Abstract Sierp

Nostalgia for Times Past: On the Uses and Abuses of the Ostalgie Phenomenon in Eastern Germany

Aline Sierp

Abstract: This paper will investigate the way collective and individual memory of the experience of Communism has been framed by the PDS (Party of Democratic Socialism) in the Eastern German federal states. It explores possible reasons for the ‘Ostalgie’ (nostalgia) phenomenon in Eastern Germany and analyses to what extent the PDS, being the successor party of the former GDR state party SED (Socialist Unity Party of Germany), uses or abuses this phenomenon in order to secure itself a stable electoral basis in the Eastern German federal states. The analysis is mainly based on the first fifteen years after re-unifi cation, paying tribute to the fact that the PDS has undergone major transformations since 2005.

Keywords: Memory, Communism, German Democratic Republic, Party politics