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ix This book would not exist without the help, guidance, and support of a great many people. For several years, friends, family, and colleagues have had to endure my decidedly Wildflecken-centric view of modern German history. Mostly, they made it possible for me to research, write, and publish a book about a subject that I still find fresh, compelling, and fascinating. The influence of Konrad H. Jarausch looms large over my efforts to understand German history. His comments at an early stage, along with encouragmentbyGerhardWeinbergandNormanGoda,helpedtomove the project forward. Laura Hilton and Kathy Nawyn were indispendible and patient guides to, respectively, the complexities of the DP camp system and the vagaries of the National Archives. Michael Meng has been a great friend and an intellectual sparring partner who forced me to refine many of my arguments long before they got to print. FundingforthisprojectcamefromtheGermanAcademicExchange Service, German Historical Institute–Washington, College of Liberal ArtsatTexasA&M,OfficeoftheVicePresidentforResearch,Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs, and the Race and Ethnic Studies Institute . The Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States HolocaustMemorialMuseumbothfundedpartofmyresearchandgave me a congenial spot to work. My thanks especially to Dieter Kuntz, Nicole Frechette, Vincent Slatt, and Eric Steinhart. Research travel for this project took me to lots of interesting places and gave me the chance to work with some really fascinating people. In Würzburg, Ingrid Heeg-Engelhart at the Staatsarchiv Würzburg was a Acknowledgments x Acknowledgments great help making my way through a mass of documentation. Jochen Achilles and Birgit Daewes made my time in the city both productive and a lot of fun. Klaus and Rosemarie Zepke were wonderfully hospitable and generous guides to the place and its history. Andrea Sinn’s friendship helped to make Munich an even more terrific place to work. Susanne Urban and Dieter Steinertwere immensely helpfulinBad Arolsen ,whilePanikosPanayiwasanamiablecompanionattheBundesarchiv inFreiburg.MichaelBrodheadhelpedmeduringmytriptotheUSArmy Corps of Engineers Archive. The day I arrived on my first visit to Wildflecken, I missed a bus connection, was offered a ride by strangers, and soon found myself invited to a family reunion. What started as a research trip turned into an unforgettable experience with wonderful people. Heinz Leitsch has helpedthisprojectalongincountlessways.PeterHeilandBürgermeister Alfred Schrenk were terrific hosts in the local archive. Walter Koempel and Norbert Rueckel offered their time and expertise. Werner and Evelyn Kirchner made me welcome (and kept me well fed) at the Hotel Würzburger Hof. Volker and Maria Zinn of the Kreuzberg-Apotheke opened their home for me and the rest of the NordicTreff Wildflecken, whowelcomedmeasatemporaryteammateandtreatedmetoa Kulturabend .Ialsohavetothankthemanypeoplearoundtheworldwhoinhabit a virtual community of Wildflecken. Whether as former residents of the DP camp, locals who later emigrated, or American soldiers who came after the story I tell here came to an end, these people have given their time to tell me their stories. Special thanks to Janie Michelli, Andrew Zdanowicz, Chester Wolkonowski, and Dale Pluciennik. The Department of History at Texas A&M continues to be great place to teach and write history. This has much to do with the successive leadership of Walter Buenger and David Vaught, as well as that of Deans CharlesJohnsonandJoséLuisBermúdez.R.J.Q.Adams,ChipDawson, Sylvia Hoffert, Walter Kamphoefner, Hoi-eun Kim, Arnold Krammer, Brian Linn, and the members of the Faculty Colloquium series have all been greatly helpful in this process. Chuck Grear did a terrific job with the map. Graduate and undergraduate students have consistently challenged me to find ways to explain the dark heart of Europe’s twentieth century in all its complexities. Special thanks to Jared Donnelly, who Acknowledgments xi camethroughwithsomelast-minutehelpinlocatingaphoto.Muldoon’s Coffee Shopin College Station keptmecaffeinated and didn’tobject as I wrote much of the first draft of this book at a table in the back. Leslie, Rowan, and Cora have been the center of my world throughout this process. This book would not exist without their love, support, and patience. Good friends have helped to see this project through, hosted me on various trips, and been there for my family while I was away. Special thanks to Matt Woods, Tasha Dubriwny, and Zariana Woods; Dario Vittori; Jonathan L’Hommedieu; Bruce Baker; Norm Leung; Jason, Meg, and Nathan Savage; and Mike, Anna, and Oscar Anderson.Myextendedfamilyhasbeenasourceofsupportandcomfort through all the moves and changes of the past decade. My grandmother, Virginia Ramsey, died as I finished work on this book.Mymother,CatherineKane,hasbattledillnesswithextraordinary courage and strength through much of the time I have been writing. Finally, I want to honor the memory of Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns, who lost his life...


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