War Guilt and World Politics After World War II

Author: Thomas U. Berger
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 110702160X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This book describes how the states in post-1945 Austria, Germany, and Japan have tried to deal with the legacy of the Second World War and how their policies have affected their relations with other countries in the region. It focuses on the intersection of national interest and popular emotions and argues that it is possible to reconcile over historical issues, but that to do so can exact a considerable political cost.

Guilt Suffering and Memory

Author: Gilad Margalit
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253353769
Format: PDF, Docs
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Germany's changing historical memory of World War II and its aftermath, as reflected in the official and public remembrance of the German war dead, exposes an unresolved tension between a discourse of guilt and a discourse of national suffering and victimization. In Germany, under the auspices of the Allied occupation, remembrance honored the victims of the Nazis and those who had fought against the regime. After the partition of Germany, a new culture emerged, memorializing the civilian dead and fallen German soldiers. Despite the fierce ideological rivalry between East and West Germany, however, certain similarities existed. The political leaderships who shaped these cultures ceased to confront their citizens with the question of guilt and instead depicted the German people as victims. In Guilt, Suffering, and Memory -- whose Israeli edition was awarded the Jacob Bahat Prize for best original book -- Gilad Margalit discusses the official remembrance ceremonies for the German war dead, the memorials erected to commemorate them, the public discussions of these disparate cultures, and their treatment in postwar German literature and film.

The Politics of Retribution in Europe

Author: István Deák
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400832055
Format: PDF, Docs
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The presentation of Europe's immediate historical past has quite dramatically changed. Conventional depictions of occupation and collaboration in World War II, of wartime resistance and post-war renewal, provided the familiar backdrop against which the chronicle of post-war Europe has mostly been told. Within these often ritualistic presentations, it was possible to conceal the fact that not only were the majority of people in Hitler's Europe not resistance fighters but millions actively co-operated with and many millions more rather easily accommodated to Nazi rule. Moreover, after the war, those who judged former collaborators were sometimes themselves former collaborators. Many people became innocent victims of retribution, while others--among them notorious war criminals--escaped punishment. Nonetheless, the process of retribution was not useless but rather a historically unique effort to purify the continent of the many sins Europeans had committed. This book sheds light on the collective amnesia that overtook European governments and peoples regarding their own responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity--an amnesia that has only recently begun to dissipate as a result of often painful searching across the continent. In inspiring essays, a group of internationally renowned scholars unravels the moral and political choices facing European governments in the war's aftermath: how to punish the guilty, how to decide who was guilty of what, how to convert often unspeakable and conflicted war experiences and memories into serviceable, even uplifting accounts of national history. In short, these scholars explore how the drama of the immediate past was (and was not) successfully "overcome." Through their comparative and transnational emphasis, they also illuminate the division between eastern and western Europe, locating its origins both in the war and in post-war domestic and international affairs. Here, as in their discussion of collaborators' trials, the authors lay bare the roots of the many unresolved and painful memories clouding present-day Europe. Contributors are Brad Abrams, Martin Conway, Sarah Farmer, Luc Huyse, László Karsai, Mark Mazower, and Peter Romijn, as well as the editors. Taken separately, their essays are significant contributions to the contemporary history of several European countries. Taken together, they represent an original and pathbreaking account of a formative moment in the shaping of Europe at the dawn of a new millennium.

The Wages of Guilt

Author: Ian Buruma
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590178599
Format: PDF, ePub
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In this now classic book, internationally famed journalist Ian Buruma examines how Germany and Japan have attempted to come to terms with their conduct during World War II—a war that they aggressively began and humiliatingly lost, and in the course of which they committed monstrous war crimes. As he travels through both countries, to Berlin and Tokyo, Hiroshima and Auschwitz, he encounters people who are remarkably honest in confronting the past and others who astonish by their evasions of responsibility, some who wish to forget the past and others who wish to use it as a warning against the resurgence of militarism. Buruma explores these contrasting responses to the war and the two countries’ very different ways of memorializing its atrocities, as well as the ways in which political movements, government policies, literature, and art have been shaped by its shadow. Today, seventy years after the end of the war, he finds that while the Germans have for the most part coped with the darkest period of their history, the Japanese remain haunted by historical controversies that should have been resolved long ago. Sensitive yet unsparing, complex and unsettling, this is a profound study of how people face up to or deny terrible legacies of guilt and shame.

