«Occupy History»

Often history is not written by those who made it. Narratives are consolidated that are written from the point of view of the winners and unnoticeably penetrate into the perception and judgment of the past even of the people who once acted in a different reasoning. In 1989, the »winners” of history were first the civil rights movements in Eastern Europe, which achieved democratic spaces of freedom within dictatorial systems. In the former GDR, new concepts of statehood, labor, new unions, publishers, media and a progressive draft for a constitution emerged during this revolutionary period. Nevertheless, after the inner German reunification, almost exclusively the West German concept of economics and governance prevailed and solidified into a phantasmagorical image of history, which hardly allows many East Germans to remember their lives in the GDR and their successful struggle for a different society with pride and dignity. This incapacitation was accompanied by paternalistic structures from West Germany in the 90s by the encounter with the unchecked violence of neoliberal »structural adjustments”. In East Germany it created areas of deserted industries and a mass exodus to the structurally strong West. In addition to the fiduciary industry, which in the 1990s handled almost the entire East German industry, there was also a »fiduciary of the spirit” that led to the devaluation of specifically East German history and intellectual traditions. The de facto violence of the neo-liberal reforms was joined by the violence of a falsifying history that expropriated the East Germans of their own history of emancipation and puts them in the psychologically and socially fatal position of the eternally catching up, falling behind, and working towards the status quo of the West German students. Nowadays it seems even to many East Germans as if the revolution of 1989 has taken place with the aim of German reunification. No more recollection of the civil and environmental movement, of reform concepts and third ways, new policy models such as the round tables, which all together disappeared after the unified treaty with West Germany.