Historian Ute Frevert: The feelings of the Germans

Historian Ute Frevert: The feelings of the Germans

I amFear of inflation, pride, crown solidarity: is there a national emotional life among Germans? Was the mood automatically negative in the dark ages of history? And how does the form of government shape feelings? Interview with historian Ute Frevert.

She wrote one of the most interesting books of the fall. “Powerful feelings. From A to Fear of Self for Love is the History of Germany since 1900 ”(S. Fischer, 496 pp., € 28) is a kind of emotional catalog of German history. Frevert testifies to traditional historiography aggravated by superstition devaluation of feelings. The following applies: “Every time people do or don’t do something, feelings are involved, often in the foreground. Nothing happens without it. “

WORLD: Does this exist – typical feelings for whole nations?

Ute Frevert: Conversely, it becomes a shoe: the experiences of a nation shape the feelings of its members. Remember the commanding fear of inflation in Germany, which can be traced to the sharp devaluation of money in 1923 and 1948. Or honor. When Willy Brandt advertised the slogan “Germans, we can be proud of our country” in 1972, many frowned, because after the excesses of the arrogance of the Nazi era, honor was no longer socially and politically acceptable. Brandt had to add that he meant “pride for the result of our hard work.” Then it was okay.

WORLD: The three happiest moments for Germans from an emotional historical perspective?

Marc Reichwein

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