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Title: The history management of the East-Elbian nobility after 1945
Author: Schönberger, Paul Christopher Johannes
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 3589
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis undertakes a critical analysis of the history management of the East-Elbian nobility. Its central hypothesis is that noble families throughout the second half of the twentieth century deliberately sought to steer and control the public commemoration of their caste. These efforts were a concerted assault on widely held views about the place of the nobility in recent history, and specifically, about their culpability in the disasters that brought about war, defeat and moral shame to Germany. The first phase of noble history management concerned an expressed ‘resistance against Hitler’ alignment and self-distancing from the regime. The second phase of history management strategically employed autobiographical and family chronicles to construct an image of a modest and industrious elite, deeply rooted in the ancient traditions and virtues of an apolitical East-Elbian estate society. This dissertation argues that the process of history management continued after German reunification in 1989-1990, when many former refugee families returned to their old estates in East Elbia.
Supervisor: Clark, Christopher Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Nobility ; Memory ; East-Elbia ; East-Prussia ; Prussia ; Dönhoff