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

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

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

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

Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

This collection of essays has its origins with a conference that we organized in October 1998 at the ibz Schloss Gimborn at Marienheide, Germany. We would like to thank the Director of the ibz, Klaus-Ulrich Nieder, and his deputy, Dr. Peter Lessman-Faust, for their hospitality; they helped tremendously to make the conference a productive and stimulating experience. the German Historical Institutes in London and Washington generously provided the funding for the conference; Prof. Dr. Martin H. Geyer, then Deputy Director at the ghi in Washington, and Dieter H. Schneider, its chief administrator, contributed their organizational experience and skills, without which the conference could not have taken place. We are very grateful for their support. We also wish to thank the ghi, Washington, D.C., for accepting this collection as part of its publication series. the papers presented at the conference have been substantially revised for publication. We would like to thank the two anonymous readers for their critical comments and helpful suggestions, and Dr. Daniel Mattern, Janel Galvanek, and David Lazar at the ghi, Washington, D.C., for their meticulous editorial work.

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