Blog “Digital / pauses”: Germany as Altbauwohnung
In this second half of January, I have the honor (and the word is not without irony or self-deprecation), to hold a compact seminar for doctoral and master's students at the University of Lisbon. This belongs to me my good friends Ana and Miguel have now been twice invited into her new apartment for dinner. The apartment has featured wood floors, on the left side of the aisle, leading to all rooms, there are illuminated niches that have since filled with relatives photographs from throughout the last century, the ceilings are high, the handles, one with which the window opens act, almost baroque, and the bathrooms look surprisingly smaller. My friends are justly proud of all these details, and I know that the house, part of which the new apartment is, history of style to the era of the "Estado Novo" belongs to the decades between 1933 and about 1960, as AntÃ³nio de Oliveira Salazar, the country ruled as a dictator. But only when I told a joint colleagues in Munich of all these details, I noticed that the Portuguese is not a word that is exactly the meaning of the German Kompositums "old building". Course can also be described in other languages ​​that you (for example) in an apartment in the thirties lives, which was recently renovated, and, of course, is precisely the view of nations such as Portugal, Spain or Italy to be expected that they – like Germany – have an extraordinarily complex relationship with its past . But the corresponding formulations in their languages ​​go from two associations that belong to the German concept of the "old building": the association with a higher absolute value in terms of building and stylistic claim, and the much stronger association with something like a "cosmological correctness" (as if someone said, "you can not be better served – as just an old building").
"A few days ago I was at a party where some really nice people from Hannes Wader generation of beer and also the mood that had left a small jazz band were thrilled to sing old folk songs. Unlike Hannes waders own music I like some of these songs quite like to, but because I basically still am more of a folk-song mold, I took them an eternity not heard, so that quite a pleasant familiarity effect could have set. Instead, I felt next to a certain pleasure to sing along, especially the urge to redirect the vocals to the typical fundus English songs you on the Spanish Steps in Rome, or the Admiral Bridge in Berlin down plays up and (and to me, therefore, is actually much more the nerve to go) as German folk songs. Although their lyrics and melodies were all almost touchingly innocent, the singers seemed to feel himself a similar conflict. Someone was talking as to justify an alleged renaissance of German folk songs, though no one had objected, someone else said: "If one of us now out there listening, which has to think we're crazy. "Redemptive was the proposal to Mozart beautifully vulgar" Bona Nox to sing. " Then we went to bed early and the room was left a much less exuberant mood as by the jazz band.
The need to have a kind of intimate history that stretches back more than sixty years, in Germany, of course, difficult. But the folk-song moment had struck me particularly because I had sensed his special Mulmigkeit and anxiety are long gone. Seen as a whole for large, nationally specific Mulmigkeiten seem so put now gradually. The last few years so popular "Empire Name" give academics their children, for example, without any trepidation. And some clothes or Hutmoden quote effortlessly back next lying and more German past than was until recently the case. Remind me of such phenomena on the Company "Manufaktum" and their motto that they give more, the good things – something that somehow assumed that the only proven to be good. The attitude is not new – but I think that it is some years fewer and fewer breaks in the described anxiety. Depending on the political orientation times ecologically understood economic times, characterizes a special Wertschaetzung of Sustainable, a Wertschaetzung of all that has come back and has re-established, the German self-confidence. At the same time a German majority is apparently either-globalization or dominant culture aware and holds the globalized world a flighty, somewhat eerie creatures with which you can flirt while on that one but should not really get involved.
It seems to me at least before every time I come back from a trip and clearly than otherwise feel that the institutional traces of the Global hardly ever be too obvious bits and pieces from his own life, such as a Starbucks coffee shop in London, the Gucci Store in a shopping mall in San Diego or an Audi Q7 in Shanghai. In Germany there seems to always be the global standing in the middle of nowhere, out of which it came. A stretch limousine on the Cologne Ring, Armani around the depot Douglas, the McDonald's at the truck stop Bruchsal and the trucker folklore of German truck driver – are the global phenomena quite there, but you can also sense that they "actually" somewhere else hear . Both the fear of Bewohnbarmachung of the Global and the longing for the "from experience good" seems to stand me in tension with the identity of a country that is a long-standing export champion one of the big winners of globalization, and also – success with amazing until recently – almost everything was anxious to leave a significant portion of his past behind him and at the same time to be charged by the power of the new. But symptoms for the reverse attitude have the global success of Germany after 1945 never harmed. The contrary, they even coined the German Image with the market. For products that still characterize a large part of Germany's top industries and often have the crime on schattene past (as in engine technology or in chemistry) were able to establish their image internationally successful because – not despite – it so clearly put on the passably proven. Without such a link to the past, the semiconductor industry as a technology does not national history with their image comparatively heavy.
