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13. Politische Rhetorik in der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik

Steffen Pappert

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the rhetoric in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). It is shown to what extent one can actually describe the rhetoric - in the case of the GDR - as a persuasive instrument. The starting-point of this investigation is the attempt of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) to legitimatise their authority by means of centralistic language politics. With reference to political conditions in East Germany, it will be shown that the public communication of the GDR possessed specific features which are different to those of a pluralistic society. Essentially, these characteristics are the comprehensive politisation of society that led to a communicative de-differentiation as well as the ritualisation of public discourse.

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