Tag Archives: German Southwest

Democracy Education in the German Southwest, 1945–1947

We are happy to share the abstracts for the conference What citizenship education for what democracy? Transnational Perspectives from the 19th to the 21st Century.

A Call to Reflection. Democracy Education in the German Southwest, 1945–1947

Jolin Diekmann

The term Besinnung can be seen as the guiding principle of democratic education in South-West Germany after 1945. Besinnung meant to reflect, to remember, and to become aware of something – often with a religious connotation. The idea of Besinnung was used across post-war Germany: For instance, at the opening event of the Adult Education Centre1 in Hanover, the social democrat and Minister of Education in Lower Saxony, Adolf Grimme, called it a place of Besinnung. He explained: “For Germany there is only one choice: Either it’s the end or a return to the innermost being.”((„Für Deutschland gibt es nur die Wahl: Entweder Ende oder Rückbesinnung auf sein tiefstes Wesen.“))

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  1. Volkshochschule []