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The beginning of a Germany divided

East German construction workers building the Berlin Wall in 1961.

August 13th marks the anniversary of the construction of the Berlin Wall. The concrete barrier physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Along with separating West Berlin from East German territory, it came to symbolize the “Iron Curtain” that separated Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.

Browse relevant Berghahn titles on the history of a divided Germany. In addition, Berghahn Journals is offering free access to Vol. 29, Issue 2 of German Politics and Society until August 22, 2022. See below for details.

OPEN ACCESS and Forthcoming in Paperback!
Military Masculinities in East German Culture
Tom Smith

“This book is important because it opens avenues of research into queerness in East Germany’s National People’s Army (NVA)… Smith’s book is commendable for breaking barriers in masculinity studies and offering a refreshing second look at the NVA… Highly Recommended. All readers.” • Choice

Full Text PDF | Full Text ePUB

Brewing Socialism: Coffee, East Germans, and Twentieth-Century Globalization

Forthcoming October 2022
Coffee, East Germans, and Twentieth-Century Globalization

Andrew Kloiber

Sifting through the relationship between material culture and ideology, this unique work examines the complex tapestry of traditions, history and cultural values that underpinned the socialist German Democratic Republic (GDR).

Volume 27, Studies in German History

Four-Color Communism: Comic Books and Contested Power in the German Democratic Republic

Comic Books and Contested Power in the German Democratic Republic

Sean Eedy

Four-Color Communism is a solid work of scholarship on east German media studies, and east German comics in particular. Eedy engages with the broader field of GDR studies, always situating his arguments within broader theoretical and historical contexts. This ensures that the book will be of interest to scholars of the GDR who are unfamiliar with, or not primarily concerned with, comics.” • The German Quarterly

Read Introduction

After Auschwitz: The Difficult Legacies of the GDR

The Difficult Legacies of the GDR

Edited by Enrico Heitzer, Martin Jander, Anetta Kahane, and Patrice G. Poutrus
Translated from the German

“It is a combination of the expertise of academics and professional practitioners, enhanced by personal insights, that make this volume unique and especially intriguing.” • Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs

Read Introduction

At the Edge of the Wall: Public and Private Spheres in Divided Berlin

Public and Private Spheres in Divided Berlin

Hanno Hochmuth
Translated from the German by David Burnett

Praise for the German edition:
“Historians of cities and urbanization rarely succeed in linking local with broader social history. Hanno Hochmuth’s study on the two Berlin working-class districts of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg masters this methodological challenge by analyzing the specific stories of the two districts as a comparative history of integration.” • Sehepunkte

Volume 26, Contemporary European History
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Legal Entanglements: Law, Rights and the Battle for Legitimacy in Divided Germany, 1945-1989

Law, Rights and the Battle for Legitimacy in Divided
Germany, 1945-1989
Sebastian Gehrig

“This is a thoughtful, thorough examination of the development of the legal systems of both the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Making use of a truly impressive number of archival and secondary sources…[this] is an informative and valuable book.” • Choice

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East German Film and the Holocaust

Elizabeth Ward

“Ward … offers an interesting perspective on a socialist world where Jewish persecution would normally give way to communist heroism. Remarkably, the persecution of Jews in these films is given a tragic honesty often not found in the ideologically controlled world of the German Democratic Republic….Highly recommended.” • Choice

Volume 22, Film Europa
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Echoes of Surrealism: Challenging Socialist Realism in East German Literature, 1945–1990

Challenging Socialist Realism in East German Literature, 1945–1990

Gerrit-Jan Berendse

“[The author’s] questions about the echoes of surrealism in the GDR lead him to unexpected places, but he always manages to connect the discoveries back to the topic of the interaction between surrealism and the cultural politics of East Germany…The breadth is impressive, and the story that emerges is interesting. Motivated graduate students might even use the volume as a kind of workbook, reading and analyzing specific works that Berendse mentions in passing. Indeed, pretty much any chapter in the volume could be a useful jumping off point for an interesting and worthwhile dissertation.” • The German Quarterly

Read Introduction

New in Paperback!
Edited by Karen Hagemann, Donna Harsch, and Friederike Brühöfener

“Applied to the Cold War, this volume shows in a striking way how ubiquitous and effective gender was as a regulatory category in all areas of political, cultural, and social life in the divided Germany. With its inspiring take, its analytically precise approach, and the various thematical focal points, the book offers a well structured and most interesting panorama of the time after 1945.” • H-Soz-Kult

Read the Introduction.

Critical Stages in the History of Divided Germany

Manfred Wilke

“…constitutes a superlative model of combining biography with the study of nationalism. The latter constitutes the most novel contribution of this well-researched, straightforward historical depiction of Kohl’s ideology and its impact upon the continuing development of German national identity… Recommended” · Choice

Edited by Philip Broadbent and Sabine Hake

Eschewing the primacy of political history, the authors provide a nuanced picture of a city that, in many respects, was less divided than the Cold War mindset would have us believe…This interesting volume demonstrates the many ways in which East and West Berlin were mutually influential, and how commonalities extended beyond the division.  English Historical Review

Volume 6, Culture & Society in Germany Series

East and West Germany since the 1970s
Frank Bösch
Translated from the German by Jennifer Walcoff Neuheiser

“[The volume] provides over 500 pages of stimulating reading. It will be of interest to scholars researching in relevant fields and to graduate students embarking on doctoral work. It would also be excellent for a postgraduate seminar.” • Journal of European Studies

Read the Introduction.

For a full selection of German Studies titles please visit subject webpage.

Of Relevant Interest from Berghahn Journals

Berghahn Journals is offering free access to the following special issue until August 22, 2022.


Editor: Jeffrey J. Anderson, Georgetown University

Special Issue: The Berlin Wall After Fifty Years – 1961-2011 (Vol. 29, Issue 2)


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