The Allied Air War and Urban Memory

The Allied Air War and Urban Memory : The Legacy of Strategic Bombing in Germany

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The cultural legacy of the air war on Germany is explored in this comparative study of two bombed cities from different sides of the subsequently divided nation. Contrary to what is often assumed, Allied bombing left a lasting imprint on German society, spawning vibrant memory cultures that can be traced from the 1940s to the present. While the death of half a million civilians and the destruction of much of Germany's urban landscape provided 'usable' rallying points in the great political confrontations of the day, the cataclysms were above all remembered on a local level, in the very spaces that had been hit by the bombs and transformed beyond recognition. The author investigates how lived experience in the shadow of Nazism and war was translated into cultural memory by local communities in Kassel and Magdeburg struggling to find ways of coming to terms with catastrophic events unprecedented in living memory.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 30 b/w illus. 4 maps
  • 1139126199
  • 9781139126199

Review quote

'Commendable scholarship and engaging writing.' Urban History 'Conceptually and empirically compelling, The Allied Air War and Urban Memory will be indispensable not only to historians of World War II and of East and West Germany but also to all those who work in the wider field of memory and postwar studies.' The Journal of Modern History 'As an analysis of the cultural implications of the Allied strategic bombing of German cities in World War II, Jorg Arnold's The Allied Air War and Urban Memory stands out for the sophistication of its approach, and the sharpness and complexity of its analysis.' Urban Historyshow more

Table of contents

Introduction; 1. From experience to memory; Part I. Commemorating Death: 2. 'Soldiers of the Heimat', 1940-5; 3. 'In quiet memory'? 1945-75; 4. The return of the dead, 1979-95; Part II. Confronting Destruction: 5. 'What we have lost', 1940-60; 6. From celebration to lamentation, 1960-95; Part III. Writing Histories: 7. The 'night of horror', 1940-70; 8. The 'greatest event in municipal history', 1970-95; Conclusion.show more