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Journal: Problems of Psychology in the 21st Century (Vol.9, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 129-136

Keywords : contextualization; ego-documents; German expulsion; literature; memory-culture; social influence; stereotypes;

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Individual or collective coping with stereotypes - as actors or victims - belongs to human history, and shows different expressions, such as “Black and White” in Africa and America, “Jews”, “Sinti and Roma”, and “East and West” in Europe; also prejudices concerning generation, sex/gender, and professions belong to this context. This essay emphasizes, in an exemplary way, on a particular aspect of stereotyping: For Germans, 1945 was (also) the year of flight and expulsion from the East to the West as a kind of master-narrative; filled with stereotypes and myths, this narrative formed their collective memory and identity. Many expellees chose narrations as their strategy to cope with their traumatic experiences. Authors, such as Otfried Preussler, transferred their personal narration into literary forms. There also can be found official documents, such as decrees, which encoded the experiences into neutral information, but, nevertheless, remain traces of human tragedies. Also, modern interpretations of these events show emotional fillings and balance between close and distant style. The following short evaluation of published documents explains, how people cope with traumatic situations and experiences during a particular historical situation by using stereotypes; by evaluating different kinds of social influence on these stereotypes, the research demonstrates the complexity of stereotypes and the need of con¬textualization.

Last modified: 2017-08-10 21:53:04