Hope M. Harrison: After the Berlin Wall: Memory and the Making of the New Germany, 1989 to the Present

After the Berlin Wall
November 19, 2019

With After the Berlin Wall: Memory and the Making of the New Germany, 1989 to the Present, Elliott School Associate Professor of History and International Affairs Hope M. Harrison draws on conceptions of national identity in contemporary Germany as an approach to the history and commemoration of the Berlin Wall over the past 30 years. The legacy of the Berlin Wall remains controversial as Germans consider its relevance to the present as a significant part of German collective memory. This book examines multiple German perspectives on the global memory of the Wall and their impact on a new German national narrative and memory policy. In an interview at the Wilson Center, Harrison offered additional insight on the premise of her new book: 

“Since Germany is the most powerful state in Europe, how its leaders and others see the nation and its history matters. More than any other state, Germans have focused their collective memory on a negative part of their history, the Holocaust, in contrast to most nations who look to glorious moments in their past to define their national identity.”

Hope M. Harrison, Associate Professor of History and International Affairs