Therefore, a comprehensive and successful separation of the longstanding historical guilt was the foundation for this image. It was to be one of the key conditions for success in the German time the 1945th Instead of re-inventing itself – what the talk of a "zero hour" yes pretending and suggested -. Was chosen mainly to escape to the back and reinvented himself tried and true for this pattern of behavior in dealing with the past I like to use the metaphor of the renovation an old building. It has a non-metaphoric core in relation to wartime partially destroyed houses and apartments that were given a new, regionally often very different designed facade (tiled in Cologne, for example, usually that puts what they like an upside krempeltes pool) . the same time, the dignified old furniture has been replaced by modern forms carefully in soft pastel colors, as in the fifties for discerning the magazine "Film and wife" was authentic. The same sentiment can begin to develop when we're "Gone With the Wind" look and we should be trying to imagine what this 1939 film shot in Germany made after 1945 so successful. It was probably because that they imported their own unerzÃ¤hlbar become history in a could regain form and so could receive the basic ingredients. Similarly, the modes of the name. First the Nibelungen names retired. late sixties then held in Germany cosmopolitan and social democratic-modern act Denden Scandinavian names collection, in full Astrid Lindgren innocence could be reminiscent of Nordic and flaxen-haired children.
In close chronological proximity to the end of the war, the visible and economically consequential replacement processes of this kind are often still needed the approval and encouragement of the occupying powers. Without a British initiative in this sense of power through joy car would never have become the Volkswagen of the German economic miracle and even then the "Herbie" the hippies, the image has been restored -. And Strength Through Joy leisure in a rescued new world and transferred. Those German generation, in 1968 wanted to beat the stink of a thousand years from the robes sat, then amazingly, the same procedure in complete national independence continued until about the reunion also. Especially the reunion was part of everyday life until the Repair cast or renovation of old buildings, even if they then remained standing empty or rent such in the height exaggeration that the native inhabitants had to move gradually. The UnverdÃ¤chtigkeit the renovation of the tried and was now so advanced that it does not even gave him more trouble , Nazi ministries, which had become GDR ministries, as building of the Berlin Republic reuse or the Olympic Stadium in 1936 – despite his ineffectual football oval shape – to determine the venue for the final of the World Cup in 2006.
Perhaps now a more advanced phase is reached, the phase of the reconstructed remediation. You may have started a few years ago with the collection of artistic, curious and exotic objects for perception spaces, as it had been part of the culture of the empire. Today, the same behavior takes place under aesthetically avant-sign or the sign of a new restrained elegance. No one feels more like a distance themselves from releasing past remembers when foreign words to be Germanized and a pasta restaurant called "pasta" gets. Analog has been decided, the Palace of the Republic in the former GDR by a reconstructed building in the histoirsch-Prussian to substitute style. Such reconstructions apply the suspicion has become well-tried. Almost playfully, displacing the Altvertrautheit the seemingly good things from the past her in the years after the war often painfully palpable ambivalence. Whether such reconstructive rehabilitation can satisfy the longing, from which it arises , is not clear. Who wants to revive a torn tradition of discontinuity again, can experience in their probably not that guidance and that past security, which in Germany for several decades been unable to provide the grandparents, great grandparents, and even the memory of them. The anxiety while singing folk songs refers to exactly this limit – and yes maybe same applies for all the well-intentioned efforts to rediscover Germany as a holiday destination for German. "
On a cranky day my friend Jan says this and these colors with the remark that he and his family had already been to Florence or to the American west coast to move. But a criticism, it may ultimately go not because of it – I want a twenty-four years, outsiders (because outside survivor) Add – not even exist an addressee. No one has decided the refurbishment of Germany, no benefit in any real sense of it. Rather it is about the experience that an out of the joint self-evident continuity relation to the nation's past can not snap back suddenly in relaxation (had such hopes it in the years after reunification) – and also in the second generation is not after the break forget offhand. Rather it is like waves in a pond, in the moment when they are broken, long trigger (but not, of course, forever) new waves. After several decades without-old German name, the enthusiasm for Henrietta, Charlotte and Frederics probably be especially frenetic, a short half-century of American occupation, it is not so easy to see the McDonalds around the corner as easy as what he be wants: a shop, where you can eat cheaply and quickly.
Serious, long-lasting and easy to be underestimated consequences could be adjusted, but for the economy. A German entrepreneur, whose name is too well known that one can use it without asking, said recently the fear that the country could be in the age and the status of the "gear-industry" tangle. Questionable for he considers the fact that industry projections were developed mainly on areas that connect to glorious national traditions with limited potential for the future, had come while globally important innovations in the computer and software industry, never from Germany. When I was in two hours in the EU partner country Portugal take the metro to the university, I will focus again on German products, after deducting a road majority of Volkswagen, BMW, Audi and Mercedes -. that are too expensive for a country to more long-term financial crisis, I'm going for German export products watch out – if I do not feel over comes, it is more important to read the notes for my class again.