Trabants, Ampelmännchen, and Soviet Beer: Exploring Historical Nostalgia in the Post-Cold War World

On the eve of 9 November 2014 thousands of Germans gathered on the world stage in what was a momentous occasion. In evoking a distant memory, the celebratory occupation of the Brandenburg Gate that night seemed all too familiar to the witnesses of the volatile events of 1989. Whilst the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall appeared to embody the once-envisioned national community, I discuss how, hidden beneath the wave of celebration, many East Germans felt disillusioned with the birth of a reunified Germany after 1990. By reappraising their former…continue reading →
Understanding The Cold War As An Imaginary War

Understanding The Cold War As An Imaginary War

The Cold War began as a metaphor. It was an analogy that used temperature to indicate a state of conflict just short of an actual 'hot' war. When George Orwell coined the term 'Cold War' in his article in Tribune on 19 October 1945, he situated the genealogy of this new type of conflict in the connections between democratisation, empire-building and weapons technology. Military weapons, Orwell knew, are an instrument of power well beyond their actual use on the battlefield. And as only a limited number of countries might be able to harness the…continue reading →
“For Our Country” – An Appeal to the Citizens of the GDR

“For Our Country” – An Appeal to the Citizens of the GDR

"I experienced the unimaginable become true" - Ulrike Poppe (Frauen für den Frieden, Initiative für Frieden und Menschenrechte), one of the first signatories of the For Our Country statement. Intro to the For Our Country Statement On the 26th November, just over two weeks after the Berlin Wall opened, 31 East Germans signed the Für Unser Land statement. It was an appeal to all East Germans to consider the position of the GDR, and whether the country should slide towards unification with West Germany, or remain independent. The statement was read out by…continue reading →