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"Heil Dir im Siegerkranz". Nationale Feier- und Gedenktage als Formen kollektiver Identifikation

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image of Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte

Starting from a political controversy and a wide-ranging media-discussion, the article examines the evolution of German national holidays from the "Kaiserreich" to the reunited Federal Republic (1871-2005). The author lists the dates and attributes of the national festivities (national emblems, national colors, national anthem) and asks to what extent national days can contribute to a collective identification with the given state and its political system. In the process of change one identifies a long run from emotional festivity towards a rather rational attitude in celebrating the National Day. The future of the current German national holiday (October 3) in the frame of a 'democratic culture' is far away from being settled.


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