This book analyzes how West German intellectuals debated the Nazi past and democratic future of their country. Rather than proceeding event by event, it highlights the underlying issues at stake: the question of a stigmatized nation and the polarized reactions to it that structured German discussion and memory of the Nazi past. Paying close attention to the generation of German intellectuals born during the Weimar Republic - the forty-fivers - this book traces the drama of sixty years of bitter public struggle about the meaning of the past: did the Holocaust forever stain German identity so that Germans could never again enjoy their national emotions like other nationalities? Or were Germans unfairly singled out for the crimes of their ancestors? By explaining how the perceived pollution of family and national life affected German intellectuals, the book shows that public debates cannot be isolated from the political emotions of the intelligentsia.
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(234mm x 156mm x 17mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - A. Dirk Moses
Dirk Moses studied history in Australia, Scotland, the United States and Germany before joining the History Department at the University of Sydney in 2000. As a research fellow at the University of Freiburg, he worked on postwar German debates about the recent past, a project which became German Intellectuals and the Nazi Past. He has edited and co-edited four anthologies on genocide, mainly on the relationship with colonialism. He has held fellowships in Austria, Germany, Israel and the USA, most recently at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. Currently, he is Professor of Global and Colonial History at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, where he is finishing a book manuscript entitled Genocide and the Terror of History. He is also working on a project called 'The Diplomacy of Genocide', which studies international reactions to allegations of genocide in postcolonial conflicts in the 1960s and 1970s.