The 21-year-old worker Philipp Müller was shot dead as a participant in a peace demonstration in Essen on 11 May 1952. He was the first demonstration fatality in the Federal Republic. In the GDR, he was elevated to the status of a resistance hero for decades and included in the ranks of "socialist heroes" and anti-fascist resistance fighters.
The lecture by Alfons Kenkmann describes Müller's biography, the political and legal reappraisal of the incident as well as the public discussion about the death of the demonstrator. This is followed by an analysis of the political instrumentalisation of the young dead man in the former GDR up to the transformation period. Even in reunified Germany, the discussions about how to deal with the victim of the police action of May 1952 in the culture of remembrance have not come to an end. The history of the Cold War is reflected in the person of Philipp Müller as if in a burning glass.
The lecture will take place digitally via the Cisco Webex platform (meeting room: https://uni-erfurt.webex.com/meet/DuT.Erfurt). The meeting room will open 15 minutes before the start of the event. No separate registration is required, you can join the meeting directly via your browser. If you need more information on access or assistance, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credits: Werner Laux. Dem Parioten Philipp Müller. Berlin 1953 // exhibited at the 3rd German Art Exhibition in the Albertinum in Dresden 1953. // (Photo: Deutsche Fotothek Dresden)