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Title: A past misremembered? : depictions of Jewish persecution under National Socialism in East German cinema
Author: Ward, Elizabeth Margaret
ISNI:       0000 0004 5357 7428
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2014
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Throughout its existence, East Germany’s ruling Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands (SED) never officially acknowledged any direct or inherited responsibility for the crimes committed on its territory between 1933 and 1945, instead choosing to recast itself as both victim and victor of fascist oppression through the foregrounding of political persecution. This interpretative framework undoubtedly resulted in the marginalisation of the fate of Jews under National Socialism in East German historiography and memories of the past. However, by focusing on East German cinematic engagements with National Socialist racial persecution, I seek to challenge the assertion that films depicting Jewish victimhood were unwelcome or even taboo in the German Democratic Republic. By combining close readings of five films – 'Ehe im Schatten' (Maetzig, 1947), 'Sterne' (Wolf, 1959), 'Lebende Ware' (Luderer, 1966), 'Jakob der Lügner' (Beyer, 1974) and 'Die Schauspielerin' (Kühn, 1988) – with an analysis of the films’ production files, I unravel the complex status of films dealing with Jewish persecution produced in a country which consistently privileged narratives of political persecution above racial victimhood.
Supervisor: Cooke, Paul ; Taberner, Stuart Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available