Eastern German News

Newsletter of the Eastern German Studies Group
#18 (October 1995)


Table of Contents:

This electronic edition of the newsletter is a close, but not exact, relative of the print version. The organization is somewhat different, and some outdated material here does not appear in the print version.

The next issue of the newsletter will be published in April 1996.

Conference Announcements and Reports

EGSG Conference at Stanford

The EGSG conference will be held 16-19 November at Stanford. See the preliminary program for details.


23rd New Hampshire Symposium
Call for Papers

The 23rd New Hampshire Symposium is planned for 19-26 June 1996. The call for papers gave the details.


Report on the V. World Congress for Central and East European Studies

by Thomas A. Baylis

The congress was held in Warsaw. Only a modest number of papers at the Congress (out of a total of several hundred) dealt with eastern Germany. I have gleaned the following list from the program; since I did not attend all the relevant panels, I can't be sure all the papers listed were actually delivered. As seems to be customary at international conferences, a number of scholars listed in the program failed to appear.

In addition, at a well-attended plenary session on "Western Perception of Communist and Post-Communist Realities," Timothy Garton-Ash devoted his remarks to a sharp attack on what he viewed as the failure of West German researchers to understand the GDR and thus to anticipate its collapse. He attributed this failure to the adoption of the "system-immanent" approach, to "comparativism" (i.e., what he viewed as misbegotten efforts to compare the two Germanies), "moral relativism" arising out of efforts to remain value-free, the claims of social science to be predictive, the desire to appease GDR officials who could grant "access" to east German sources, and a kind of generational "anti-anti-Communism" among West German scholars. Unfortunately the format of the session did not permit a response to these serious charges, which of course resemble those that have been directed at "DDR-Forschung" by German conservatives.


Science Under Socialism Conference

A conference titled Science under Socialism: East Germany in Comparative Perspective was held from 15-17 September 1995 at the World Fellowship Center in Conway, New Hampshire.

The conference reported the work of an international team (five Americans, four former East Germans, two former West Germans) studying the history of the sciences in the former German Democratic Republic in comparative perspective (National Socialist Germany, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union and West Germany). The project includes general policy issues, institutions, disciplines and careers/biographies in their social and political contexts.

The project, underway since 1992, will conclude with a book from Harvard University Press next year.

This conference included 30 minute presentations by each of the participants, followed by discussion. Several examples:

For additional information, contact:

Kristie Macrakis
Michigan State University
Department of History
Morrill Hall 301
East Lansing, MI 48824

Tel: (517) 353-3940
Fax: (517) 353-5599
Email: macrakis@pilot.msu.edu

Workshop on 1953 and the Cold War

The National Security Archive, The Cold War International History Project of the Woodrow Wilson Center, and the Forschungsschwerpunkt zeitgeschichtliche Studien are co-sponsoring a scholarly workshop on "1953 and the Cold War". The conference will focus on the international implications of the 1953 East German uprising. For additional information, contact Christian Ostermann:

Christian F. Ostermann
The National Security Archive
701 Gelman Library
2130 H St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20037

Tel: 202 994 7076
Fax: 202 994 7005
Email: chrisost@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu


Cultural History light Conference in Leipzig

The Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut in Leipzig is sponsoring a conference on product advertising as an expression of Zeitgeist, mentality and everyday culture for 6-7 October 1995.

The following topics are planned:

The aim of the conference is to further the dialogue between advertising professionals and scholars about the messages of advertising. The conference proceedings will be published.

For further information contact:

Dr. Cordula Günther
Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut
Hainstr. 11
04109 Leipzig
Tel. & Fax: (0341) 211 81 41

Conference on Johannes Bobrowski (1917-1965)

The Centre for East German Studies at the University of Reading, England is organising a one-day conference to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the death of the East German writer Johannes Bobrowski on Saturday, 23 September 1995. The programme will include:

The Conference will take place in the Faculty of Letters Building on the Whiteknights Campus of the University of Reading; full details of the venue will be sent to intending participants. Conference languages are English and German.

Cost (including buffet lunch, coffee, tea and wine): 15 pounds (Students and concessions 10 pounds).

For further details please contact:

Dr John P. Wieczorek
Department of German Studies
The University of Reading
Whiteknights, PO Box 218
Reading, RG6 6AA
tel: (01734) 318331
fax: (01734) 318333
e-mail: lgswiecz@reading.ac.uk

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Miscellaneous News

In Memorium: Hartmut Zimmermann

Hartmut Zimmermann died on 25 May 1995. Just about anyone and everyone from North America who went to Berlin to study the GDR benefitted from Hartmut's knowlegable helpfulness. He will be sorely missed; the EGSG has sent Sigrid a letter of condolence.

