The biographic novels about Theodor Körner accurately demonstrate the significant paradigm shifts in East Germany’s memory politics. Before 1949, the nationalistic tradition was rejected even in the area under Soviet occupation, nevertheless it became a central element of East Germany’s ideology after the turn of 1952. One must add, that i
...t was not picked up in its original form, but adapted to the requirements of the present. The Körner novels reveal the main characteristics of this transformed nationalism. The political changes of the seventies generated a turn of cultural policy as well. The particularities of this new paradigm are reflected in Ulrich Völkel’s novel about Theodor Körner. The recycled myth of Körner paints a picture of East Germany which we came to know during the last decade of its existence.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s festival piece Des Epimenides Erwachen [The awakening of Epimenides], 1815, and Gerhart Hauptmann’s work entitled Festspiel in deutschen Reimen [Commemoration Masque], can be connected to the First World War only indirectly. While the former was created for the ceremony celebrating the end of the Napoleonic Wars
..., the latter was made for its centenary. Yet, both are in connection with the First World War, since in Europe before 1914, it was the Napoleonic Wars which meant the experience of a great war. Hauptmann’s play consciously relates to Goethe’s text and it was constitutive of the social discourse prior to the outbreak of the First World War.