Life After Death: Approaches to a Cultural and Social History of Europe During the 1940s and 1950s

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Richard Bessel, Dirk Schumann
Cambridge University Press, May 5, 2003 - History - 363 pages
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This collection of essays offers a novel approach to the cultural and social history of Europe after the Second World War. In a shift of perspective, it does not conceive of the impressive economic and political stability of the postwar era as a quasi-natural return to previous patterns of societal development but approaches it as an attempt to establish 'normality' upon the lingering memories of experiencing violence on a hitherto unprecedented scale. It views the relationship of the violence of the 1940s to the apparent 'normality' and stability of the 1950s as a key to understanding the history of post-war Europe. While the history of post-war Germany naturally looms large in this collection, the essays deal with countries across Western and Central Europe, offer comparative perspectives on their subjects, and draw upon a wide range of primary and secondary source material.
  

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Contents

PostTraumatic Stress Disorder and World War II Can a Psychiatric Concept Help Us Understand Postwar Society?
15
Between Pain and Silence Remembering the Victims of Violence in Germany after 1949
37
Paths of Normalization after the Persecution of the Jews The Netherlands France and West Germany in the 1950s
65
Trauma Memory and Motherhood Germans and Jewish Displaced Persons in PostNazi Germany 19451949
93
Memory and the Narrative of Rape in Budapest and Vienna in 1945
129
Going Home The Personal Adjustment of British and American Servicemen after the War
149
Desperately Seeking Normality Sex and Marriage in the Wake of the War
161
Family Life and Normality in Postwar British Culture
193
Continuities and Discontinuities of Consumer Mentality in West Germany in the 1950s
211
Strengthened and Purified Through Ordeal by Fire Ecclesiastical Triumphalism in the Ruins of Europe
231
The Nationalization of Victimhood Selective Violence and National Grief in Western Europe 19401960
243
Italy after Fascism The Predicament of Dominant Narratives
259
The Politics of PostFascist Aesthetics 1950s West and East German Industrial Design
291
Dissonance Normality and the Historical Method Why Did Some Germans Think of Tourism after May 8 1945?
323
Index
349
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