By Jeffrey Herf
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Additional resources for Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys
But the anti-Jewish and now and then anti-Semitic issues of East German coverage and political tradition weren't basically, or maybe basically, a residue of the outdated anti-Western German Sonderweg in its Communist incarnation. because the situations of Abusch and Norden, between others, point out, those guidelines and sentiments additionally had roots within the Marxist and Communist conviction that each one spiritual traditions, together with Judaism, have been embarrassing relics of an unenlightened prior. whereas a few Communists attacked the Jews simply because they have been linked to Western imperialism, others equivalent to Abusch and Norden seen their commitments to fashionable, enlightened, innovative Communism as irreconcilable with persisted security of Jewish traditions and pursuits. Their wish to suppress and marginalize Jewish concerns, together with the Holocaust, used to be dependent much less on assaults on Western rationality than on a dialectic of enlightenment within the background of contemporary communism. They included a secularizing, rationalist culture going again to Voltaire, the German Enlightenment, and Marx which expressed transforming into rage on the obdurate refusal of the Jewish "other" to subordinate its claims to these of communist cause. a number of continuities existed not just between German political traditions yet inside them in addition. The SED regime's respectable thoughts of the Nazi period rested as a lot at the repression of the minority traditions inside of German communism as on repression of non- and antiCommunist perspectives. It was once not just the destruction of ecu Jewry which was once marginalized and erased from respectable Communist reminiscence. The anticosmopolitan purge additionally rested on repressing the reminiscence of 159 PURGING "COSMOPOLITANISM" the Soviet Union's personal "Western alliance" in the course of international conflict II. respectable postwar Communist antifascism rested at the forgetting of the "real present" antifascism of the "United countries" within the moment global battle. Forgetting ''Auschwitz'' additionally entailed forgetting "Mexico City," that's, these moments while German Communists had reached out to claim their harmony and friendship with the nice "other" of recent German background. Such moments have been a status rebuke to the immorality and forgetfulness of what antifascism in East Berlin had develop into. therefore, they have been expelled from the historical past of German communism and inserted into one other narrative, that of Western espionage and Jewish conspiracy. The suppression of the Jewish query in East Germany issues to a basic factor relating to Communist politics and reminiscence, particularly, that the power to disregard earlier positions and undertake new, usually diametrically hostile perspectives was once an imperative requirement for political survival. those that couldn't disregard or wouldn't abandon prior orthodoxy have been at risk. The heritage of the Communist events and governments is plagued by the political corpses of folks who have been not able or unwilling to alter political shades in any respect, or to take action with adequate pace and conviction. whilst yesterday's right line turned modern day heresy, those that had made public statements or who had dedicated their perspectives to paper have been really weak.
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