Saxony-Anhalt: State research takes a look at racism and the history of nobility

The history of Saxony-Anhalt is to be researched more closely.

Saxony-Anhalt: State research takes a look at racism and the history of nobility

The history of Saxony-Anhalt is to be researched more closely. It is now clear what the focus of the newly established Institute for Regional History in Halle is.

Halle (dpa/sa) - Racism in the security authorities of the GDR, the history of the Anhalt residents and the relationship to home are research topics of the new Institute for State History in Halle. "It's about the extent to which there was something like institutional racism as part of GDR history in the area of ​​Saxony-Anhalt," said the head of the institute, Michael Hecht, of the German Press Agency. "The project runs from January 2023 to the end of December 2025 and is funded with third-party funds from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research." The institute has been working as a separate department in the Saxony-Anhalt State Office for Monument Preservation and Archeology in Halle since May 2021.

The development of a largely unknown handwritten chronicle of the princes of Anhalt is also on the agenda. "The transcription of the old texts is in progress," said Hecht. "The plan is to publish the chronicle as a book and as an online publication next year."

The chronicle was written around 1586 by court servant Bartholomäus Schwanenberger on behalf of Joachim Ernst von Anhalt (1536-1586). The six handwritten volumes are in the state archive in Dessau. "The interesting thing is the historical and world views of the princes. For example, they invented mythical ancestors, like Germanic kings who are said to have lived in the 6th and 7th centuries," said the researcher. "That was typical for that time, because the older a noble family could derive its own history, the more prestige it was guaranteed." In addition, research is being carried out on the subject of the inner-German border in Saxony-Anhalt. It's about finding out the culture of remembrance and the history of the border society in the time of German division, said Hecht. "This includes eyewitness interviews and research into communication channels despite demarcation. In this context, the other side, the western side of the border at the time, is also involved. The border society didn't just exist in the east."

In addition, a handbook on the history of the state of Saxony-Anhalt is being drawn up together with the historical commission. It should be finished around 2024/2025.

At a conference from September 21 to 23 in Halle, the focus will be on the relationship between state and local history. The focus of interest is on the concept of home. "In recent years, the concept of home has increasingly moved back into public awareness," said the director. "The conference also deals with the problem: How did expatriate Germans and displaced persons reconstruct their homeland? How did they deal with the concept of homeland in the respective new regions in which they were accommodated? How is the concept used in local history museums around or in the costume movement? And also, how did the GDR deal with homeland? On the one hand, they wanted to break away from the traditionalist and nationalist concept of homeland, on the other hand, the GDR couldn't do without homeland."

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