The German Myth of the East: 1800 to the Present

Paperback | February 20, 2011

byVejas Gabriel Liulevicius

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Over the last two centuries and indeed up to the present day, Eastern Europe's lands and peoples have conjured up a complex mixture of fascination, anxiety, promise, and peril for Germans looking eastwards. Across the generations, a varied cast of German writers, artists, philosophers, diplomats, political leaders, generals, and Nazi racial fanatics have imagined (often in very different ways) a special German mission in the East, forging a frontier myth that paralleled the American myths of the 'WildWest' and 'Manifest Destiny'. Through close analysis of German views of the East from 1800 to our own times, The German Myth of the East reveals that this crucial international relationship has in fact been integral to how Germans have defined (and repeatedly redefined) themselves and their ownnational identity. In particular, what was ultimately at stake for Germans was their own uncertain position in Europe, between East and West. Paradoxically, the East came to be viewed as both an attractive land of unlimited potential for the future and as a place undeveloped, dangerous, wild, dirty,and uncultured. Running the gamut from the messages of international understanding announced by generations of German scholars and sympathetic writers, to the violent racial utopia envisaged by the Nazis, German imaginings of the East represent a crucial, yet unfamiliar, part of modern European history, and onethat remains fundamentally important today in the context of an expanded European Union.

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Over the last two centuries and indeed up to the present day, Eastern Europe's lands and peoples have conjured up a complex mixture of fascination, anxiety, promise, and peril for Germans looking eastwards. Across the generations, a varied cast of German writers, artists, philosophers, diplomats, political leaders, generals, and Nazi r...

Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius is the author of War Land on the Eastern Front: Culture, National Identity, and German Occupation in World War I (2000). He has been awarded a fellowship by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

other books by Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius

War Land on the Eastern Front
War Land on the Eastern Front

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:312 pagesPublished:February 20, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199605165

ISBN - 13:9780199605163

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Older Legacies Before 18003. Influences of the Enlightenment and Romanticism, 1800-18304. Genesis and Creation, 1830-18715. Age of Empire, 1871-19146. The First World War and Aftermath7. Nazi Visions of the East8. Nightmare of the Advancing East, 1943-19559. Cold War10. After the Wall Came Down