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 →
Deutschland 83: Is the Cold War becoming Cool?

Deutschland 83: Is the Cold War becoming Cool?

One of the aims of our network is to explore the various representations of the Cold War and how it is portrayed in popular culture. This review of Deutschland 83 by Tom Soden, a third year History student at the University of Sheffield, exemplifies how the Cold War is still characterised in contemporary popular television as an ideological and bipolar conflict. Tom specialises in the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, and his academic experience of the period motivated him to write this short review, commenting on what Deutschland 83 really says about the history of the Cold War.…continue reading →