Unequal Re-education Schooling and Democracy in West Germany, 1945-1955

Unequal Re-education Schooling and Democracy in West Germany, 1945-1955

Lecture | March 6 | 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | 201 Moses Hall

 Phillip Wagner, University of Halle

 Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann, UC Berkeley

 Institute of European StudiesGerman Historical Institute Washington | Pacific Office Berkeley

Zoom Link Available

It is not only since the global rise of populism that the German public debates whether democracy needs to be more inclusive. Whereas some policy-makers and intellectuals argue for more programs to empower long marginalized communities, others argue that liberal democracies have to accept social injustice. Going back to the attempts of Allied and German policy-makers and educators to re-educate youth against the backdrop of National Socialism, this talk attempts to chart the longer history of the controversy around the thorny question of democratic inclusiveness in West Germany. This lecture engages with a new wave of historiography that studies how post-war education schemes contributed to widely disseminate notions of democratic citizenship throughout West German youth. This talk seeks to demonstrate that many of these post-war citizenship education programs were not only fueled by a promise of democratic equality but also, at least indirectly, excluded lower-class and female students. In that regard, these citizenship training schemes contributed to consolidating West Germany’s stratified democracy in the 1950s.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we strongly recommend everyone in attendance to wear a mask at all times. Please arrive on-time to ensure you will have a seat. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting/CART captioning, alternative media formats, etc.) or information about campus mobility access features in order to fully participate in this event, please contact Ray Savord at rsavord@berkeley.edu or (510) 642-4555 with as much advance notice


 Ray Savord,  rsavord@berkeley.edu,  510-642-4555