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Russia and Germany as Entangled Histories, 1914–1945
Russia and Germany have had a long history of significant cultural, political, and economic exchange. Despite these beneficial interactions, stereotypes of the alien Other persisted. Germans perceived Russia as a vast frontier with unlimited potential, yet infused with an “Asianness” that explained its backwardness and despotic leadership. Russians admired German advances in science, government, and philosophy, but saw their people as lifeless and obsessed with order. Fascination and Enmity presents an original transnational history of the two nations during the critical era of the world wars. By examining the mutual perceptions and misperceptions within each country, the contributors reveal the psyche of the Russian-German dynamic and its use as a powerful political and cultural tool. Through accounts of fellow travelers, POWs, war correspondents, soldiers on the front, propagandists, revolutionaries, the Comintern, and wartime and postwar occupations, the contributors analyze the kinetics of the Russian-German exchange and the perceptions drawn from these encounters. The result is a highly engaging chronicle of the complex entanglements of two world powers through the great wars of the twentieth century.
Translator-Authors in the Age of Goethe
The turn of the nineteenth century was a particularly fertile period in the history of translation theory and practice. With an unprecedented number of works being carefully translated and scrutinized, this era saw a definite shift in the dominant mode of translation. Many translators began attempting, for the first time, to communicate the formal characteristics, linguistic features, and cultural contexts of the original text while minimizing the paraphrasing that distorted most eighteenth-century translations. As soon as these new rules became the norm, authorial translators—defined not by virtue of being authors in their own right but by the liberties they took in their translations—emerged to challenge them, altering translated texts in such a way as to bring them into line with the artistic and thematic concerns displayed in the translators’ own “original” work. In the process, authorial translators implicitly declared translation an art form and explicitly incorporated it into their theoretical programs for the poetic arts. Foreign Words provides a detailed account of translation practice and theory throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, linking the work of actual translators to the theories of translation articulated by Goethe, Wilhelm von Humboldt, and, above all, Friedrich Schleiermacher. Employing a variety of critical approaches, author Susan Bernofsky discusses in depth the work of Kleist, Hölderlin, and Goethe, whose virtuoso translations raise issues that serve to delineate a theory of translation that has relevance at the turn of the twenty-first century as well. Combining a broad historical approach with individual readings of the work of several different translators, Foreign Words paints a full picture of translation during the Age of Goethe and provides all scholars of translation theory with an important new perspective.
The German Soldier in World War II
" Alois Dwenger, writing from the front in May of 1942, complained that people forgot “the actions of simple soldiers….I believe that true heroism lies in bearing this dreadful everyday life.” In exploring the reality of the Landser, the average German soldier in World War II, through letters, diaries, memoirs, and oral histories, Stephen G. Fritz provides the definitive account of the everyday war of the German front soldier. The personal documents of these soldiers, most from the Russian front, where the majority of German infantrymen saw service, paint a richly textured portrait of the Landser that illustrates the complexity and paradox of his daily life. Although clinging to a self-image as a decent fellow, the German soldier nonetheless committed terrible crimes in the name of National Socialism. When the war was finally over, and his country lay in ruins, the Landser faced a bitter truth: all his exertions and sacrifices had been in the name of a deplorable regime that had committed unprecedented crimes. With chapters on training, images of combat, living conditions, combat stress, the personal sensations of war, the bonds of comradeship, and ideology and motivation, Fritz offers a sense of immediacy and intimacy, revealing war through the eyes of these self-styled “little men.” A fascinating look at the day-to-day life of German soldiers, this is a book not about war but about men. It will be vitally important for anyone interested in World War II, German history, or the experiences of common soldiers throughout the world.
German History from the Margins offers new ways of thinking about ethnic and religious minorities and other outsiders in modern German history. Many established paradigms of German history are challenged by the contributors' new and often provocative findings, including evidence of the striking cosmopolitanism of Germany's 19th-century eastern border communities; German Jewry's sophisticated appropriation of the discourse of tribe and race; the unexpected absence of antisemitism in Weimar's campaign against smut; the Nazi embrace of purportedly "Jewish" sexual behavior; and post-war West Germany's struggles with ethnic and racial minorities despite its avowed liberalism. Germany's minorities have always been active partners in defining what it is to be German, and even after 1945, despite the legacy of the Nazis' murderous destructiveness, German society continues to be characterized by ethnic and cultural diversity.
