German (Bi-College)

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    Eine Untersuchung der Repräsentation ostdeutscher nationaler Identität in den ersten zwei „Indianerfilmen“ der DEFA
    (2023) Stohlman, Claire; Brust, Imke
    In this paper I explore the representation of East German national identity in the East German “Indian Films” – a series of western films produced in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) that depicts Native Americans as protagonists and white settlers as antagonists. I do so by analyzing the first two films in the series: The Sons of the Great Bear (1966) and Chingachgook, the Great Snake (1967). Using these films as examples I argue that despite the American setting, the series reflects the GDR in ways both intentional and unintentional. Intentionally, the series uses the image of Native Americans as a stand-in for East Germans and encourages identification with them in order to attempt to create a sense of East German identity. Unintentionally, its inherent Americanisation and its perpetuation of colonialist traditions reveal the contradictions of the GDR regime and how it struggled to completely break free of its historical and physical ties to West Germany and the West as a whole.In diesem Aufsatz untersuche ich die Repräsentation ostdeutscher nationaler Identität in den ostdeutschen „Indianerfilmen” – einer Reihe von Westernfilmen, die in der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik (DDR) produziert wurden und Indianer als Protagonisten und weiße Siedler als Antagonisten darstellen. Ich analysiere die ersten zwei Filme der Filmreihe: Die Söhne der großen Bärin (1966) und Chingachgook, die große Schlange (1967). Indem ich diese Filme als Beispiele benutze, argumentiere ich, dass die Filmreihe, trotz des amerikanischen Schauplatzes, die DDR sowohl absichtlich als auch unabsichtlich widerspiegelt. Die Filmreihe verwendet absichtlich das Bild der Indianer als Stellvertreter für Ostdeutsche und fördert die Identifikation mit ihnen, in einem Versuch, so ein Gefühl der ostdeutschen Identität zu schaffen. Andererseits offenbaren die inhärente Amerikanisierung der Filme und ihre Verewigung kolonialer Traditionen unabsichtlich die Widersprüche des DDR-Regimes und illustrieren wie es dem Regime nicht gelang, sich vollständig von seinen historischen und physischen Verbindung mit Westdeutschland und den Westen als Ganzes zu trennen.
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    Participation or Rejection: A Study of Overseas Military Operations Decision in Post-Cold War Germany
    (2022) Galebinge; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-; Brust, Imke
    One significant change in German foreign policy after its reunification is its involvement in military interventions in regional and global conflicts. On the face of it, Germany deviated from its "civilian power" identity established after the Second World War by participating in the offensive military operation in Kosovo. However, the opening of Pandora's box did not lead to German support of all military operations when called upon by its NATO allies. This thesis explores why did Germany participate in some extraterritorial military interventions but not others. More specifically, which factors affect its decision to participate in military interventions abroad? This thesis examines the change and continuity in Germany's policy towards the use of force based on four case studies of Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. This thesis argues that the pursuit of international influence and the right to speech is persistent, only it is expressed with different decisions in different phases.
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    Identity Construction in a Post-War Context: Social, Political, and Cultural Memory in Uwe Timm’s Am Beispiel Meines Bruders
    (2017) Willigan, Macklin A.; Schönherr, Ulrich
    With the close of the Second World War came the need for Germans to confront their past and collective identity as a nation. However, this process was delayed due to a variety of reasons, among them the traumatic experiences shared by many German civilians and the unfavorable atmosphere created by the partition of Germany and the Cold War. Finally, those of the 1968 “student generation” began to confront openly and directly the atrocities committed by the Third Reich, the collective silence or suppression on the part of German people, and the question of memorialization, remembrance, and history. One such member of this generation was Uwe Timm, who in 2003 published Am Beispiel Meines Bruders, an investigation into his family’s history and problematic relationship to the past. This paper will endeavor to evaluate the complications associated with an upbringing antithetical to one’s own beliefs, and in light of the research behind collective memory encapsulated in Aleida Assmann’s Der lange Schatten der Vergangenheit, how such immersion can hinder one’s self-identification,. The following is a close reading of Timm’s text with special attention devoted to Timm’s identity formation, writing process, and effort to bear witness on behalf of his family. The unique social, political, and cultural milieu into which Timm was born necessitated this effort of articulation and reclamation of his family’s legacy.
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    Every Nation’s Refugee? A Comparative Analysis of Asylum Policies towards Syrians among Hungary, France, and Germany
    (2016) DeSousa, Dhario; Schönherr, Ulrich; Isaacs, Anita, 1958-; Henkel, Brook
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    Between Hospitality and Hostility: Understanding Shifts in German Immigration Policy
    (2016) Krutkova, Mariya; Brust, Imke
    Starting in the post-war period and continuing into the present day, the immigration policy in Germany has been unstable, oscillating between progressive acceptance of immigrants during certain times, and retrograde conservative measures during other periods. This paper traces these shifts in policy starting in the 1940s and aims to discern its underlying causes. The questions raised are the following: What are the political, economic, and discursive forces responsible for changes in policy? What role do attitudes towards immigrants play in influencing policy? And finally, what factors influence formation and expression of these attitudes? The contextual factors found to correlate with conservative changes in policy are economic crises, high influx of immigrants, negative discourse about immigrants, and conservative majority in the government. These factors were found to affect policy by mobilizing negative sentiments against immigrants. Expression of negative sentiments, often steered by right-wing extremist groups, influenced what parties held the majority in the government and what course of action the government would take with regard to immigration. The specific factors that contribute to shaping of negative attitudes towards immigrants are perceptions of them as a threat to cultural and economic identity, as well as to collective security. The expression of these attitudes was fueled by right-wing propaganda and negative portrayals of immigrants in the media during the times of economic instability and high influx of immigrants. Attitudes thus have a strong effect in determining the direction of immigration policy in Germany, and should be considered a target area for policy makers. The negative stereotypes about immigrants have been reinforced by inadequate integration of immigrants. Proactive integration policies, which would facilitate political, economic, and social inclusion of immigrants into the German society are needed in order to improve perceptions about immigrants and thereby reduce future risk of conservative shifts in policy.