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Integration or exclusion : former national socialists in the GDR

Integration oder Ausgrenzung: ehemalige Nationalsozialisten in der DDR
[journal article]

Remy, Dietmar; Salheiser, Axel

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Abstract "Not only West Germany saw the social rehabilitation of former National Socialists after 1945, former NSDAP members were also integrated into the GDR society and into the echelons of its functional elites. The share of former National Socialists among the elites varies between societal sectors. However, some of them even entered the ranks of the power elite. Due to the omnipresent myth of anti-fascism, disclosed brown shadows of the past could put careers at risk, but submissive loyalty to the young socialist state and its leadership could balance the scales. Keeping silent turned out a successful strategy in many cases: the general exculpation of the populace and the antifascist propaganda made serious checks rather inopportune for the Communist regime. For a differentiated evaluation of the ambivalent process of socialist denazification, it is vital to discuss its impact on social structure and to analyze the strategy of the Communist Party." (author's abstract)
Keywords historical analysis; anti-facism; communism; integration; elite; inventory; German Democratic Republic (GDR); GDR research; denazification; reminiscence; power; myth; post-war period; Nazism; rehabilitation; exclusion; collective memory
Classification General History
Method applied research; evaluation; documentation; empirical; qualitative empirical; quantitative empirical; historical
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 9-21
Journal Historical Social Research, 35 (2010) 3
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works