Playing with the ‘Erbe’: The Legacy of the Songs of the 1848 Revolution in the GDR

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


After the twelve-year rupture caused by the Nazis, in the Soviet zone after 1945 attempts were made to reconnect with the traditions of workers’ songs and critical folk songs that were viewed as the cultural heritage of the communist movement. One of these ‘repertoires’ of song was that of the 1848 Revolution. In the 1950s GDR researchers such as the Germanist Bruno Kaiser, the musicologist Inge Lammel and in particular the folklorist Wolfgang Steinitz made substantial contributions to the collecting and publication of the 1848 songs. Their work provided an important reference point for the singers of the German folk song revival in the GDR from the late 1970s onwards. As the cases of groups such as Folkländer and Wacholder showed, theirs was a particularly creative appropriation of the revolutionary Erbe that involved performing protest songs of the past as if they were criticising the present.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-310
Number of pages16
JournalGerman Life and Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'Playing with the ‘Erbe’: The Legacy of the Songs of the 1848 Revolution in the GDR'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this