Erschriebene Heimat - Erinnerungen an Kindheit und Jugend in der DDR und im Nachwendedeutschland von AutorInnen der Jahrgänge 1964-1976

Warchold, Katja
The memory of childhood and youth in the former GDR and growing up in Germany after the 'Wende' is a prominent topic of contemporary German literature. Young East German authors like Jana Hensel, Daniel Wiechmann, Claudia Rusch, Jens Bisky or Sascha Lange, who were born in the 1960s and 1970s, reflect on their former home country from a present-day-perspective. They rely on their own memories as well as communicative and cultural memory to reconstruct the GDR and the years after the 'Wende'. Their autobiographies will be analysed in context of social and cultural studies about childhood and youth in the GDR and East Germany after 1989. Because of the political, social and economic changes after the reunification the authors in question were faced with the loss of their 'Heimat' (home) in the recent past and confronted with a feeling of alienation and displacement in the present. The analyses presented in this thesis will show that the authors create an imaginative 'Heimat' -- thereby establishing their identity and their writing as a possibility for 'Beheimatung'. A comparison of the relevant autobiographies will also indicate how much the remembrance of the GDR is influenced by a generational perspective. Even if the authors have an individual approach, they use mainly the same topoi. Attending Kindergarten and school or membership in the FDJ serve as 'commonplaces' (E.R. Curtius), which provide the authors of interest here with a shared structure of the past. This shows that there is indeed a collective form of remembrance of childhood and youth in the GDR. Due to this collective form of remembrance their autobiographies are coherent with the current national narrative of German society about the GDR. This makes the inscription of the authors´ images of the GDR in the communicative and cultural memory possible.
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland