‘The process of coming to terms with the past’.
“Vergangenheitsbewältigung means “public debate within a country on a problematic period of its recent history”. Regarding Germany, the ‘problematic period’ refers to the Nazi regime and the systematic murder of around 6,000,000 Jews.” -Pi Media
“This coping with the past is the public response of the state and society to the activities of the predecessor state, which is regarded as a regime of injustice. This response occurs within a context of ‘a cult of guilt’ [Schuldkult]. The term first appeared in the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1950s in connection with the period between 1933 and 1945… From 1990 the term is also used in relation to the examination of the injustice committed by the socialist dictatorship in the former GDR… More recently, the original German concept of dealing with the past has been transferred to similar activities with which other states or societies evaluate their own history.”
[How do we South Africans deal with their own Vergangenheitsbewältigung?]
– Metapedia (translated from the German: http://de.metapedia.org/wiki/Vergangenheitsbewältigung)