The starting point of the project is the assumption that not only individual and collective experiences during the GDR (German Democratic Republic - DDR) itself, but also the deep biographical upheavals of the post-reunification period shape the memory of the GDR. In the following decade, the political debates of 1989/90 gave rise to a conflict of memory that continues to have an impact today. This determines the time frame of the project, which takes a look at the last two decades of the GDR and the two following decades of transformation together and deliberately transcends the historical caesura of 1989/90, and the two leading research questions:
- What concrete experiences of the late GDR and the transformation period feed current memories, how are they articulated and passed on?
- How do these memories relate to the diverse public representations of the GDR, and how do the latter support or prevent differentiated forms of historical judgement?
Questions of communicating GDR history are a cross-sectional task of the joint project. To this end, cross-border research and teaching environments are being created at the interface between science and non-university institutions and tested as development projects. Actors who teach the history of the GDR as well as didactic competences in close connection with scientific and practical expertise at universities and in memorials, museums and archives will work together in joint events. The experimental-explorative character of this new format aims to tie in with the experience of teaching practice as well as theoretical assumptions in the design of teaching and learning processes, and to critically reflect on the results.