Dislocation and Reorientation. Exile, Division and the End of Communism in German Culture and Politics. In honour of Ian Wallace
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Dislocation and the need for radical reorientation are central experiences in 20th-century German history. Much of German culture has also consisted of reflections on and responses to the historical caesurae of 1933, 1945 and 1989-90, and the massive political, social and economic changes that accompanied them. In the first instance, dislocation and reorientation are to be understood in the physical sense, i.e. the loss of their homes in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia by Jewish and Communist émigrés after 1933, by Germans in Eastern Europe after 1945, and by disaffected individuals leaving the GDR for the West between 1949 and 1989. But they are also ideological, social and cultural experiences. This volume seeks to explore the parallels and differences between the impact on these groups of their sense of loss and their struggle to establish new identities after major upheavals. What their diverse experiences have in common is the sense of social and intellectual dislocation, even amongst those whose physical location did not change for long periods of time. Drawing on the ideas of various social and cultural theorists, and adopting a variety of approaches, our contributors examine how not only dislocation but also reorientation has been articulated, both in political discourse and across the cultural spectrum from fiction to life writing, from poetry to film.