By Mathias Delori

In 1963, France and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) decided to massively subsidize meetings between young people from the two countries. Until the mid-1970s, the organization implementing this policy developed a pedagogy that turned its back on what is now known as “work of memory”. Meeting organizers were told that they could deal with any subject except the Second World War, the German nazi past and Vichy France. This article examines the origins of this prescription. The argument is that it was part of a more general context: between 1949 and 1973, the FRG saw the visits of young Germans abroad as a symbol of the break with Nazism. The young people were to embody the emergence of a new (Western) Germany.

Les Cahiers du Centre Émile Durkheim, N°19, December 14, 2020, 2020

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