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Demolition on Karl Marx Square – Cultural Barbarism and the People's State in 1968 - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Demolition on Karl Marx Square: Cultural Barbarism and the People's State in 1968

Andrew Demshuk


Communist East Germany’s demolition of Leipzig’s intact medieval University Church in May 1968 was an act widely decried as “cultural barbarism”. Although overshadowed by the crackdown on Prague Spring mere weeks later, the willful destruction of this historic landmark on a central site called Karl Marx Square represents an essential turning point in relations between the Communist authorities and the “people” they claimed to serve. As the largest case of East German protest between the 1953 Uprising and 1989 Revolution, this intimate local trauma exhibits how the inner workings of a “dictator ... More

Keywords: East Germany, DDR, Communism, 1968, politics of memory, architecture, urban planning, 1989, Leipzig, Stasi, historic preservation

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780190645120
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190645120.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Andrew Demshuk, author
Assistant Professor of History, American University