How the GDR Sang its Future. A History of Emotions
Juliane Brauer, Feeling Time – How the GDR Sang its Future. A History of Emotions. Bielefeld: Transcript 2020.
“Today we sing the songs of tomorrow” went the lyrics of a popular 1964 youth song from the GDR. Citizens of East Germany wanted to use music and lyrical forms to propagate hopes, desires, and visions of socialist Germany’s future and to influence the coming generation on an emotional level. Writing of the GDR as a “modern time regime”, Juliane Brauer tells the story of a promised future and the results of its failure to be realized. The certainty and belief in progress that characterized the beginnings were replaced with mistrust and disappointment over shattered dreams. Brauer’s analysis further shows how the desirable emotional dispositions can be categorized in concrete socialist conceptions of past, present, and future.