Savage Continent

Author: Keith Lowe
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1250015049
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The Second World War might have officially ended in May 1945, but in reality it rumbled on for another ten years... The end of the Second World War in Europe is one of the twentieth century's most iconic moments. It is fondly remembered as a time when cheering crowds filled the streets, danced, drank and made love until the small hours. These images of victory and celebration are so strong in our minds that the period of anarchy and civil war that followed has been forgotten. Across Europe, landscapes had been ravaged, entire cities razed and more than thirty million people had been killed in the war. The institutions that we now take for granted - such as the police, the media, transport, local and national government - were either entirely absent or hopelessly compromised. Crime rates were soaring, economies collapsing, and the European population was hovering on the brink of starvation. In Savage Continent, Keith Lowe describes a continent still racked by violence, where large sections of the population had yet to accept that the war was over. Individuals, communities and sometimes whole nations sought vengeance for the wrongs that had been done to them during the war. Germans and collaborators everywhere were rounded up, tormented and summarily executed. Concentration camps were reopened and filled with new victims who were tortured and starved. Violent anti-Semitism was reborn, sparking murders and new pogroms across Europe. Massacres were an integral part of the chaos and in some places – particularly Greece, Yugoslavia and Poland, as well as parts of Italy and France – they led to brutal civil wars. In some of the greatest acts of ethnic cleansing the world has ever seen, tens of millions were expelled from their ancestral homelands, often with the implicit blessing of the Allied authorities. Savage Continent is the story of post WWII Europe, in all its ugly detail, from the end of the war right up until the establishment of an uneasy stability across Europe towards the end of the 1940s. Based principally on primary sources from a dozen countries, Savage Continent is a frightening and thrilling chronicle of a world gone mad, the standard history of post WWII Europe for years to come.

Walking Since Daybreak

Author: Modris Eksteins
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780618082315
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Drawing on the personal experiences of members of the his own family, this poignant history of the Baltic nations describes their brief independence after World War I, the devastation of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia during World War II, and their annexation into the Soviet Union. 15,000 first printing.

Confronting Memories of World War II

Author: Daniel Chirot
Publisher: University of Washington Press
ISBN: 9780295993454
Format: PDF, Docs
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This collection brings together experts from a variety of disciplines and perspectives to explore the often overlooked commonalities between European and Asian handling of memories and reflections about guilt. These commonalities suggest new understandings of the war's legacy and the continuing impact of historical trauma.

Forgotten Voices

Author: Ulrich Merten
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
ISBN: 1412852587
Format: PDF, ePub
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The news agency Reuters reported in 2009 that a mass grave containing 1,800 bodies was found in Malbork, Poland. Polish authorities suspected that they were German civilians that were killed by advancing Soviet forces. A Polish archeologist supervising the exhumation, said, "We are dealing with a mass grave of civilians, probably of German origin. The presence of children . . . suggests they were civilians." During World War II, the German Nazi regime committed great crimes against innocent civilian victims: Jews, Poles, Russians, Serbs, and other people of Central and Eastern Europe. At war's end, however, innocent German civilians in turn became victims of crimes against humanity. Forgotten Voices lets these victims of ethnic cleansing tell their story in their own words, so that they and what they endured are not forgotten. This volume is an important supplement to the voices of victims of totalitarianism and has been written in order to keep the historical record clear. The root cause of this tragedy was ultimately the Nazi German regime. As a leading German historian, Hans-Ulrich Wehler has noted, "Germany should avoid creating a cult of victimization, and thus forgetting Auschwitz and the mass killing of Russians." Ulrich Merten argues that applying collective punishment to an entire people is a crime against humanity. He concludes that this should also be recognized as a European catastrophe, not only a German one, because of its magnitude and the broad violation of human rights that occurred on European soil. Supplementary maps and pictures are available online at http://www.forgottenvoices.net

Year Zero

Author: Ian Buruma
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0143125974
Format: PDF
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A history professor describes the events during the year World War II ended, beginning a new era of prosperity in America, rebirth and rebuilding in Europe and the start of the Cold War era.