Remembrance of the World Wars — A German-French Comparison

This ZIS research project will build on the researcher’s dissertation work on remembrance of both world wars in France; the researcher was the first German to receive the International Peace Medal from Verdun in 2006.

Nearly 20 years after the experience of the First World War, the Second World War represented a further enormous break in Europe’s historical development. The rehabilitation of the war’s traumatic impact on experience has taken place in various ways in both France and Germany since the end of the war. The existence of memorial sites is helpful, or indeed even necessary, for this purpose, since the memorials serve not only as sites of remembrance but also of mourning and knowledge. Following the war, the relatives of those who died in the war as well as other sightseers are able to visit the former battlefields and other sites that were assigned overwhelming significance in the course of the war.

But what kind of national differences exist in the rehabilitation work on the war-torn past? Why are such differences discomfitting? Which strategies in the design of memorial and commemoration sites were adopted by the different states under examination here? How are they perceived by the visitors to these sites?

Term of Project: 2007
Research endowment funding for 2007

Project Members:
Dr. Sandra Petermann (Geography)

Collaboration Partners:
Dr. Volker Dahm, Institute for Contemporary History, Munich
Albert A. Feiber, M.A., Institute for Contemporary History, Munich