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The Merkel government's politics of the past.

Wittlinger, Ruth. (2008) 'The Merkel government's politics of the past.', German politics and society., 26 (4). pp. 9-27.


Angela Merkel came to power at a crucial time in regards to Germany's relationship with its past. Where would she position herself in light of Gerhard Schröder's approach that had offered a new way of accepting responsibility for the past and integrating it into the twenty-first century present by explicitly making it a key element of German national identity, but also in view of her East German biography? Would she continue and maybe even reinforce the institutionalization of Holocaust-centered memory and-given the forceful return of the topic of German victimhood-complement it with the institutionalization of the memory of German suffering, or would she emphasize the latter at the expense of the former? This paper attempts to answer these questions by examining Merkel's politics of the past during her first three years in office.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedited version of an article published in ‘German politics and society’. The definitive publisher-authenticated version, Wittlinger, Ruth. (2008) 'The Merkel government's politics of the past.', German politics and society., 26 (4). pp. 9-27, is available online at:
Keywords:Angela Merkel, Grand coalition, Nazism, Holocaust, Collective memory, Politics of the past, CDU/CSU.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Record Created:18 Aug 2009 10:35
Last Modified:23 Nov 2011 09:48

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