The mode of perception of National Socialism and its positioning in the history of Germany played a fundamental role in the development of the country's political culture. The establishment of two German states founded on different political systems entailed far reaching consequences for the cultural memory of the divided society. The contradiction inherent in the construction of a post-war order of Germans consisted in the discrepancy between a negative, discredited past and the need for an acceptable image in order to build a positive identity of the new state. From the onset, GDR propaganda developed a strategy of overcoming the past, based on the ideology of antifascism. It gave the multitudes embroiled in Nazism the opportunity to free themselves from a feeling of guilt and integrated the society around future oriented slogans in confrontation with the West German state.
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