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Refugees, Americans, and a German Town, 1945-1952
In 1936, the Nazi state created a massive military training site near Wildflecken, a tiny community in rural Bavaria. During the war, this base housed an industrial facility that drew forced laborers from all over conquered Europe. At war's end, the base became Europe's largest Displaced Persons camp, housing thousands of Polish refugees and German civilians fleeing Eastern Europe. As the Cold War intensified, the US Army occupied the base, removed the remaining refugees, and stayed until 1994. Strangers in the Wild Place tells the story of these tumultuous years through the eyes of these very different groups, who were forced to find ways to live together and form a functional society out of the ruins of Hitler's Reich.
World War II, The Holocaust, and Rural Judaism
Sussen Is Now Free of Jews offers a close look at the legacy of a few Jewish families from Sussen-a village in the District of Goppingen, which is located in the state of Baden Wurttemberg in southern Germany. The author, Gilya Gerda Schmidt, looks at this rural region through the lens of two Jewish families-the Langs and the Ottenheimers-who settled there in the early twentieth century. As a child, she shared with the Langs the same living space for just a few months. She remembers her mother's telling her of the Jews who lived in Sussen until the Holocaust. More than thirty years later, in a used bookstore in Knoxville, Tennessee, the author accidentally found documentation verifying the Jewish presence in a book about the surviving Jews of Wurttemberg. In it, she found confirmation that there had been Jews living in Sussen until the Holocaust. For the first time, she had the proof she needed to look into the reality behind this lingering mystery. Here began her detective-like journey to find out what happened to the Jews of Sussen. A decade of research into local and regional archives ensued, and this very penetrating study is the result. In it, the author attempts to shed light on not just the original question of what happened to the two families during the Holocaust but also on a host of other questions: What was it like to be Jewish in rural southern Germany a century ago? What were the Jewish traditions of this region? What were the relations between Jews and Christians before the Holocaust? And where did those family members who were able to escape or who survived the concentration camps go when they left Sussen or Goppingen? Few witnesses came forward, yet the documents in the archives spoke volumes. This micro-history records the not-so-romantic journey of two Jewish families who lived in the Fils Valley. The study also addresses issues of being an American prisoner of war; of resuming life after the Holocaust; of the bureaucratic nightmare of requisitions, restitution, and reparations; and of life in America. This unique book will be of interest to a general readership and is an important book for scholars in German and Holocaust studies.
An Artist's Coming of Age in the Third Reich
Berlin 1939. A few months after Kristallnacht, eighteen-year old Irene Spicker tries to flee to Belgium but ends up in a Nazi prison. Freed after a few weeks, she tries again—this time, in the dark of night, she successfully crosses the frontier. The Germans invaded Belgium, and Irene was forced into hiding. Constantly on the move, she worked as a farmhand, at one point using false identity papers. Arrested by the Gestapo, she sat in a cellar prison cell destined for transport to Auschwitz. To calm her fears, she made a small detailed drawing of her hand which was to save her life. Incarcerated in the concentration camp in Mechlen, she was assigned to paint signs, posters and numbers for her co-prisoners to wear around their necks. This is Irene Awret’s story of her first twenty-five years, from coming of age in a middle-class Jewish family to Mechlen where she met the young sculptor Azriel Awret, to liberation and freedom once more.
Copublished with Dryad Press.
Modern Architecture and Mass Society in Weimar Berlin
In Topographies of Class, Sabine Hake explores why Weimar Berlin has had such a powerful hold on the urban imagination. Approaching Weimar architectural culture from the perspective of mass discourse and class analysis, Hake examines the way in which architectural projects; debates; and representations in literature, photography, and film played a key role in establishing the terms under which contemporaries made sense of the rise of white-collar society. Focusing on the so-called stabilization period, Topographies of Class maps out complex relationships between modern architecture and mass society, from Martin Wagner's planning initiatives and Erich Mendelsohn's functionalist buildings, to the most famous Berlin texts of the period, Alfred Döblin's city novel Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929) and Walter Ruttmann's city film Berlin, Symphony of the Big City (1927). Hake draws on critical, philosophical, literary, photographic, and filmic texts to reconstruct the urban imagination at a key point in the history of German modernity, making this the first study---in English or German---to take an interdisciplinary approach to the rich architectural culture of Weimar Berlin. Sabine Hake is Professor and Texas Chair of German Literature and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of numerous books, including German National Cinema and Popular Cinema of the Third Reich. Cover art: Construction of the Karstadt Department Store at Hermannplatz, Berlin-Neukölln. Courtesy Bildarchiv Preeussischer Kulturbesitz / Art Resource, NY
Victims, Perpetrators, and Postwar Germans
"This book will provoke intellectually, ideologically, and emotionally loaded responses in the U.S., Germany, and Israel. Barnouw's critique of the 'enduringly narrow post-Holocaust perspective on German guilt and the ensuing fixation on German remorse' questions taboos that the political and cultural elites in those three countries would rather leave alone.... [Barnouw] makes us understand why the maintenance of a privileged memory of the Nazi period and World War II may not survive much longer." -- Manfred Henningsen, University of Hawai'i
In Germany, the reemergence of memories of wartime suffering is being met with intense public debate. In the United States, the recent translation and publication of Crabwalk by Günter Grass and The Natural History of Destruction by W. G. Sebald offer evidence that these submerged memories are surfacing.
