Solving the Stadtschloss Dilemma

Revision with unchanged content. Berlin is a city with a unique and challenging past as well as a promising fu­ture in the new Europe. At the city’s oldest and most hallowed site, East German authorities tore down the war-damaged "Stadtschloss" in 1950 and erected the "Palast der Republik" in its place. Since Reunification, a debate on whether to preserve the Palast or rebuild the Stadtschloss has raged, fueled as much by ideology as by aesthetics. In 2002 the German parliament de­ci­ded in favor of a re­con­struction bearing the facade of baroque master An­dre­as Schluter’s Stadtschloss. What will the new walls say about Berlin’s tur­bu­lent past, and about its future? As the German capital strives for unity amidst in­creasing diversity, will the Stadtschloss visually affect the way its future citizens and visitors “remember”? This work examines the history of both structures as well as the post-Wall debate, the implications of the decision and the link between vision and memory. The book is addressed to scholars and researchers in German Cultural Studies, particularly those who focus on memory, visual culture, and symbolism in Ho­hen­zollern, GDR and post-Reunification Berlin. It is also intended for all who have followed the renewed Stadtschloss discourse with interest over the past two decades.
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