Life after Death: Approaches to a Cultural and Social History of Europe During the 1940s and 1950s (Publications of the German Historical Institute)
By: Dirk Schumann (editor), Richard Bessel (editor)Paperback
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This collection of essays offers a novel approach to the cultural and social history of Europe after the Second World War. In a shift of perspective, it does not conceive of the impressive economic and political stability of the postwar era as a quasi-natural return to previous patterns of societal development but approaches it as an attempt to establish 'normality' upon the lingering memories of experiencing violence on a hitherto unprecedented scale. It views the relationship of the violence of the 1940s to the apparent 'normality' and stability of the 1950s as a key to understanding the history of post-war Europe. While the history of post-war Germany naturally looms large in this collection, the essays deal with countries across Western and Central Europe, offer comparative perspectives on their subjects, and draw upon a wide range of primary and secondary source material.
Introduction: violence, normality, and the construction of postwar Europe Richard Bessel and Dirk Schumann; 1. Post-traumatic stress disorder and World War II: can a psychiatric concept help us understand postwar society? Alice Forster and Birgit Beck; 2. Between pain and silence: remembering the victims of violence in Germany after 1949 Sabine Behrenbeck; 3. Paths of normalization after the persecution of the Jews: the Netherlands, France, and West Germany in the 1950s Ido De Haan; 4. Trauma, memory and motherhood: Germans and Jewish displaced persons in post-Nazi Germany, 1945-9 Atina Grossman; 5. Memory and the narrative of rape in Budapest and Vienna in 1945 Andrea Peto; 6. 'Going home': the personal adjustment of British and American servicemen after the war Joanna Bourke; 7. Desperately seeking normality: sex and marriage in the wake of war Dagmar Herzog; 8. Family life and 'normality' in postwar British culture Pat Thane; 9. Continuities and discontinuities of consumer mentality in West Germany in the 1950s Michael Wildt; 10. 'Strengthened and purified through ordeal by fire': ecclesiastical triumphalism in the ruins of Europe Damian van Melis; 11. The nationalism of victimhood: selective violence and national grief in western Europe, 1940-60 Pieter Lagrou; 12. Italy after fascism: the predicament of dominant narratives Donald Sasson; 13. The politics of post-fascist aesthetics: 1950s west and east German industrial design Paul Betts; 14. Dissonance, normality, and the historical method: why did some Germans think of Tourism after May 8, 1945? Alon Confino.
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- ID: 9780521009225
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