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WeimarFrom Enlightenment to the Present$
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Michael H Kater

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300170566

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300170566.001.0001

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Weimar in East and West Germany

Weimar in East and West Germany

1945 to 1990

(p.275) Chapter 9 Weimar in East and West Germany

Michael H. Kater

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on the history of Weimar from 1945 to 1990 against the backdrop of relations between East and West Germany. More specifically, it examines the paths followed by West Germany and East Germany after 1945 with regard to Weimar. It also considers how the succession of Soviet and East German regimes that ruled over Weimar utilised the town and most of what it stood for. It shows that, via the classics and especially Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Weimar was subjectively revalued in the service of communist ideology and politics and to eradicate fascism. It also looks at the extent that Nazism and communism coincided and the characteristics shared by Weimar with the Hitler state in Soviet-controlled Germany. Finally, the chapter describes how the Soviet Union continued to use the Buchenwald concentration camp as an instrument of oppression against real and imagined enemies of the polity; how the revived Goethe Society acted as a liaison between East and West; and the dismantling of the Berlin Wall in November 1989.

Keywords:   communism, Weimar, West Germany, East Germany, classics, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Nazism, Soviet Union, Buchenwald, Goethe Society

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