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Norbert F. Pötzl:
Der Treuhand-Komplex. Legenden. Fakten. Emotionen
Roter Salon

In German

The author in conversation with Richard Schröder (philosopher and theologian)
Moderator: Andreas Wang

Capitalistic monster, zombie of the reunification, Bad Bank of cultural memory: Negative attributions characterise the images in media and literature of the Treuhandanstalt, which was founded in 1990 to privatise the “publicly-owned” GDR businesses. The Treuhand is blamed for causing 2.5 million people to lose their jobs, making biographies fragile and destroying ways of life. Even 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Treuhand is still the very image of the enemy for many Germans living in the east, scapegoat for negative economic developments and, as of late, also a model for explaining the rise of right-wing populists and extremists. But the perceived truths and legends often overrun the historical facts. Until now: long-term Spiegel editor Norbert F. Pötzl is cutting a rational path through the jungle of complex processes. He was one of the first to gain access to the Treuhand's internal files, which are now, little by little, being transferred to the federal archives. He had conversations with those affected, main players, politicians and scholars. With a sensitivity for personal fortunes, he also uses factual arguments to put prejudices and false assumptions straight. Pötzl's book is the first to do justice to the demand for working through this many-layered subject based on the evidence.

Photo Pötzl: Vanessa Eggers

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