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History in the making/The making of history. The ‘German Wehrmacht’ in collective and individual memories in Austria.

Wodak, Ruth (2006) History in the making/The making of history. The ‘German Wehrmacht’ in collective and individual memories in Austria. Journal of Language and Politics, 5 (1). pp. 125-154. ISSN 1569-9862

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Abstract

This paper considers narratives about traumatic pasts, using interviews with visitors of the two exhibitions about the war crimes of the German Wehrmacht, shown in Germany and Austria 1995 and 2002, as examples. Numerous justification and legitimization strategies are involved in public and private discourses. The study claims that official genres, such as school books or TV documentaries, still launch narratives which exculpate the German Wehrmacht as institution, although the evidence provided by historians and the exhibitions is overwhelming. The topoi used (such as `doing one's duty'; `all wars are the same'; and so forth) are to be found in similar debates in other countries as well. Hence, this case study illustrates patterns of argumentation which occur much more generally than only in the specific national contexts studied in detail here.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Language and Politics
Uncontrolled Keywords: context ; discourse of justification ; discourse strategy ; discourse-historical approach ; exhibition ; German Wehrmacht ; interview ; legitimization strategies ; Recontexualization ; topoi ; triangulation ; victim-discourse ; war-crime
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Linguistics & English Language
ID Code: 1598
Deposited By: Prof Ruth Wodak
Deposited On: 18 Feb 2008 16:55
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2013 14:49
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/1598

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