Aired: March 19, 2011

Germany After World War II

New research examines how postwar German history textbooks addressed the traumatic events of the Second World War.  Brian Puaca (Christopher Newport University) explores how the textbooks first depicted Germans as victims and how these books gradually incorporated a frank and honest account of National Socialism and Nazi atrocities. He challenges those who have argued that the Germans have long repressed their memories of the Second World War – both in terms of their own suffering and the crimes committed in their name.  Also: It is generally thought that German intellectuals did not start examining the Nazi period until the 1960s, some twenty years after World War II.  However, Mark Clark (University of Virginia’s College at Wise) identifies four German intellectuals—Thomas Mann, Karl Jaspers, Friedrich Meinecke, and Bertolt Brecht—whose work directly confronted the disastrous rule of the Third Reich immediately after the war.


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