Master of Arts Okabe Miwako

15400 €

State-Sponsored Students’ Cultural Activity and Opposition in the German Democratic Republic, 1953-1961. The case of Karl-Marx-University Leipzig

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Yksivuotinen

My dissertation explores the cultural and social possibilities and limits in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) by scrutinizing the relationship between the state-sponsored students' cultural activities and the students' opposition against the regime from 1953 to 1961 with the case of student's religious organization, jazz activity, and students' cabaret group in Leipzig. Jazz and cabaret were the most popular and attracted culture for youth in the 1950s and early 1960s, and the most political state-issues for the authorities in those years, because jazz was connected with the Western culture and independent religious organization organized jazz events with Western jazz musicians. In addition, the cabaret was the most important satire media for both West and East Germanies. My case studies highlight also the importance of Central Europe in the 20th century, demonstrating mutual relationship between the East and West during the Cold War through direct discussion between the GDR and West Germany. Taking the historical and present context in the divided Central Europe by examining political and ideological issues, and the impact as well as the importance of the divided two Germanies on Europe after the death of Soviet leader Stalin. To overcome the problems of previous researches in Germany and Great Britain on the GDR, I attempt to describe the meaning and complexity of the GDR society in the field of cultural activity by using the Stasi files.