Postwar Soldiers: Historical Controversies and West German Democratization, 1945–1955 | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Postwar Soldiers: Historical Controversies and West German Democratization, 1945–1955

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Volume 39

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Postwar Soldiers

Historical Controversies and West German Democratization, 1945–1955

Jörg Echternkamp
Translated from the German by Noah Harley

570 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-557-2 $179.00/£132.00 / Hb / Published (March 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-558-9 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


Reviews for the German Edition:

“Echternkamp successfully applies the concept of collective representation to the three fields of conflict he has selected. His research clarifies the extent to which the collective representations of war and military have enabled and contributed to political and cultural change.” • Sehepunkte

“Jörg Echternkamp's convincing study fulfills its promise of methodologically complex differentiation… This differentiated view of the historical “gaps” and ambiguities offers ways to understand the German victims of the war as well as the (German) perpetrators…To this end, Echternkamp’s interpretation of the history of war and the military produces an important contribution.” • H-Soz-Kult


Contemporary historians have transformed our understanding of the German military in World War II, debunking the “clean Wehrmacht” myth that held most soldiers innocent of wartime atrocities. Considerably less attention has been paid to those soldiers at the end of hostilities. In Postwar Soldiers, Jörg Echternkamp analyzes three themes in the early history of West Germany: interpretations of the war during its conclusion and the occupation period; military veteran communities’ self-perceptions; and the public rehabilitation of the image of the German soldier. As Echternkamp shows, public controversies around these topics helped to drive the social processes that legitimized the democratic postwar order.

Jörg Echternkamp is Research Director at the Center for Military History and Social Sciences (ZMSBw) and Associate Professor of Modern History at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. He is co-editor of the journal Militärgeschichtliche Zeitschrift. Echternkamp was awarded the “Geisteswissenschaften International” translation grant in 2017.

Subject: History: 20th Century to PresentSociology
Area: Germany


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