“Diacronia” bibliometric database (BDD)

Die Bedeutung donauschwäbischer Symbole

Publication: Philologica Jassyensia, III (1), p. 169-193
Publisher:Institutul de Filologie Română „A. Philippide”
Abstract:Discussions about “memory places” (lieux de mémoire) have been taking place since 1984. Systematic investigations of symbolic memory places in Central Eastern Europe remain to be undertaken, but a start has been made at the “Zentrum für Osteuropastudien” [Centre for East-European Studies] of the University of Kiel. The aim is a reappraisal of memorials, but also of anniversary celebrations, of literary texts about expulsion and resettlement, and of the use of events such as the Serbian defeat in the battle of Kosovo (1386) to a create a mythical “Serbian Golgotha” which was aggressively exploited during the Kosovo war. Following the same model, the Danube Swabians designate the abrogation of their rights and their internment with its heavy casualties as a “way of sorrows”. In Herrischried (Southern Black Forrest) a “Walk of Fate of the Banat Swabians”, with symbolic representations of the stages of their history, was inaugurated on 2 September 2001.
Memory places are always consciously established signposts, even when they are only later endowed with the function of a memorial. They have been used and are being used to pursue “symbolic political objectives”. In Central Eastern Europe, repeated outside interferences and numerous conflicts between neighbours have produced multiple fractures in history. The stronger the collective wounds of the past, the more indispensable were the “memory places” as the assembly points of collective self-image.
Religious memory places are more firmly-based than secular ones, because in older communities, the traditional way of celebration was integrated into the religious cycles. Secular memory places are determined, from planning to implementation, by public discussion and actions. But festive hours and remembrance are the extraordinary and appear to the non-participant more curious then integrating.
The “World Cultural Heritage” defined by UNESCO represents an attempt to establish, in addition to the religious and national memory places, a network of universally valid memory places. What is important with this approach is the rationale of commonality and common responsibility, with the assumption of equal value of various cultures and landscapes, and reciprocal tolerance towards the other. The Danube Swabians are a small ethnic group, the existence of which is placed in jeopardy by its dwindling number of members.
From the traditional popular culture of the Danube Swabians, specific foods and identity-generating symbols (such as Kirchweihbouquet, home churches and memorials) will probably be preserved. But most of all, the tolerance towards other groups – with the expectation to be fully accepted themselves - the sense of a common bond of the community, and the positive attitude to life of the generations of colonists, are worth to be brought into the new surroundings of the Danube Swabians scattered across the globe, and to be continued in the future.
Language: German

Citations to this publication: 2

References in this publication: 0

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