Death at the Berlin Wall

Hardcover | January 16, 2011

byPertti Ahonen

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During its 28-year existence, the Berlin Wall was the foremost symbol of the Cold War division of Germany - and of Europe as a whole. But it was also a very concrete site of separation and suffering that claimed the lives of at least 136 people. Taking these deaths at its point of departure,this book reconstructs twelve individual tragedies that occurred at the Wall between 1961 and 1989. They include deaths of escapees from the GDR, by far the largest sub-category of the Wall's victims, as well as those of West Berliners who made an unauthorized entry into the border zone and of EastGerman border guards killed in the line of duty. Ahonen connects these fatalities to larger political processes between the two Germanys, linking micro- and macro-historical perspectives in innovative ways. Within a comparative East-West framework, he examines how the deaths became politicized and instrumentalized in the two states' Cold Warbattles over legitimacy and power. At the same time, he provides a broader narrative history of the Berlin Wall and of German-German relations during the last three decades of the Cold War. He also extends the analysis into the post-1989 context, exploring post-unification Germany's efforts to cometo terms with the problematic legacies of the Wall and of national division more generally, thereby adding new perspectives to the ongoing analysis of contemporary German memory politics.

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During its 28-year existence, the Berlin Wall was the foremost symbol of the Cold War division of Germany - and of Europe as a whole. But it was also a very concrete site of separation and suffering that claimed the lives of at least 136 people. Taking these deaths at its point of departure,this book reconstructs twelve individual trag...

Pertti Ahonen is Senior Lecturer in European History at the University of Edinburgh. A native of Finland, he compelted his Ph.D. in Modern European History at Yale University in 1999, and taught at the University of Sheffield before moving to Edinburgh in 2005. He is the author of After the Expulsion: West Germany and Eastern Europe, ...

other books by Pertti Ahonen

After the Expulsion: West Germany and Eastern Europe 1945-1990
After the Expulsion: West Germany and Eastern Europe 19...

Hardcover|May 26 2004

$267.34 online$367.50list price(save 27%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:January 16, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199546304

ISBN - 13:9780199546305

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Wall Goes Up2. The East-West Clash at Its Peak3. Hero-Victims of the Socialist Frontier4. Escape Tunnels, Death, and the Commemoration of the GDR's Hero-Victims5. The Wall and the Rise of Detente6. The Wall and Its Victims in the 1970s7. The Wall Comes Tumbling Down8. After the Wall