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Why Weimar?

Questioning the Legacy of Weimar from Goethe to 1999


Peter M. Daly, Hans Walter Frischkopf and Trudis E. Goldsmith-Reber

In 1999, two hundred and fifty years after Goethe’s birth, Weimar was named the European Capital of Culture. This collection of essays by German and North American specialists explores such topics as architecture, architectural history, art history, cultural studies, German studies, political science, religious studies, sociology, and social history in an assessment of Weimar’s legacy from Goethe to 1999. Why Weimar? offers critical reflections on Goethe and his involvement in politics; on the crucial stages in the social history of Weimar; on the uses and misuses of Weimar in the construction of a German cultural identity; on Weimar and its legacy in art history and in literature; on Holocaust memorials; as well as on other issues at the intersection of culture and politics from the Weimar Republic to the Berlin Republic.
Contents: Hans Walter Frischkopf: Preface – Peter M. Daly: Introduction – W. Daniel Wilson: Why Not Weimar? «Normal» German Culture and The Authoritarian State in Classical Weimar – Michael S. Batts: The Other (Non-Classical) Side of Weimar in Goethe’s Time – Markus S. Schulz: Cultural Politics after Buchenwald: Imagining Weimar – Susanne Frank: Festivalization, Image Politics and Local Identity: The Rollplatz Debate in Weimar, European City of Culture 1999 – Justus H. Ulbricht: «How One Becomes What One Is». Weimar’s Transformation to the «Heart of German Culture» 1885-1930 – Andrea Dietrich: The (Last) Fulfilment of Goethe’s Will: The Second Extension Building of the Goethe National Museum as a Case Study in the Intersection of Culture and Politics – Marcus Gärnter: Weimar/GDR - A Realm of Memory and Its Institutions – Silke Roth: Goethe and Buchenwald: Re-Constructing German National Identity in the Weimar Year 1999 – Alain Findeli: Goethe and the Bauhaus: An Epistemological Inquiry – Theodore Fiedler: Weimar between Modernism and Heimatkunst: Contrary Visions of Cultural Renewal and National Identity at the Turn of the Century – Rosamunde Neugebauer: Myth and Symbolic Topography: Weimar and Berlin in the 1920s – Willi Jasper: Faust and the Germans – David Pugh: Is It Time to Decentre Classicism? Thoughts on the British Reception of Weimar – Edward T. Larkin: The Detonation of a Timeless Weimarer Klassik: Thomas Alexander Schmidt’s Weimar oder das Ende der Zeit – Peter Rosenbaum: The Buchenwald Memorial and Its Différend – Phyllis Lambert: Holocaust Memorials. Distanced Memories: Site/Community/Meaning – Gregory Baum: Catholics in the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich through the Eyes of Walter Dirks – Matthias Konzett: Karl Kraus and Walter Benjamin: Post-Nationalism in Vienna and Weimar Modernism – Arnd Bohm: Marbach vs. Weimar: Cultural Politics in the Cold War and Beyond – Jay Julian Rosellini: The Right Thinking: Attempts to Revive the Conservative Revolution in the Berlin Republic – Florian Bail: Reflections on the Meaning of the Weimarer Klassik for the Evolving Political Culture of the Berlin Republic.