Publication Date

April 2015

Advisor(s)

Erik Grimmer-Solem

Major

History (HIST)

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

My thesis explores the debate surrounding the fate of the Palast der Republik and the Berliner Stadtschlo’ in Berlin, Germany in the post reunification years. The hope is to further understand how Berliners deal with issues of history and memory and how they have a tendency to manipulate architecture in order to project a past that is desired rather than the past they actually have. By exploring the history of this site (referred to since the late eighteenth century as the Schlo’platz) back to the fifteenth century and detailing the various transformations it has seen I hope to emphasize how those in power in Berlin are willing to manipulate their surroundings to project a desired image. This history of the site is then juxtaposed with a chronicle of the debate that raged during the 1990s and early 2000s and concerned the future of the Schlo’platz. The East Germans had constructed their Parliament building (the Palast) on the same site of the Prussian Berliner Stadtschlo’ and in the wake of reunification there was an outcry for the Palast’s demolition as well as a demand for a reconstruction of the Prussian Schlo’. This project delves into the larger issues of the debate, what it meant for the future of East Germany culture and memory in reunified Germany as well as issues of the representation of Prussian history in modern times.

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