For a comprehensive and thoughtful memorial notice, please see Ilse Spittmann, "Hartmut Zimmermann zum Gedenken," Deutschland Archiv, July 1995, pp. 683-84.


Stiftung Archiv der Parteien und Massenorganisationen Moving

The SAPMO will remain at Torstr. 1 in Berlin until the end of October, at which point it will move to its new quarters, Finckensteinallee 63, D-12205 Berlin. The archive will likely be closed to users for several weeks during the transition.


Mannheim Newsletter on the GDR

The Mannheimer Zentrum/Arbeitskreis DDR-Geschichte is editing a valuable newsletter on GDR research. Projects may be registered by a special Fragebogen with Dr. Ulrich Maehlert at the Universität Mannheim, MZES-IV: DDR-Geschichte, 68131 Mannheim, FRG, and will be published in Deutschland Archiv. Issue #2 appears in the 8/1995 issue of Deutschland Archiv. Fragebögen may be obtained from Christian Ostermann, whose address is given in an earlier item in this newsletter (please send self-addressed and stamped envelope):


SAPMO Bibliotheksbriefe

The Stiftung Archiv der Parteien und Massenorganisationen der DDR im Bundesarchiv publishes a monthly Bibliotheksbrief of its holdings in various areas that may be of interest to Eastern German News readers. Each has 6-8 pages of holdings in the topic area. Although the SAPMO does not maintain a mailing list to send out new issues, it would probably be willing to mail individual copies on request. Recent issues include:

Bibliothek zur Geschichte der DDR

Since 1 January 1994, the library of the former Gesamtdeutsches Institut belongs to the Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Bonn. The library, founded in 1953, has extensive periodical and newspaper holdings, particularly in the areas of politics, history, culture, economics and social policy. The holdings include 138,000 monographs and 32,000 volumes of newspapers and magazines. About half of the holdings were published in the GDR or in the new states established after 1989. There is also a clipping archive with about 3,500,000 items.

The library is open for use. Most items can be retrieved within a day. Many are available immediately in the reading room.

The address:

Stiftung Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Bibliothek zur Geschichte der DDR
Adenauerallee 8
53113 Bonn

Phone: 0228/91 431-11
Fax: 0228/91 431-27


AICGS Address Change

The American Institute of Contemporary German Studies has a new address:

1400 16th Street N.W.
Suite 420
Washington, D.C. 20036-2217

Phone: (202) 332-9312
Fax: (202) 265-9531
Email: aicgsdoc@jhunix.hcf.jhu.edu


Grants Received

EGSG Treasurer Bob Goeckel will spend the coming year, supported by a Fullbright, at the Humboldt University's Department of Political Science from 15 September 1995 until 15 July 1996.


Grants Announced

The Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) has announced this year's program of grants, some of which are relevant to the EGSG membership. Those not on the mailing list may secure the announcement from:

850 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022

Phone: (212) 758-3223
Fax: (212) 755-5780
Gopher: jhuniverse.hcf.jhu.edu
Email: daadny@acf2.nyu.edu

The American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, under a grant from the Volkswagen-Stiftung, is offering three one-year resident research fellowships for the 1996-97 academic year at the junior level (about $25,000) and the advanced level (abour $30,000). Historians and political scientists specializing in post-World War II German history and German-American relations, particularly the period 1945-1955, are eligible. Ph.D. required. The program welcomes applicants from Eastern Germany and applications dealing with GDR history. Successful applicants are expected to conduct their research using archival resources in the Washington area, and to give introductory and concluding seminars at the Institute. Residency should begin no later than 1 October 1996. Applications, which must be in English, should include: a curriculum vitae; a project proposal of more more than 10 pages, including statement of purpose, hyupotheses, methodology, sources, and relationship to prior research; three letters of recommendation, in sealed envelopes accompanying the application; and information concerning annual salary, sabbatical leave, or other research support. Applications are due no later than 1 January 1996 to the following address:

VW-Fellowship Committee
Suite 420
1400 16th Street N.W.
Washington, D.D. 20036-2217


Connecticut-Humboldt Exchange Begins

The University of Connecticut-Humboldt University graduate exchange has begun. The first two students are Brian Plane, Ph.D. candidate in History from Connecticut to Berlin (Brian works in GDR history 1956-71 and will be linked to the Institut für Politikwissenschaft) and Cathleen Kantner from Humboldt, who will be studying political science and sociology while linked to the Center for European Studies at the University of Connecticut.


Wochenpost Online

The former DDR weekly Wochenpost has survived, and now has a WWW site. Given its regular articles on Eastern Germany, it should be of interest to EGSG members.

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New Reading

Recent Publications

Baylis, Thomas A. "East Germany," in Zoltan Barany and Ivan Volgyes, eds., The Legacies of Communism in Eastern Europe. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995, pp. 121-137.

