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Life after Death

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

$41.99 (C)

Part of Publications of the German Historical Institute

Richard Bessel, Dirk Schumann, Alice Förster, Birgit Beck, Sabine Behrenbeck, Ido de Haan, Atina Grossman, Andrea Petö, Joanna Bourke, Dagmar Herzog, Pat Thane, Michael Wildt, Damian van Melis, Pieter Lagrou, Donald Sassoon, Paul Betts, Alon Confino
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  • Date Published: May 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521009225

$ 41.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This collection of essays does not perceive the impressive economic and political stability of the postwar era as a quasi-natural return to previous patterns of societal development. It approaches this stability as an attempt to establish "normality" upon the lingering memories of experiencing violence on an unprecedented scale. While the history of post-war Germany looms large in this collection, the essays cover countries across Western and Central Europe. They offer comparative perspectives and draw upon a wide range of primary and secondary source material.

    • A novel approach to the cultural and social history of Europe after the Second World War
    • Offers a comparative perspective, with essays on countries across Western and Central Europe
    • Views the history of post-war Europe as a history of a 'life after death'
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The volume has considerable value in bringing together some of the most innovative social and cultural historians of postwar Europe." Journal of Social History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521009225
    • length: 376 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: violence, normality, and the construction of postwar Europe Richard Bessel and Dirk Schumann
    1. Post-traumatic stress disorder and World War II: can a psychiatric concept help us understand postwar society? Alice Förster and Birgit Beck
    2. Between pain and silence: remembering the victims of violence in Germany after 1949 Sabine Behrenbeck
    3. Paths of normalization after the persecution of the Jews: the Netherlands, France, and West Germany in the 1950s Ido De Haan
    4. Trauma, memory and motherhood: Germans and Jewish displaced persons in post-Nazi Germany, 1945–9 Atina Grossman
    5. Memory and the narrative of rape in Budapest and Vienna in 1945 Andrea Petö
    6. 'Going home': the personal adjustment of British and American servicemen after the war Joanna Bourke
    7. Desperately seeking normality: sex and marriage in the wake of war Dagmar Herzog
    8. Family life and 'normality' in postwar British culture Pat Thane
    9. Continuities and discontinuities of consumer mentality in West Germany in the 1950s Michael Wildt
    10. 'Strengthened and purified through ordeal by fire': ecclesiastical triumphalism in the ruins of Europe Damian van Melis
    11. The nationalism of victimhood: selective violence and national grief in western Europe, 1940–60 Pieter Lagrou
    12. Italy after fascism: the predicament of dominant narratives Donald Sasson
    13. The politics of post-fascist aesthetics:
    1950s west and east German industrial design Paul Betts
    14. Dissonance, normality, and the historical method: why did some Germans think of Tourism after May 8, 1945? Alon Confino.

  • Editors

    Richard Bessel, University of York

    Dirk Schumann, German Historical Institute, Washington DC


    Richard Bessel, Dirk Schumann, Alice Förster, Birgit Beck, Sabine Behrenbeck, Ido de Haan, Atina Grossman, Andrea Petö, Joanna Bourke, Dagmar Herzog, Pat Thane, Michael Wildt, Damian van Melis, Pieter Lagrou, Donald Sassoon, Paul Betts, Alon Confino

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