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  • Folklore Fights the Nazis: Humor in Occupied Norway, 1940–1945
  • Book
  • Kathleen Stokker
  • 1997
  • Published by: University of Wisconsin Press
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summary
    Armed with jokes, puns, and cartoons, Norwegians tried to keep their spirits high and foster the Resistance by poking fun at the occupying Germans during World War II. Despite a 1942 ordinance mandating death for the ridicule of Nazi soldiers, Norwegians attacked the occupying Nazis and their Norwegian collaborators by means of anecdotes, quips, insinuating personal ads, children’s stories, Christmas cards, mock postage stamps, and symbolic clothing.
    In relating this dramatic story, Kathleen Stokker draws upon her many interviews with survivors of the Occupation and upon the archives of the Norwegian Resistance Museum and the University of Oslo. Central to the book are four “joke notebooks” kept by women ranging in age from eleven to thirty, who found sufficient meaning in this humor to risk recording and preserving it. Stokker also cites details from wartime diaries of three other women from East, West, and North Norway. Placing the joking in historical, cultural, and psychological context, Stokker demonstrates how this seemingly frivolous humor in fact contributed to the development of a resistance mentality among an initially confused, paralyzed, and dispirited population, stunned by the German invasion of their neutral country.
    For this paperback edition, Stokker has added a new preface offering a comparative view of resistance through humor in neighboring Denmark.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. 1-2
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  1. To the Reader
  2. pp. 3-8
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. 9-12
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  1. The Diarists
  2. pp. 13-16
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 17-22
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  1. 1. The Humor of Contempt
  2. pp. 23-36
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  1. 2. Quisling and Hitler Jokes
  2. pp. 37-56
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  1. 3. Fraternizing with the Enemy: The Tyskertos
  2. pp. 57-70
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  1. 4. Humor's Response to Nazi Repression and Cruelty
  2. pp. 71-88
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  1. 5. Answering Back: The Growth of Anti-Nazi Solidarity
  2. pp. 89-104
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  1. 6. Adjusting the Image of the Ubermensch: Humor's Antidote to Nazi Propaganda
  2. pp. 105-124
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  1. 7. The Universality of Resistance and Absence of Nazi Support: Humor's View
  2. pp. 125-137
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  1. 8. Daily Life in Reality and in Humor
  2. pp. 138-159
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  1. 9. A Humorous Perspective on War Developments: From the Battle of Britain to the Flight of Rudolph Hess
  2. pp. 160-169
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  1. 10. Further Perspectives on War Developments: Mussolini, Rommel, and Operation Barbarossa
  2. pp. 170-184
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  1. 11. Germany's Bleak Prospects for Victory: High Hopes for Haakon's Return
  2. pp. 185-204
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  1. 12. The Function and Legacy of Occupation Humor
  2. pp. 205-214
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 215-254
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 255-262
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 263-273
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