Fulbrook, Mary. Anatomy of a Dictatorship: Inside the GDR. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995. [announced for October]

Joppke, Christian. East German Dissidents and the Revolution of 1989. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1995.

Markovits, Inga. Imperfect Justice: An East-West Diary. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Mitter, Armin, et al (ed.). Der Tag X. Berlin: Ch. Links 1995. [on the history of June 1953)

Modrow, Hans.Das Grosse Haus. Insider berichten aus dem ZK der SED. Berlin: Edition Ost, 1995.

Niemann, Heinz. Hinterm Zaun. Politische Kultur- und Meinungsforschung in der DDR. Berlin: Edition Ost, 1995.

Rosenberg, Tina. The Haunted Land: Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism New York: Random House, 1995. [about 1/3 devoted to eastern Germany]

Rueschemeyer, Marilyn. "Women in the Politics of Eastern Germany: The Dilemmas of Unification," in Marilyn Rueschemeyer, ed, Women in the Politics of Postcommunist Eastern Europe. M.E. Sharpe, 1994.

Rueschemeyer, Marilyn. "Frauen Osteuropas in der Politik: Der derzeitige Transformationsprozeß," Berliner Journal für Soziologie, 2 (1995).

Torpey, John. "The Abortive Revolution Continues: East German Civil-Rights Activists Since Unification," Theory and Society, 24 (February 1995), pp. 105-134.

Werkentin, Falco. Politische Strafjustiz in der Ära Ulbricht. Forschungen zur DDR-Geschichte 1. Berlin: Ch. Links, 1995.


Recent Theses and Dissertations

Griswold, David (dgriswold@vmsvax.simmons.edu). "German Reunification: Analysis of its Impact On German Equities." Boston University, 1995. The dissertation focuses on the impact of events in the DDR on the BRD, primarily from the point at which the Hungarians began dismantling the border fortifications (May 1989) with Austria until August 1990.

Williams, Rhondri (rwilliam@mailbox.syr.edu). "Building the Socialist Way of Life: East German Housing Policies and Unification." Syracuse University, 1995. The thesis is a review of the economic and political pressures on the formation of East German housing policies and their spatial and social results. In addition, it discusses the prospects and role of the housing stock since reunification.

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Requests and Queries

Request from Christian Ostermann (chrisost@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu)

He is interested in contacting scholars interested in GDR foreign policy, 1949-1989, as potential contributors to an English-language publication on the subject. Interested scholars may contact him at the address given earlier in this newsletter.

Query from Jean Ward (jrward@world.std.com) on Contemporary Eastern German Literature)

Ich (nicht-Akademiker) möchte um Vorschlägen über Romane (zum Teil zur Unterhaltung) bitten, deren Handlung sich mit den Erfahrungen in den neuen Bundesländeren seit der Wende befasst. In der Bestsellerliste der Zeitschrift Spiegel ist es schon schwer genug, Bücher von (west-) deutschen Autoren überhaupt zu finden (ausser Konsalik), geschweige dann von Autoren-Ost. Danach zu beurteilen sind die neuen Bundesländer eine literarische Wüste. Ich habe mich auch in der grossen fremdsprachigen Buchhandlung hier in Boston erkundigt, aber da habe ich nur ein paar Krimis gefunden, die von der Ost-Mafia in Leipzig usw. erzählen, sonst gar nichts.

Es hat sich so viel zugetragen, hauptsächlich im Osten, seit der deutschen Einheit. Es muß sicher etwas interessantes (und unterhaltsames) geben. Wenn Sie etwas gelesen haben, das Sie weiterempfehlen möchten, sagen Sie mir bitte Bescheid.

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EGSG Officers for 1992-95


Henry Krisch
Dept. of Political Science
University of Connecticut
341 Mansfield Road
Storrs, CT 06269-102

Phone: (860) 486-5334
Fax: (860) 486-3347
Email: henryk@uconnvm.uconn.edu


Thomas A. Baylis
505 Westlake Ave.
Austin, TX 78746


Robert F. Goeckel
Dept. of Political Science
SUNY at Geneseo
Geneseo, NY 14454-1401

Email: Goeckel@uno.cc.geneseo.edu


Randall Bytwerk
CAS Department
Calvin College
3201 Burton SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Phone: (616) 957-6286
Fax: (616) 957-6601

Members- at-Large:

Irwin Collier
Institut für öffentliche Finanzen und Sozialpolitik
Freie Universität Berlin
Boltzmannstr. 20
14195 Berlin

Email: irwin- collier@ccmailer.wiwiss.fu-berlin.de

Joyce Marie Mushaben
3652 Pine Creek
Williamsburg, OH 45176

Last modified on 28 September 1995 by Randall Bytwerk

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