise: ‘Emphasizing the role of memory activists in civil society - and their entanglement with state institutions and actors - Jenny Wüstenberg makes a compelling case for the force of contentious memories in reshaping the landscape of democratic remembrance. Her bottom-up approach brings memory agency to the fore and provides a necessary new perspective on a history we thought we already knew: the development of the public memory of National Socialism, the Holocaust, and communist repression in the postwar Federal Republic of Germany. Civil Society and Memory in Postwar Germany is important reading for all scholars in memory studies, Holocaust studies, and German studies.' Michael Rothberg, author of Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization

    Advance praise: 'Where does memory come from, and where does it take place? In contrast to conventional approaches that emphasize either the state as a producer of memory or the private sphere as the location of non-state memory, Jenny Wüstenberg’s important book highlights the neglected role of memory activists. This book is a truly significant contribution to the literature, both about Germany and about memory politics, providing nuanced interpretations and novel theoretical insights. A major accomplishment!' Jeffrey Olick, University of Virginia

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107177468
    • length: 352 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.7kg
    • contains: 36 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Abbreviations and German terms
    1. Civil society activism, memory politics and democracy
    2. Memorial politics and civil society since 1945
    3. Building negative memory: civic initiatives for memorials to Nazi terror
    4. Dig where you stand: the History Movement and grassroots memorialization
    5. Memorial aesthetics and the memory movements of the 1980s
    6. A part of history that continues to smolder: remembering East Germany from below
    7. Hybrid memorial institutions and democratic memory

  • Author

    Jenny Wüstenberg, York University, Toronto
    Jenny Wüstenberg is DAAD Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at York University, Toronto. She has been active in developing the field of memory studies, most notably as co-chair of the Research Network on Transnational Memory and Identity in the Council for European Studies and as co-founder of the Memory Studies Association.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.