For most of the late twentieth century the Nazi past tended to overshadow perceptions of Germany and the Germans. But now, with the onset of the twenty-first century, even the two successor states — the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic — are beginning to appear more strange, more distant, curious products of and prime exhibits in a Cold War world which dramatically disappeared with the collapse of communism in 1989–90. The increased historical distance has certainly served to enhance access to the sources of the now defunct state, the GDR; it has not necessarily made for greater consensus on interpretations.
KeywordsFederal Republic Repressive Regime German History Historical Distance Peaceful Reunification
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