Abstract

When the history exhibition Neue Anfänge nach 1945? about the transition from National Socialism to democracy toured Lutheran churches in northern Germany in the 2010s, preachers were invited to address it in their Sunday sermons. Like the speeches regularly given by civic dignitaries at German history museums, the sermons drew on democratic traditions of speaking about National Socialism. They also drew on Lutheran discursive traditions: Bible exegesis, homiletics, theology. This article considers how preachers combine a professional knowledge of what should be said about National Socialism with their pastoral role. The German family emerges as a key—but limiting—trope in discussion of the Nazi past in the church setting.

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