Heimat: A German Dream : Regional Loyalties and National Identity in German Culture, 1890-1990

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Oxford University Press, 2000 - History - 234 pages
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The discourse of Heimat, meaning homeland or roots, has been a medium of debate on German identity between region and nation for at least a century. Four phases parallel Germany's discontinuous history: Heimat literature as a response to modernization and to regional tensions before the FirstWorld War; the inter-war period when Heimat divided into racist ideology, left-wing opposition, and inner resistance to the Third Reich; a post-war dialectic between escapist 1950s Heimat films and right-wing claims to the lost lands in the East to which anti-Heimat theatre and films in the 1960sand 1970s were a response, with the urban Heimat in GDR films adding a socialist twist; regionalism and green politics in the 1980s and German identity beyond Cold War divisions. A key point of reference in current debates on German history, Heimat looks likely to continue in postmodern andmulticultural mode.

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About the author (2000)


Elizabeth Boa is Professor of German, University of Nottingham and author of Kafka: Gender, Class, Race in the Letters and Fictions (OUP, 1996)

Rachel Palfreyman is Professor of German, University of Nottingham

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