German Victimhood and Suffering - Annotated Bibliography Example

Published: 2022-08-30 04:24:11
German Victimhood and Suffering - Annotated Bibliography Example
Type of paper:  Annotated bibliography
Categories: World War 2
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1311 words
11 min read
143 views

World War II and its historical classification continue to be a debatable subject in the German society. Still, how the Germans recall their history is in a state of flux. While the issue of individual and collective German guilt attracts increased public and scientific attention since the 1960's, the German media and scholars have turned their focus towards the German misery and victimhood as a result of the eviction that came with WWII. This annotated bibliography is of various literature sources discussing the German victimhood and suffering in the expulsion brought by the war and how this part of history is being remembered.

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Annotated Bibliography

Merten, U., 2017. Forgotten Voices: The Expulsion of the Germans from Eastern Europe After World War II. Routledge.

This book reveals the most untold stories of the eviction of millions of ethnic Germans after WW II as well as the mayhems faced by several individuals due to their origin as a type of collective punishment, irrespective of whether they were in support of Hitler or not. Although theoretically the process of eviction was assumed to be 'humane and orderly,' this book shows it was nothing close to being humane. Germans were sent to the Soviet Union as slaves, and millions of them died as a result of the mistreatment. The author stresses that the German removal was a postwar barbarism. For each nation, the author discusses the background of the German ethnic population, the period, numbers, and strategy of the expulsion, and probable reasons for the eviction. These accounts highly contribute to the relevance of this book and the expulsion details at the human level. Several German citizens were put in concentration camps where the environment was brutal. Ethnic Germans both within and outside the camps went through physical violence and starvation. This process of expulsion varied from nation to nation. For this reason, Merten goes ahead to explore these variances in his country chapters in this book.

Douglas, R.M., 2012. Orderly and humane: The expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War. Yale University Press.

Douglas talks of the postwar expulsion of ethnic Germans from Romania, Yugoslavia, Czech-Slovakia, and Poland from 1945 to 1949. Douglas refers to this German expulsion as a human rights disaster, restrained in the conservative knowledge on WW II. The author tries to bring out the questions of international legality and the victim's experience. The author attracts a vast array of literature in several dialects, and primary sources archived in six nations as he tries to shed light on the little-known aspect of WWII history and the German suffering. The book evaluates numerous issues that contribute to the scarcity of covering the expulsions in Western reviews, and the involvement of some older West German scholarship with conservative, pragmatic politics and efforts to relativize the Holocaust. Douglas dedicates several persuasive chapters of new evidence to discredit claims that the expulsions were, or might have been, approached in a humane and orderly manner. Through careful historical analysis and meticulous documentation, the author maintains his essential conclusion that involuntary migration is inhumane and unavoidably generates more trouble than it solves. The book provides a broad focus on the expulsions, boosting a constant review of the need for ethnic cleansing in determining the postwar directive.

Schmitz, H. ed., 2007. A nation of victims?Representations of German wartime suffering from 1945 to the present (No. 67). Rodopi.

In Schmitz's book, the idea of breaching a taboo is vital in the efforts of constructing a German experience of victimhood from an outlook of empathy. Although this 'empathy' is founded on a criticism of the scholar's movement that overlooks the tremendously thrilling political history of 1968. Schmitz defines a global memory culture through an emotional line to history that carves the Holocaust as a popular victim narrative into an international communal memory. This book has four parts discussing the socio-political context of German suffering. In the first section, Schmitz discusses the early presentations of German suffering in literature and film after the war. In the subsequent section, the author looks at political issues considering the notion of the 'victim' contending that the anticipated point contrary to the evictions signifies a depoliticization of the past that could attribute the victim's role and the German history at the same time. The allied air raids in East andWest German takes centre stage in the third section. The author investigates immediacy of traumatic experience. Finally, the book discusses the depiction of German's victimhood in film and literary scripts. Schmitz displays a significant contribution to the increasing body of literature on post-war victimhood.

Confino, A., 2005. Remembering the Second World War, 1945-1965: Narratives of victimhood and genocide. Cultural Analysis, 4, pp.46-75.

This article attempts to portray an understanding of World War II's memories. The author believes that the memory for the war period is a cultural relic, that is, the effort of imposing the current ethical outlooks of what ought to have been recalled. The article tries to answer the question of how the inaccurate memories by victims of the Holocaust and the expulsion aid in interpreting their post-war life. The author thus explores this issue with a focus on the period after 1945, as he discusses two memories following the war: how the Europeans remembered the Jews after the Holocaust and the idea of victimhood. Confino assumes that these gallant memories were critical in upholding a national identity after the war. He found out that the countries where the Germans settled created a martyrdom myth although the idea of victimhood turned out to be an organizing metaphor for perpetrators. Expellees recall this memory as part of their history which concurrently separated them from the national socialist rule. The author believes that nations applied the concept of victimhood to show how they suffered under the Germans, even though this raises questions on how the Germans themselves used the notion of victimhood.

Wilson, E., 2011. The Forced Expulsion of Ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia after World War II: Memory, Identity, and History

This thesis was an evaluation of the ethnic Germans expulsion from Czechoslovakia after WWII. Wilson focused on exploring the power of collective memory and how it influenced national distinctiveness. The article claims that conflicting collective memories continue to control the relationship between Sudeten Germans and Czechs today. By collecting and analyzing the collective recollections of these two groups, Wilson helps us in understanding their ethnic and national identities. The author focused on how recalling of the long history by the Sudeten Germans and Czechs is essential in comprehending the postwar removals and the group relations which have been dramatically upheld from the historical period. Wilson's research discovered that the collective memories of victimization and persecution from the expulsions continue to define the identifies of Sudeten Germans and the Czechs. The two groups continue to remember and infer the history that followed the eviction in a manner which informs their identities, projecting the current tensions onto the past events. The article concludes by stating that by remembering the events of the expulsion, descendants of the survivors continue to uphold the notion that the bond between all Sudeten Germans cannot be broken and this enhances unity in the modern Sudeten German community.

References

Confino, A., 2005. Remembering the Second World War, 1945-1965: Narratives of victimhood and genocide. Cultural Analysis, no. 4, pp.46-75, accessed 3rd October 2018, from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d740/528e088440fa9415d02c1e2462b22be16620.pdf

Douglas, R.M., 2012. Orderly and humane: The expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War. Yale University Press.

Merten, U., 2017. Forgotten Voices: The Expulsion of the Germans from Eastern Europe After World War II. Routledge.

Schmitz, H. ed., 2007. A nation of victims? Representations of German wartime suffering from 1945 to the present (No. 67). Rodopi.

Wilson, E., 2011. The Forced Expulsion of Ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia after World War II: Memory, Identity, and History.pp.1-156, accessed 3rd October, from Connecticut College Online, https://digitalcommons.conncoll.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1006&context=histhp

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