“§96 Museums” Against Forgetting?: The Museum as a Key Tool for the Diffusion of Knowledge about the past German Presence in Eastern Europe
Revue d’études comparatives Est-Ouest
1-2 (mars 2016)
53 - 90 p.
Germany, Eastern and Central Europe, memory, museums
How and why have museums, over the years, become a privileged place in the Federal Republic of Germany for storytelling, diffusing knowledge and conserving the memory of the German past in eastern Europe? To analyze the political, cultural and social developments that informed the choice of such an institution, and examine conception of museums, three periods of “museumization” are proposed, based on: who created the museums, for whom, the narratives proposed and presented in the exhibitions, and the relations between memory and history (their political use and function in the formation of a sense of identity). How did these institutions evolve from a “Heimat” type of museum (with roots in the German tradition of volkskunde and in the memory of the Germans expelled from eastern areas) into full-fledged museums of history (as a science with a critical relation to the past and to commemorations)?