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, basically part a century later, the Germans may come to be a filthy rich humans on the vanguard of peaceable eu integration. How did the Germans be capable of get over the shattering event of defeat in global conflict 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 through the Nazi regime, helped repair the demoralized country throughout the post-war interval. not like different highbrow inquiries into German efforts to accommodate the Nazi previous, After Hitler basically specializes in 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 deals a entire view of the breathtaking transformation of the Germans from the defeated Nazi accomplices and Holocaust perpetrators of 1945 to the civilized, democratic humans of ultra-modern Germany.
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Additional info for After Hitler: Recivilizing Germans, 1945-1995
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. 34 A further strength of the Sonderweg perspective was that it helped motivate a new kind of political engagement aimed at breaking with those negative traditions that lingered in the Federal Republic through a rigorous liberalization of society.
To be sure, a “strict policy,” which, along with the required denazification, deliberately sought to weaken the Germans economically and cripple them politically, was quite popular in Washington and Moscow. But it was equally obvious that such a course would hardly convert a defeated people to democracy. S. military government in Germany, Lucius Clay, advocated instead a “positive program” that included incentives for the difficult physical reconstruction, as well as suggestions for the more problematic reorientation of public life, that lay ahead.
Major German reflections by Axel Schildt, Anselm Doering-Manteuffel, and Heinrich August Winkler point to the important process of Westernization but fail to confront the problematic nature of that concept. Only Mary Fulbrook and Peter Graf Kielmansegg come close to addressing the question of cultural transformation, but even they often lapse into expository narratives. My own views differ from these authors because I write from a Euro-American perspective that does not quite fit the popular interpretations on either side of the Atlantic.
After Hitler: Recivilizing Germans, 1945-1995 by Konrad H. Jarausch