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The Other '68ersStudent Protest and Christian Democracy in West Germany$
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Anna von der Goltz

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780198849520

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198849520.001.0001

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Talking About (My) Generation

Talking About (My) Generation

(p.75) 2 Talking About (My) Generation
The Other '68ers

Anna von der Goltz

Oxford University Press

This chapter engages with several major themes that have long animated research on the West German 1960s: protesters’ family backgrounds and wartime childhoods; the meaning of the Nazi past to their activism; and intergenerational relations. Like their student peers on the Left, centre-right activists had been raised in a post-genocidal society. Given that, how did they view and engage with Germany’s recent history of mass violence? The chapter highlights the centrality of anti-totalitarianism to their thinking. It also shows that, inspired by the so-called ‘‘45ers’ and nudged by social scientists who routinely portrayed student protest as a symptom of generational conflict, they began to think of themselves as a distinct generational community in the 1960s.

Keywords:   Nazism, postwar, totalitarianism, Cold War, generation, autobiography, childhood, ‘45ers

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