Essay Collections

Germany Close Up has published three collections of essays written by program alumni reflecting on their experiences in Germany and using these to explore broader questions of remembrance and identity.

From Generation to Generation: Encountering Germany

“I started thinking that […] struggle is oddly integral to reconciliation, that authentically repairing a broken relationship, whether between individuals or political collectives, actually requires a playful, contained, even aestheticized but nonetheless real and potentially painful enactment of the violence that has been done and been fantasized about. Maybe to be substantial and meaningful, kissing must also involve a little bit of biting. It is that more contentious, difficult encounter that I enjoyed most during my week in Berlin and that I think our generation most vitally needs.” - Raphael Magarik in his essay ‘Kissing and Biting. On Controversy.’

‘From Generation to Generation: Encountering Germany’ collects sixteen of the best essays that were submitted to the 2017 essay competition of Germany Close Up alumni. The third volume brings together different reflections on personal encounters with German past and present, touching upon the importance of remembrance and of finding one’s own way to relate to the past.

My Own Private Germany: Journey Through the Past and the Present

'The threads - ideas, events, and people - that weave the fabric of modern Germany confronted me head on. They destroyed my clear perception of Germany and welded a new 'private' Germany - one lacking clarity but welcoming question and debate. As I internalized the complexity of German society, my 'private' Germany came to develop layer upon layer of complexity itself.' -Avi Colonomos in his Essay 'My 'Private' Germany: Complex, Complicated. and Convoluted.'

'My Own Private Germany: Journey through the Past and Present' is the second volume of essays written by Germany Close Up alumni. The volume collects nineteen of the best essays submitted to the 2014 alumni essay competition on the topic of 'My Own Private Germany: Conflicts, Confusion, Conclusions.'

Remembering the Past - Shaping the Future

'When I think of Germany now, the grainy black and white images have come to life in a colorful and complex contemporary reality. I think of "schnell" and "achtung" in the context of history lessons and greet my newfound German friends with "wie geht's" and "krass".' -Adam Heltzer, in his essay 'Heltzen.'

'Remembering the Past - Shaping the Future' is the first volume of essays written by Germany Close Up alumni. The volume includes eighteen essays entered into the alumni essay competitions held in 2009 and 2011 on the topic 'My Own Private Germany: Expectations, Recollections, Emotions.' In these essays, the authors reflect upon their personal experiences and simultaneously use these to explore questions of remembrance and identity.

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