By Konrad H. Jarausch
Within the spring of 1945, because the German military fell in defeat and the realm first discovered of the unspeakable crimes of the Holocaust, few may have anticipated that, in basic terms part a century later, the Germans might turn out to be a wealthy humans on the vanguard of peaceable ecu integration. How did the Germans be able to get over the shattering adventure of defeat in international struggle II and rehabilitate themselves from the disgrace and horror of the Holocaust? In After Hitler, Konrad H. Jarausch indicates how Germany's choice to stress civility and civil society, destroyed via the Nazi regime, helped restoration the demoralized country in the course of the post-war interval. in contrast to different highbrow inquiries into German efforts to house the Nazi earlier, After Hitler essentially makes a speciality of the sensible classes a disoriented humans drew from their earlier misdeeds, and their fight to create a brand new society with a honest and deep dedication to human rights. After Hitler bargains a finished view of the breathtaking transformation of the Germans from the defeated Nazi accomplices and Holocaust perpetrators of 1945 to the civilized, democratic humans of modern Germany.
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Additional info for After Hitler: Recivilizing Germans, 1945-1995
The deplorable condition of the 21,000 inmates, many of whom stood close to death, as well as the records of the prisoner committee that accounted for the murders of 32,705 people, banished any lingering doubts. S. ” According to New York Times reporter Gene Currivan, the tour of this “death factory” began first with a look at pieces of human skin that had been processed into tattooed “parchment” for use as a lampshade. “The German people saw all this today and wept. ” Next came the “scientific laboratories” in which human experiments, including deliberate infection with typhoid fever, were conducted, with a death rate of 98 percent.
At the same time, the concept of German deviance offered an answer to the question of structural continuities that had been raised by the Fischer controversy, a heated debate among historians concerning Germany’s responsibility for the outbreak of the First World War. Moreover, the methodological shift from political history to a history of society (Gesellschaftsgeschichte) facilitated the importation of the methods and theories of the neighboring social sciences. The cumulative effect was an interpretation of the German past that emphasized the long-term weaknesses of the middle class, the belated formation of the nation-state, and, as sociologist Ralf Dahrendorf claimed, its subsequent incapacity for democracy.
Above all for committed Nazis, patriots, and members of the military, the laying down of arms was a defeat. One soldier felt “extremely bitter about how we have been betrayed. ”2 But for members of the resistance, forced laborers, and concentration camp prisoners, the arrival of the Allies meant a genuine liberation that offered hope for a better future. 3 The terrible legacy of the Hitler dictatorship becomes strikingly clear in the impressive photographs taken by the American photographer Margaret Bourke-White as she rode with advancing GIs into the Reich in 1945.
After Hitler: Recivilizing Germans, 1945-1995 by Konrad H. Jarausch