By Konrad H. Jarausch
Within the spring of 1945, because the German military fell in defeat and the realm first realized of the unspeakable crimes of the Holocaust, few could have anticipated that, in simple terms part a century later, the Germans might come to be a wealthy humans on the vanguard of peaceable eu integration. How did the Germans be ready to get over the shattering adventure of defeat in global warfare II and rehabilitate themselves from the disgrace and horror of the Holocaust? In After Hitler, Konrad H. Jarausch indicates how Germany's decision to stress civility and civil society, destroyed through the Nazi regime, helped fix the demoralized kingdom in the course of the post-war interval. not like different highbrow inquiries into German efforts to accommodate the Nazi earlier, After Hitler essentially specializes in the sensible classes a disoriented humans drew from their previous misdeeds, and their fight to create a brand new society with a honest and deep dedication to human rights. After Hitler bargains a complete view of the breathtaking transformation of the Germans from the defeated Nazi accomplices and Holocaust perpetrators of 1945 to the civilized, democratic humans of trendy Germany.
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Extra info for After Hitler: Recivilizing Germans, 1945-1995
64 The analytical challenge therefore consists of determining the precise extent of the metamorphosis and of deciding what factors spurred this change for the better. Did the Germans really learn from their catastrophe and reject the negative patterns that led them and their neighbors to disaster? 65 The remaining deficits, above all an underlying xenophobia, caution against reading postwar accomplishments as an inevitable success story. Its exemplary interest lies precisely in the dramatic struggles that it took to reach and maintain a tolerant civil society.
35 Out of the ensuing debate emerged a modified version of the Sonderweg concept, which now emphasized, in Heinrich August Winkler’s formulation, “the long road to the West,” stressing the Westernization of the Federal Republic. 36 This interpretation correctly points to Germany’s geographic shift westward, its political and economic bonding to the West, as well as the Americanization of its consumption and popular culture. 37 As an alternative to the Sonderweg thesis, the German-Israeli historian Dan Diner coined the concept of a “rupture of civilization at Auschwitz” during the “historians’ controversy” of the 1980s.
Interpretations of Nazi Barbarism Contemporaries and later observers have had great difficulty in explaining the causes of the relapse into Nazi barbarism. American war-time interpretations employed the model of a German deviation from Western civilization, which they considered to be a self-evident standard. S. universities after the First World War as an answer to the question, posed by returning soldiers, why farm boys from Iowa needed to die in the trenches of Chateau Thierry. In short, this notion suggested a shared evolution of human rights and democracy among the Western powers, though not the Russian allies, who did not fit the progress of liberty.