Crisis and Recovery in Postwar Culture
The German Patient takes an original look at fascist constructions of health and illness, arguing that the idea of a healthy "national body"---propagated by the Nazis as justification for the brutal elimination of various unwanted populations---continued to shape post-1945 discussions about the state of national culture. Through an examination of literature, film, and popular media of the era, Jennifer M. Kapczynski demonstrates the ways in which postwar German thinkers inverted the illness metaphor, portraying fascism as a national malady and the nation as a body struggling to recover. Yet, in working to heal the German wounds of war and restore national vigor through the excising of "sick" elements, artists and writers often betrayed a troubling affinity for the very biopolitical rhetoric they were struggling against. Through its exploration of the discourse of collective illness, The German Patient tells a larger story about ideological continuities in pre- and post-1945 German culture. Jennifer M. Kapczynski is Assistant Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Washington University in St. Louis. She is the coeditor of the anthology A New History of German Cinema. Cover art: From The Murderers Are Among Us (1946). Reprinted courtesy of the Deutsche Kinemathek. "A highly evocative work of meticulous scholarship, Kapczynski's deftly argued German Patient advances the current revaluation of Germany's postwar reconstruction in wholly original and even exciting ways: its insights into discussions of collective sickness and health resonate well beyond postwar Germany." ---Jaimey Fischer, University of California, Davis "The German Patient provides an important historical backdrop and a richly specific cultural context for thinking about German guilt and responsibility after Hitler. An eminently readable and engaging text." ---Johannes von Moltke, University of Michigan "This is a polished, eloquently written, and highly informative study speaking to the most pressing debates in contemporary Germany. The German Patient will be essential reading for anyone interested in mass death, genocide, and memory." ---Paul Lerner, University of Southern California
Vol. 35 (2012) through current issue
German Studies Review (GSR) is the scholarly journal of the German Studies Association (GSA), the worldâs largest academic association devoted to the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary study of the German-speaking countries. Recent issues have covered topics from Alexander von Humboldt and postcolonial theory to Krupp housing estates in the Ruhr valley to the popularity of German gangsta rap. A peer-reviewed journal, GSR includes articles and book reviews on the history, literature, culture, and politics of the German-speaking areas of Europe encompassing primarily, but not exclusively, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
This volume provides an historical overview of the relationship between Germany, German speakers, and successive waves of German colonists with their eastern neighbors over the period from the Middle Ages to the present. The collection of essays by 28 leading experts includes the most recent scholarship together with fresh perspectives on the subject.
A Post-Auschwitz Ordeal
Historian Gilad Margalit eloquently fills a tragic gap in the historical record with this sweeping examination of the plight of Gypsies in Germany before, during, and since the era of the Third Reich.
Germany and Its Gypsies reveals the painful record of the official treatment of the German Gypsies, a people whose future, in the shadow of Auschwitz, remains uncertain. Margalit follows the story from the heightened racism of the nineteenth century to the National Socialist genocidal policies that resulted in the murder of most German Gypsies, from the shifting attitudes in the two Germanys in 1945 through reunification and up to the present day.
Drawing upon a rich variety of sources, Margalit considers the pivotal historic events, legal arguments, debates, and changing attitudes toward the status of the German Gypsies and shines a vitally important light upon the issue of ethnic groups and their victimization in society. The result is a powerful and unforgettable testament.
Competitive Imperialism, 1821-1929
Using previously untapped resources including private collections,
the records of cultural institutions, and federal and state government
archives, Schoonover analyzes the German role in Central American domestic
and international relations.
Of the four countries most active in independent Central America-Britain,
the United States, France, and Germany- historians know the least about
the full extent of the involvement of the Germans.
German colonial expansion was based on its position as an industrialized
state seeking economic well-being and security in a growing world market.
German leaders were quick to recognize that ties to the cheap labor of
overseas countries could compensate for some of the costs and burdens of
conceding material and social privileges to their domestic labor force.
The Central American societies possessed limited resource bases; smaller
and poorly educated populations; and less capital, communications, and
technological development than Germany. They saw the borrowing of development
as a key to their social, economic, and political progress. Wary Central
American leaders also saw the influx of German industrialists as assurance
against excessive U.S. presence in their political economies and cultures.
Although the simplistic bargain to trade economic development for cheap
labor appeared to succeed in the short term, complex issues of German domestic
unemployment and social disorder filtered to Central American countries
and added to their own burdens. By 1929, Germany had recovered most of
its pre-World War I economic position.