Taking account of these developments, Barnouw examines this debate about the validity and importance of German memories of war and the events that have occasioned it. Steering her path between the notions of "victim" and "perpetrator," Barnouw seeks a place where acknowledgment of both the horror of Auschwitz and the suffering of the non-Jewish Germans can, together, create a more complete historical remembrance for postwar generations.
Cinemas of Masculinity and Youth
The development of young masculine sexuality is still a cultural taboo of sorts, and until now there has been little scholarship available that discusses aspects of boyhood and its relation to cinema—in particular, the process whereby masculinities are socially, historically, economically, aesthetically, and psychologically created in male coming-of-age as depicted onscreen. Where the Boys Are: Cinemas of Masculinity and Youth scrutinizes a broad corpus of films about boyhood within a cross-genre, trans-historical, cross-authorial, and cross-cultural framework. Unlike the filmic investigations before it, this book is not restricted to examining boys as agents of violence, aggression, and withdrawal; or as routinely glossed agents of romance or victims of comedic ridicule. Where the Boys Are is divided into three sections: Archetypes and Facades includes essays that examine historically central typifications of boyhood, the most accessible categories for seeing and understanding boy characters; essays in Bonds and Beautifications analyze the ways boys establish images of themselves and identify with one another in affiliation or love; and essays in Struggles and Redefinitions explore the way boys are depicted in film as aligning themselves in relation to people, forces, ideas, and situations. Using the most current and diverse critical methods, Where the Boys Are is a crucial resource for film scholars and students at any level, and is also the perfect companion to Gateward and Pomerance’s Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice: Cinemas of Girlhood (Wayne State University Press, 2002).
Vol. 1 (1985) through current issue.
Women in German Yearbook is a refereed publication presenting a wide range of feminist approaches to all aspects of German literature, culture, and language, including pedagogy. Reflecting the interdisciplinary perspectives that inform feminist German studies, each issue contains critical inquiries employing gender and other analytical categories to examine the work, history, life, literature, and arts of the German-speaking world.
Trauma and Displacement in Postwar German Jewish Writers
When Paul Celan was charged with plagiarism in 1960, the ensuing public debate in West Germany threw the poet into a major personal crisis even though most German critics immediately came to his defense. This crisis coincided with a transformative moment in the history of Holocaust remembrance, its first generational reimagining in the wake of a number of highly publicized criminal trials. Words from Abroad takes its lead from this disjunction between public ritual and private crisis to chart the emergence of a new literary diaspora, examining German Jewish writers who were dislocated in the course of World War II and began rewriting their own displacement more than a decade after the war. The idea of diaspora had ceased to be a constructive element of Jewish culture in Germany during the nineteenth-century process of emancipation and assimilation, though this book argues that it becomes crucial in articulating the possibility of German Jewish identity after the Holocaust. Along with the works of Paul Celan, Words from Abroad examines selected German Jewish writers such as Peter Weiss and Nelly Sachs. The study of these authors is framed by theoretical reflections on the play of distance and proximity in German Jewish intellectuals after the Holocaust, including Theodor W. Adorno, Jean Améry, and Günther Anders. Drawing on postcolonial theory, diaspora studies, trauma theory, and psychoanalytical theory, author Katja Garloff offers an original and nuanced reading of the way in which these writers, in the wake of the Holocaust, experienced and variously created a vision of dispersion as both traumatic and productive. Words from Abroad is an important tool in investigating the works of these German Jewish writers and thinkers, but it is also a contribution to the interdisciplinary scholarship on trauma and displacement itself.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Saar river valley was one of the three most productive heavy industrial regions in Germany and one of the main reference points for national debates over the organization of work in large-scale industry. Among Germany's leading opponents of trade unions, Saar employers were revered for their system of factory organization, which was both authoritarian and paternalistic, stressing discipline and punitive measures and seeking to regulate behavior on and off the job. In its repressive and beneficent dimensions, the Saar system provided a model for state labor and welfare policy during much of the 1880s and 1890s. Dennis Sweeney examines the relationship between labor relations in heavy industry and public life in the Saar as a means of tracing some of the wider political-ideological changes of the era. Focusing on the changing discourses, representations, and institutions that gave shape and meaning to factory work and labor conflict in the Saar, Work, Race, and the Emergence of Radical Right Corporatism in Imperial Germany demonstrates the ways in which Saar factory culture and labor relations were constituted in wider fields of public discourse and anchored in the institutions of the local-regional public sphere and the German state. Of particular importance is the gradual transition in the Saar from a paternalistic workplace to a corporatist factory regime, a change that brought with it an authoritarian vision that ultimately converged with core elements in the ideological discourses of the German radical Right, including the National Socialists. This volume will be of interest to scholars and students of labor, industrial organization, ideology and political culture, and the genealogies of Nazism. Dennis Sweeney is Associate Professor of History at the University of Alberta. "The author makes a very insightful argument about the emergence of a kind of scientific racism within the new corporatism, one that brings biopolitics into German industry prior to the rise of National Socialism. This book will be an important contribution to the history of Imperial Germany, and has much potential to appeal to audiences in other fields of history." ---Andrew Zimmerman, George Washington University