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Sacrifices of Heroes/Heroes of Sacrifice. The Committee of Antifascist Resistance Fighters

The central point of focus of this project is the question concerning the specific contribution of a victim group in the GDR concerning the way how National Socialism and its consequences were dealt with. The main topics will be the spheres of activities, motives and intentions of the commitment of this victim group, its place in the context of the existing historical-political environment and, last but not least, its self-conception as well as the forms of representation and the articulation of its demands.

Even if it can be assumed that the opportunity of autonomous activity was rather small for an organization which was close to the SED at the time of the Cold War, it is useful to take a look at the history, emergence and further development of the committee of antifascist resistance fighters in the GDR. This approach can be useful because on the one hand this case very clearly displays a politically controlled way of dealing with the interests of assorted victim groups and on the other hand the instrumental self-engagement of a certain group at the expense of other victims can be demonstrated.

On the basis of an analysis of the staging and discursive design of the commemoration day of the victims of Fascism the question will be asked, whether the discourse of victims performed in the committee in the time up to the 1980s was really as fixed as it could be expected from an organization of this type. Was this committee really an association of victims at all or was it simply a platform for the demonstration of a predetermined hero paradigm of political resistance against National Socialism?


Erik. K. Franzen


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