Die Auseinandersetzung der evangelischen Kirchen beider deutscher Staaten mit der Judenvernichtung im «Dritten Reich» im politisch-gesellschaftlichen Kontext
The Churches after Auschwitz between theology and memory politics
Dealing with the Holocaust and the “Third Reich” in the West and East German Protestant Churches in the socio-political context
The book examines reflections on the Holocaust in the German protestant Churches in the socio-political context from the comparative East-West perspective between 1945 and 1989/90. The main assumption is that the theological interpretations on the Holocaust and Jews are closely tied to the social, political and generational issues. The central questions refer to the part the Churches have played in shaping public memory of the Nazi-past as well as to the factors of influence on the re-thinking of the Christian-Jewish relations after Auschwitz in both post-war German successor states. The author argues that Churches’ dealing with the “Third Reich” and Auschwitz was catalyzed and driven by public controversies and shows to what extend Churches’ attitudes were determined by the Cold War struggles over the East and West German national identities and divergent ideological approaches with regard to the Nazi-past.
The first chapter describes the four phases of the dealing with Auschwitz and of the evolution of the Christian-Jewish dialogue in both German states, explaining contextually the East-West similarities and differences. The second chapter focuses on the media events and analyses the Churches’ responses to the anti-Semitic wave “Schmierwelle” (1960/61), the Eichmann Trial in Jerusalem (1961), the staging of Rolf Hochhuth’s play “The Deputy” (1963), the Six-Day War between Israel and its neighboring states (1967) and the broadcasting of the US-American TV series “Holocaust” (1979)...
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