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Redaktion »Mittelweg 36«
Martin Bauer, Gaby Zipfel
Mittelweg 36, 20148 Hamburg
Tel.: 040/414097-0, Fax: 040/414097-11
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Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Michael Wildt: Sind die Nazis Barbaren? Betrachtungen zu einer geklärten Frage
(Summary: Nazism is commonly represented as barbarism. This article examines the discourse on civilization and barbarism by firstly describing the different constructions of this antagonism in modern political thought: barbarians as the opposite, in space as well as in time, of the civilized; barbarism as the other, but inseparable, side of civilization; Nazism as the pinnacle and the outcome of modernity; and finally, the Nietzschean notion of barbarism as humankind’s primal wilderness, destined to overthrow a decadent civilization already in disarray. In a second step, the article explores the Nazi approach to the dichotomy of barbarism and civilization. The analysis focuses on Himmler’s rhetoric in his famous October 1943 speech and concludes that it is shaped by traditional juxtapositions and obviously driven by a fear of being contaminated by barbarism. Himmler’s vicious concept of »civilized barbarians«, who act »decently« and »morally« while executing atrocities, contradicts the widespread interpretation, according to which Nazi mass murder was a relapse into atavistic barbarism.)
Ulrich Bröckling: Und … wie war ich? Über Feedback
(Summary: Feedback, originally a technical term in control theory and cybernetics, is the fundamental principle of self-regulating systems and designates the process whereby some proportion or, more generally, function of the output signal of a system is fed back into the input in order to control the system’s dynamic behavior. The model has been adopted in applied psychology and has become a highly normative key concept for successful interpersonal communication. In this usage, feedback has been trivialized and often means either recounting to people what they have done or quite simply responding. The contribution traces the history of this shift of meaning from Kurt Lewin’s establishment of group dynamics after World War II and the cult of group therapies in the 1960s and 1970s, to contemporary performance appraisal systems like the 360° feedback technology used in human resource management.)
Jan Philipp Reemtsma: Warum Adorno keine Abhandlung über Paul Celan geschrieben hat
(Summary: In a letter to Paul Celan dated 9 February 1968, Theodor W. Adorno announced that he had begun writing an essay that would center on the poet’s volume Sprachgitter. However, Adorno apparently never produced more than a two-page text with some references to Celan’s poetry. This contribution discusses why Adorno might have in fact been reluctant to publish an interpretation of Celan’s work.)
Uta Andrea Balbier: »Zu Gast bei Freunden.« Wie die Bundesrepublik lernte, den Sport politisch ernst zu nehmen
(Summary: The essay focuses on changing attitudes in West German society and politics towards sports as a representation of national identity. Throughout the 1950s, sports officials in the Federal Republic of Germany endeavored to keep this realm free from political interference and interpretation. This strategy failed, however, as the German Democratic Republic actively fought for international recognition in the field of sports. Under pressure to rise to this East German challenge, the West German government became increasingly aware of the political importance of athletic competition; this development was paralleled by a shift in the meaning assigned to athletic success by society. )
Sandra Lehmann: Das vage Land (Jeron al-Homos). Die Sonne ist hier manchmal schwarz vor lauter Licht
(Summary: The essay deals with Jeron al-Homos, a locality situated between an Israeli army checkpoint and the so-called »fence« that surrounds Bethlehem. The extreme location of Jeron al-Homos exposes the function of borders as well as mechanisms of power.)
Und in der Literaturbeilage rezensiert Steven Shapin Daniel Charles’ Buch über Fritz Haber, den Vater der chemischen Kriegsführung.
Wolfgang Kraushaar: Aus der Protest-Chronik
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