Legacies of Stalingrad

Legacies of Stalingrad : Remembering the Eastern Front in Germany since 1945

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Christina Morina's book examines the history of the Eastern Front war and its impact on German politics and society throughout the postwar period. She argues that the memory of the Eastern Front war was one of the most crucial and contested themes in each part of the divided Germany. Although the Holocaust gained the most prominent position in West German memory, official memory in East Germany centered on the war against the USSR. The book analyzes the ways in which these memories emerged in postwar German political culture during and after the Cold War, and how views of these events played a role in contemporary political debates. The analysis pays close attention to the biographies of the protagonists both during the war and after, drawing distinctions between the accepted, public memory of events and individual encounters with the war.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 5 b/w illus.
  • 1139003488
  • 9781139003483

Review quote

"All too often, scholars of postwar Germany confuse the part for the whole by generalizing on the basis of its Western half. But as Christina Morina shows in her sensitively written book, it is impossible to understand how postwar Germans selectively remembered the war and their many victims without accounting for the asymmetry and interaction of rival eastern and western memory regimes. Legacies of Stalingrad is a major achievement of research and reconceptualization that historians of contemporary Europe cannot afford to miss." - A. Dirk Moses, author of German Intellectuals and the Nazi Past (Cambridge 2007) "The German-Soviet war was the largest and costliest conflict in world history. The experience left an indelible mark on postwar German society, but until now the narrative of that impact has been neglected in favor of the memory of the Holocaust. Christina Morina has succeeded in restoring the place of the Eastern Front in the history of memory in both East and West Germany and has done so with sensitivity and intelligence. This is an important addition to our understanding of how German society came to terms with the world-historical dramas in its recent past" - Richard Overy, author of The Twilight Years: The Paradox of Britain between the Wars (2009) "A truly outstanding book. Political memories and diverging, selective appropriations of the legacies of Stalingrad are central to understanding the significance of the past in divided Germany after 1945. Morina has treated this fascinating and complex subject with theoretical sophistication and clarity, focusing on both biographical experiences and political circumstances. Essential reading for all who are interested in collective memory and the legacies of war." - Mary Fulbrook, University College London "...a timely contribution to the scholarship on the evolution and impact of collective memories in the postwar Germanies." -Eric Langenbacher, H-Memory "Professor Morina has written a sophisticated study of World War II, and of how that memory shaped public discourse and eventually political policy: 'the public use of history.'" -Ronald Smelser, Holocaust and Genocide Studies
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Table of contents

1. Memory under occupation: the emergence of competing memories of the Eastern Front; 2. Cold War: political memory of the Eastern Front in divided Germany; 3. Lessons of the Eastern Front: the Wehrmacht legacy and the remilitarization of Germany; 4. Peacetime wars: official memory and the integration of individual wartime experiences; 5. The past reinforced: the memory of the Eastern Front from Ulbricht to Honecker; 6. The past revisited: West German memory of the Eastern Front in the era of detente.
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