DC: The Other Half of Germany: New Perspectives and Controversies on East Germany, Nov 2, 2023

Panel Discussion at GHI Washington | Speakers: Katja Hoyer (King’s College London), Christina Morina (Universität Bielefeld), and Joyce Mushaben (Georgetown University); Moderator: Samuel Huneke (George Mason University)

Registration closed, but walk-ins welcome. Light reception from 6:00-6:30pm. Panel Discussion will start promptly at 6:30pm.

Join virtually on zoom

German public memory on contemporary German history since 1945 revolves around Wirtschaftswunder and Wohlstand, the social movements of 1968, and the fall of the iron curtain; in other words, it reflects the perspective of the Federal Republic, its citizens, and their way of life. By contrast, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the everyday experiences of East Germans have, been perceived as a “Sonderfall,” a deviation from West German norms. This is not only the case for the period under the SED dictatorship, which restricted and regulated the lives of East Germans on every level. It is also true for the decades after German unification. In many ways, East Germans and historical caesuras in East Germany have not yet been perceived publicly as relevant for a holistic collective memory of a re-unified Germany. In this respect, historical research diverges from public memory. Historians in the United States, Britain and Germany have investigated the everyday lives of East Germans and given them agency in a shared German history.

On November 2, 2023, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm ET, the German Historical Institute Washington will host a panel discussion with the authors of three recent books that seek to change the public perception and memory of everyday life in the GDR and during the aftermath of its collapse: Katja Hoyer, Christina Morina, and Joyce Mushaben. Moderated by Samuel Huneke, the panel will examine the question of how experiences of East Germans have been represented in German collective memory; the results of scholarly research on East Germans and their life experiences; and the causes of the discrepancy between the inclusion of East Germany in historical research and its exclusion from a mainstream public memory.

This event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the German Historical Institute.

Date: November 2, 2023, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm ET
Location: German Historical Institute, 1607 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009-2562, U.S.A.

For more information, please visit www.ghi-dc.org