New Books Network

Hope M. Harrison

After the Berlin Wall

Memory and the Making of the New Germany, 1989 to the Present

Cambridge University Press 2019

New Books in Eastern European StudiesNew Books in European StudiesNew Books in German StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network July 6, 2020 Craig Sorvillo

In her new book, After the Berlin Wall: Memory and the Making of the New Germany, 1989 to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2019),...

In her new book, After the Berlin Wall: Memory and the Making of the New Germany, 1989 to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Hope M. Harrison, examines the history and meaning of the Berlin Wall. Drawing on an extensive range of archival sources and interviews, this book profiles key memory activists who have fought to commemorate the history of the Berlin Wall and examines their role in the creation of a new German national narrative. With victims, perpetrators and heroes, the Berlin Wall has joined the Holocaust as an essential part of German collective memory. Key Wall anniversaries have become signposts marking German views of the past, its relevance to the present, and the complicated project of defining German national identity. Considering multiple German approaches to remembering the Wall via memorials, trials, public ceremonies, films, and music, this revelatory work also traces how global memory of the Wall has impacted German memory policy. It depicts the power and fragility of state-backed memory projects, and the potential of such projects to reconcile or divide.

For more information on the history of the Berlin Wall check out these video clips with Dr. Harrison: Inside the Chapel of Reconciliation and Outside the Former Death Strip. And listeners might be interested in Harrison’s Blog Post about arriving in Berlin a few hours after the Berlin Wall fell.

Hope M. Harrison is a Professor of History and International Affairs at George Washington University.


Craig Sorvillo is a PhD candidate in modern European history at the University of Florida. He specializes in Nazi Germany, and the Holocaust. He can be reached at craig.sorvillo@gmail.com or on twitter @craig_sorvillo.