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

By Helmut SCHMITZ (Editor), Helmut SCHMITZ

The re-emergence of the difficulty of wartime pain to the fore of German public discourse represents the best shift in German reminiscence tradition because the Historikerstreit of the Nineteen Eighties. The (international) cognizance and debates prompted through, for instance, W.G. Sebald's Luftkrieg und Literatur, G??nter Grass's Im Krebsgang, J?¶rg Friedrich's Der model testify to a metamorphosis in concentration clear of the sufferers of nationwide Socialism to the worrying adventure of the 'perpetrator collective' and its legacies. the quantity brings jointly German, English and Israeli literary and picture students and historians addressing concerns surrounding the illustration of German wartime being affected by the instant post-war interval to the current in literature, movie and public commemorative discourse. break 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 impression 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 discomfort and nationwide Socialism in Oliver Hirschbiegel's movie Der Untergang. desk of Contents** Introduction:** Helmut SCHMITZ: The go back of Wartime affliction in modern German reminiscence tradition, Literature and Film** 1. The Post-War Period** Gregor STREIM: Germans within the Lager. studies 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 infantrymen as sufferers in Post-War German Fi

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Additional info for A Nation of Victims? Representations of German Wartime Suffering from 1945 to the Present (German Monitor 67)

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B. nicht gesagt: ‘Dies ist ein Berg im Konzentrationslager soundso Hingemordeter’, sondern: ‘Dies war einmal eine Frau’. Alsbald macht sich unter denen, die Dokumente erwartet hatten, denn auch Unruhe bemerkbar. ] laut protestieren. ] 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.

This becomes particularly evident when one compares the contemporary thematic presence of memory with narratives of German ‘victim experience’ from the early years of the Federal Republic. On the one hand these sources confirm that ‘German suffering’ had indeed a literary presence during that period and was not just articulated in private conversations. On the other hand, the texts show that the remembering of suffering had been tied to similar arguments and conflicts as they determine the contemporary debate.

25 The texts which we are concerned with here encountered a political and discursive constellation where the focus on the ‘victims’ of de-Nazification increasingly displaced the confrontation with German responsibility for the crimes of the Third Reich. The prominence of these texts between 1950 and 1953 can thus not only be explained by the abolition of censorship. Rather, one has to read them as an attempt to fix the German perspective of victimhood securely in collective memory, supported by the ‘Vergangenheitspolitik’ of the young Federal Republic.

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