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Die australischen History Wars und was dazu gehört: Grenzen historischer Anerkennung und Versöhnung

J. Olaf Kleist

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J. Olaf Kleist : The Australian History Wars and what belongs: Limits of Historical Recognition and Reconciliation.

In the last two decades of the 20th century Australian society debated its self-identity in relation to the aboriginal history in the so-called History Wars. The author asks under what circumstances – if at all – Aboriginals could be part of Australian history and society. The article summarizes briefly first how Aboriginals were regarded in Australian historiography since the mid-19th century and then the frontier conflicts both as backgrounds for the recognition and subsequent reconciliation process since the 1970s. The article pays particular attention to the debates surrounding the Bicentennial celebrations, about the Mabo decision, and about the Stolen Generations. The article follows the shifting historical arguments and political aims of both sides of the History Wars and of aboriginal interest groups concluding that all parties involved failed in their respective attempts, leaving the legacy of the History Wars and possibilities of reconciliation open.