Isabelle Engelhardt A Political Catholic View: Discourses on the Judenfrage in the Daily Newspaper
Germania 1918–1933 The period between 1918 and 1933 was a time of major social and linguis- tic changes and ruptures in the German Reich: defeat in World War I; the transition from monarchy to democracy through a ‘peaceful’ revolution; inf lation and the world economic crisis, mass unemployment and the so-called ‘takeover’ of the National Socialists. Nevertheless, this period remains barely explored in linguistic terms. Such research as has been done has focused on National Socialist language and on the language of national conservatives up until 1945, neglecting the linguistic characteristics of this specific period. The linguist Peter von Polenz states in his history of the German language1 that there is a real research gap concerning the political language of the Weimar Republic. It is this gap that the current project: ‘Discourse Analysis of the Political Language in the Weimar Republic’ at the University of Düsseldorf aims to fill. The political language of the Weimar Republic merits analysis in its own right, not just as background to the language of National Socialism, in terms of which it has often been discussed. Firstly, it was the National Socialists’ semantic strategy to take over catchwords from other groups – a strategy that was commented on by contemporaries such as Kurt Tucholsky: Die [Nationalsozialisten] behaupten ‘revolutionär’ zu sein, wie sie denn überhaupt der Linken ein ganzes Vokabular abgelauscht haben: ‘Volkspartei’ und ‘Arbeiterpartei’ und ‘revolutionär’; es ist wie ein Konkurrenzmanöver. 1 P. von Polenz, Deutsche Sprachgeschichte vom Spätmittelalter bis...
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