“...Not by the German people, but in the name of the German people”. Adenauer and the Narrative of the Centre Ground
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The study reconstructs the development of the historical narrative that Konrad Adenauer communicated in his public statements about National Socialism and the role of the Germans in it. It can be expressed in the succinct formula that the misdeeds of the regime had been committed “not by the German people but in their name”. In these few words we see the kernel of a historical narrative that was the general consensus for a long time in West German politics. Up to now no explicit, comprehensive analysis of the development of Adenauer’s narrative has been forthcoming, one that involved an engagement with his key speeches covering the whole of the post-war period down to his death in 1967.
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