Remembering and Forgetting Nazism: Education, National Identity, and the Victim Myth in Postwar Austria

Synopsis

The Myth of Austrian victimization at the hands of both Nazi Germany and the Allies became the unifying theme of Austrian official memory and a key component of national identity as a new Austria emerged from the ruins. In the 1980s, Austria's myth of victimization came under intense scrutiny in the wake of the Waldheim scandal that marked the beginning of its erosion. The fiftieth anniversary of the Anschlua#159; in 1988 accelerated this process and resulted in a collective shift away from the victim myth. Important themes examined include the rebirth of Austria, the Anschlua#159;, the war and the Holocaust, the Austrian resistance, and the Allied occupation. The fragmentation of Austrian official memory since the late 1980s coincided with the dismantling of the Conservative and Social Democratic coalition, which had defined Austrian politics in the postwar period. Through the eyes of the Austrian school system, this book examines how postwar Austria came to terms with the Second World War.

Peter Utgaard was raised in Carbondale, Illinois where he studied German at Southern Illinois University. After study and teaching in Lower Austria he pursued his doctorate at Washington State University. Utgaard returned to Austria as a Fulbright researcher at the Austrian Ministry of Education for dissertation research. Utgaard currently serves as Chair of History and Social Sciences at Cuyamaca College in San Diego where he was awarded the college's Excellence in Teaching Award.

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