A Nation of Victims? Representations of German Wartime by Helmut SCHMITZ (Editor), Helmut SCHMITZ

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By Helmut SCHMITZ (Editor), Helmut SCHMITZ

The re-emergence of the problem of wartime anguish to the fore of German public discourse represents the best shift in German reminiscence tradition because the Historikerstreit of the Eighties. The (international) consciousness and debates prompted by way of, for instance, W.G. Sebald's Luftkrieg und Literatur, G??nter Grass's Im Krebsgang, J?¶rg Friedrich's Der model testify to a transformation in concentration clear of the sufferers of nationwide Socialism to the anxious adventure of the 'perpetrator collective' and its legacies. the quantity brings jointly German, English and Israeli literary and movie students and historians addressing concerns surrounding the illustration of German wartime being affected by the speedy post-war interval to the current in literature, movie and public commemorative discourse. cut up into 4 sections, the quantity discusses the illustration of Germans as sufferers in post-war literature and movie, the present reminiscence politics of the Bund der Vertriebenen, the general public commemoration of the air raids on Hamburg and Dresden and their illustration in movie, images, historiography and literature, the effect and reception of W.G. Sebald's Luftkrieg und Literatur, the illustration of flight and expulsion in modern writing, the matter of empathy in representations of Germans as sufferers and the illustration of agony and nationwide Socialism in Oliver Hirschbiegel's movie Der Untergang. desk of Contents** Introduction:** Helmut SCHMITZ: The go back of Wartime pain in modern German reminiscence tradition, Literature and Film** 1. The Post-War Period** Gregor STREIM: Germans within the Lager. stories and Narratives approximately Imprisonment in Post-War Allied Internment Camps** Hans-Joachim HAHN: 'Die, von denen guy erz?¤hlt hat, dass sie die kleinen Kinder schlachten.' Deutsche**Leiderfahrung und Bilder von Juden in der deutschen Kultur nach 1945. Zu einigen Texten Wolfgang Weyrauchs** Helen WOLFENDEN: The illustration of Wehrmacht squaddies as sufferers in Post-War German Fi

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If the internees are victims, law and morality are not on the side of the victor; none of the narratives leaves its readers in any doubt that the internment has no legal and moral basis and is thus totally arbitrary. The authors spend a lot of narrative energy on discrediting the reasons and motives of the occupation and the internment. Numerous scenes of interrogation portray in drastic and sometimes comic fashion how CIC officers grill the German prisoners only because they adhere to the wrong ‘creed’, one that is not western.

See also Harald Welzer, ‘Schön unscharf. Über die Konjunktur der Familien- und Generationenromane,’ Mittelweg 36, 1 (2004), 53-64. 63 See for example Dominick LaCapra who argues that the ‘grey zone’ (Primo Levi) of victims becoming involved in the act of extermination as, for example, the Jewish Kapos in the death camps or the Jewish police in the Ghettos, does not extend to the perpetrator side. LaCapra, pp. 79-80. 64 This is visible from Daniel Fulda’s use of the term ‘Opfer’ as denoting someone suffering violence: ‘Opfer ist im Sprachgebrauch des vorliegenden Beitrages, wer Gewalt erleidet,’ Fulda, p.

Diese Zusammenstellung, nicht würdig der Tragödie, selbst der Verbrechen, die sie behauptet, bewies sie nicht so unzweideutig, daß sie überzeugen konnte. ] Sie wendet sich an die niedrigsten Instinkte, peitscht – unter Mißbrauch sakraler Musik – mit unlauteren Mitteln zum Haß auf, dient aber letztlich nicht der Erkenntnis. 47 In her study of the use of photographs in the re-education campaign Claudia Brink has noted that the pictures from the concentration camps were seen by many Germans as an instrument to establish the thesis of collective guilt and were subsequently rejected 48 This is confirmed by the texts discussed here.

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