Full text: Grenzen und Grenzregionen (22)

region between Anglo-Saxons and Scots: Geoffrey W.S. Barrow (Edinburgh), one 
of the greatest authorities on these problems in Great Britain, dealt with the growth 
and structure of this border region during the Middle Ages under linguistic and 
political-historical aspects, as well as from the point of view of the history of 
settlements. One important result of all these contributions is that linear borders, if 
they developed at all, derived from disperse, i.e., non-linear structures. 
The last group of lectures dealt intensively with the effects of political borders on 
the psycho-social, economic, cultural and literary domains and with the prospects 
for the abolition of borders. Heiko Riedel (Saarbrücken), geographer and 
psychologist, used sociological-empiricist methods to analyse "The spatial 
perception of a national border: the border region of the Saar and Lorraine". The 
historian Rolf Wittenbrock (Saarbrücken) described the urban development in the 
"Reichsland" Elsaß-Lothringen, integrated into the German Empire in 1871, a 
development that strikes the eye as being different in Strasbourg, Metz and also in 
smaller towns, because it depended on political processes and the particular course 
of the border, but which also had an effect on the areas beyond the border. In his 
lecture "Borders in literature. Methods and motives of dissimilation and 
assimilation", Gerhard Schmidt-Henkel (Saarbrücken) offered new sources and an 
approach similar in its way to that of the geographer Riedel, for perceiving 
borders. Not only are borders reflected in the literary works of a border region 
(which, artistically speaking, are not always of the highest quality), but also, and 
perhaps often even more clearly, in the literature of those who cross borders (such 
as Uwe Johnson) who put the psychic reality of the border into words and make the 
reader aware of it. 
(translated by Gerhard E. H. Meier) 

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