The Federal Republic of Germany faced in its early years a huge challenge by millions of displaced ethnical Germans from Eastern Europe and from former territories of the German Reich who fled to the west German occupation zones at the end of World War II. Beside the numerous material and social necessities imposed in the early postwar period the newly formed republic had to fulfill the obligation of incorporating these citizens into the new state. The legal part of the solution for this challenge was the enacting of the Federal Expellee Law (“Bundesvertriebenengesetz“, 1953). Article 96 of this law states the Federal Republic’s obligation to preserve the cultural goods of the communities of displaced Germans from Central and Eastern Europe.
Producing legitimacy for the costly undertaking of the process of digitizing German-language cultural heritage must be a basic objective for the contributing institutions. This purpose however cannot exclusively be fulfilled by presenting it as collaborative and internationalized. In order to successfully lobby for it, the issue needs to be connected with the general consideration that all historical ethnical minority communities do have the right to have their heritage digitized by their home state’s institutions. Continue reading Funding prospects for the digitization of German-language cultural heritage from Eastern Europe
The following scheme is proposing a series of general guidelines on the process of digitizing German-language cultural heritage in East and Southeast Europe and explicitly requesting a critical feedback or review; please comment on it or write a reply post in order to initiate a continued discussion on the topic. Continue reading Strategy paper on the digitization of the German-language cultural heritage from Eastern Europe