Germany; family; memory; history; domesticity; middle class




This article examines the ways in which the nineteenth-century German middle class turned their homes into sites of family memory as part of a vibrant vernacular memory. The highly segmented organization of middle-class homes contributed to and grew out of this memory culture. The divisions of domestic space ascribed heightened meaning to particular zones, especially festive spaces like the “Christmas room.” Families filled domestic spaces with memory, putting family portraits and heirlooms on prominent display in the home. Middle-class Germans also filled the pages of personal memoirs with recollections of their childhood homes that almost always portrayed an idyllic environment. Ultimately, this article argues that family memory offers a window into the emotional universe of the nineteenth-century bourgeoisie and that the sanitizing narratives of family memory were used to impart a sense of stability and control.

Original Citation

Tebbe, J. (2008). Landscapes of Remembrance: Home and Memory in the Nineteenth-Century Bürgertum: Journal of Family History.

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