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GERMAN HISTORICAL INSTITUTE WASHNGTON, D.C. ANNUAL LECTURE SERIES No. 8 - page 42 / 46

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and expectation.25 In 1933, the prominent medievalist Hermann Heimpel formulated this idea as Deutschlands Mittelalter Deutschlands Schicksal,or Germanys Middle AgesGermany's fate.To quote him, Germanys Middle Ages are Germanys beginning in power, splendor, and worldwide reputation.Moreover, according to Heimpel, it is precisely for this reason that this medieval beginningis also strong in the hearts of the people of the Third Reich.Heimpel further asserted that the feeling is alive that archetypes for German existence can be found in that First Reich of the Germans, in the Reich of heroic effort, of power and of unity, archetypes after which boys today model themselves and men act.26

In this context, another aspect must also finally be mentioned that even today profoundly shapes the character of the history of historical scholarship

in

Germany;

namely, the complete rejection as it appeared in Europe around 1900.27

of The comparison

of historiography in Germany with that in France makes this notion

particularly clear.28

In France,

is associated

with the names Emile Durkheim and Marcel Mauss, and in Germany with the names Georg Simmel and Max Weber, but also with Aby Warburg. Here

we have a

that was conceived in different

forms but in comparable styles. Moreover, it did not defensively turn its back on modernity, even on the crisis of modernity, but rather attempted to appropriate it, and precisely in so doing discovered new paths of research and new approaches. In France after 1918, those historians, such as Marc Bloch,

25 26

Ibid., 15. Hermann Heimpel, (Freiburg i.Br., 1933), 5f.

27

Otto Gerhard Oexle, "Geschichte als Historische Kulturwissenschaft,"

28

(forthcoming, 1996). Oexle, Deutsche Mediävisten.

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