European Review, Vol. 11, No.

4, 551–572 (2003)  Academia Europaea, Printed in the United Kingdom

An inability to mourn? The German Federal Republic and the Nazi past
FRISO WIELENGA Zentrum fur Niederlande-Studien, Universitat Munster, Alter Steinweg 6/7, ¨ ¨ ¨ D-48143 Munster, Germany. E-mail: ¨

Commonly, the second half of the 1960s is considered to be the period in which Western Germany actually started dealing with its National-Socialist past. The youth of that time is said to have opened the discussion and to have broken taboos by asking the elder generation probing questions and by exposing the careers of former National-Socialists in the politics and society of post-war Germany (the FRG). I make clear that this picture is very one-sided and I also give an overview on the different ways Western Germany coped with this past between 1945 and the end of the 1980s. Of course, these ways differed strongly over the years, but the ‘Third Reich’ has always remained present in German historical awareness and is branded into German identity – for better or for worse.

In 1967, the psychiatrist couple Alexander and Margerete Mitscherlich published Die Unfahigkeit zu trauern, a book about the way in which the German Federal ¨ Republic has dealt with its Nazi past since 1945.1 In brief, their diagnosis was that the German population wiped the memories of the crimes committed in the previous years from its collective memory immediately after the 1945 capitulation. The death and discrediting of Hitler who, according to the Mitscherlichs, had been the embodiment of the ‘ego ideal’, threatened to plunge them into free fall. A confrontation with the past and the crimes that had come to light in all their grim detail would have led to severe emotional depression. To avoid this, they turned abruptly away from Hitler, the father figure. This rejection of the Fuhrer was accompanied by a feeling that they had been misguided and ¨ abused, which gave them the opportunity to see themselves as victims, to avoid the issue of guilt and responsibility, and to put all the blame on Hitler. In this way,
This article is based on my book Schaduwen van de Duitse geschiedenis. De om gang met het nazi- en DDR-verleden in de Bondsrepubliek Duitsland (Amsterdam, 1993), and the more recent German version Schatten deutscher Geschichte. Der Umgang mit dem Nationalsoziahsmus und der DDR-Vergangenheit in der Bundesrepublik (Vierow bei Greifswald, 1995).


Friso Wielenga

the ties with the past were rigorously severed and a ‘deactualization’ of a Third Reich – that only a short time before had been all too real and had been supported by the majority of the population – took place. According to the Mitscherlichs, this denial of their motives and the suppression of their feelings of shame and guilt that accompanied it, required a huge emotional effort and has led to ‘mental immobility’. This immobility is not only evidenced by a conservative and apolitical climate, but also by a lack of compassion for the victims.2 Die Unfahigkeit zu trauern has been reprinted many times and its often-quoted ¨ title has almost become synonymous with the argument that the West Germans denied and repressed their Nazi past. It is easy to see why the Mitscherlichs’ theory is popular, since at first sight it seems to offer a plausible explanation for some aspects of the way in which the West Germans have dealt with the Third Reich. It seems to provide an insight into the desire to ‘bury’ the past and to offer an explanation for both the conservative political climate of the 1950s, and the adopted victim role after the sudden rejection of Hitler, the father figure. It also provides a seemingly sound argument for the great post-war industriousness, by placing it within the context of denial and repression. However, the theory in Die Unfahigkeit zu trauern has several drawbacks. ¨ Tilman Moser, for example, has criticized it from a psychoanalytical point of view. Briefly, he argues that the Mitscherlichs mix up various theoretical levels, use the concept of grief where it cannot be applied, and do not provide any practical ideas that might lead to ‘healing’.3 Indeed, their outlook did not include healing, which partly explains the tenacity of their theory.4 Apart from these criticisms based on psychoanalytic theory, there is also a crucial historical objection to the approach adopted by the Mitscherlichs: it often clashes with the political and cultural reality since 1945. The reality of the way in which the Nazi past has been dealt with has obviously been painful, but at the same time more capricious and subtle than their general theory of repression and denial suggests. The Issue of Guilt ‘Diese Schandtaten: Eure Schuld!’ was the caption on a poster distributed in the American-occupied zone in 1945. It showed photographs of Dachau concentration camp as found by the Americans when they liberated it. In the same spirit, the inhabitants of the towns and villages near the concentration camps were forced to attend guided tours of these camps and to face up to the crimes committed there. Such measures were inspired by an initial belief in a German collective guilt, particularly among the American occupying forces. In the light of 1945, such beliefs were reasonable from the Allied perspective, but, equally reasonably, they caused much resentment in Germany.

a long-term prisoner in Buchenwald and the author of the first book about the concentration camps to appear after the war. who had himself been in a concentration camp for nearly the entire period 1933–45. the millions of refugees and an insecure future?8 On the other hand. but these. too. In that case. would the bulk of the German population have been willing and able to participate in an intensive debate? Was this a realistic prospect in the light of the ruins of 1945.6 In more recent literature about the guilt debate this argument has also been repeatedly used. were mostly abstract.’ he wrote in the first issue. politicians. the Evangelical Church issued the Stuttgarter Schuldbekenntnis in October 1945.’11 however.5 In the left-wing Catholic monthly Frankfurter Hefte. ¨ ‘sondern die Krafte der Abwehr gegen die Beschuldigung. He not only talked . Barbro Eberan has even identified ‘eine intensive Auseinandersetzung mit der Schuldfrage. he repeatedly pointed to the counterproductive effect of the collective guilt thesis. which was not without opposition from within its own ranks. and politicians were drawing lessons from the past. Eugen Kogon. The latter was also true of the Evangelical Church’s admission of guilt in October 1945.An inability to mourn 553 The resentment to the Kollektivschuldthese was mainly formulated by those Germans who did not shy away from the post-war debate about guilt and responsibility. Das Ergebnis ist ein Fiasko’.12 In the first manifestos by the newly established political parties allowed in the various occupied zones there were also references to the crimes of the Nazi regime. was one of them.’10 Journalists. The massacre of the Jews was always indirectly referred to in such phrases as ‘Gift der tierischen Rassenlehre’ and ‘Volkerverhetzung’.’ which did not take place ‘in Formelner offenen Debatte als vielmehr monologisch.7 However. which ¨ emphasized the need to reject the ‘Rassenkult’. The press covered the subject extensively. the words ‘wir klagen uns an’ did signify a critical approach to the role of the German people during the Third Reich. The clearest statements were issued by the SPD through its chairman Kurt Schumacher. the question arises of whether a more thoughtful Allied approach would have led to different results. historians were also asking questions about the causes of ‘Die deutsche Katastrophe’ and ‘Der Irrweg einer Nation. In her extensive study of the guilt debate in the German press between 1945 and 1949. ‘Die “Shock” Politik hat nicht die Krafte des deutschen Gewissens geweckt. fur die nationalsozial¨ ¨ istischen Schandtaten in Bausch und Bogen mitverantwortlich zu sein. but the sufferings of other nations and peoples was only discussed in the abstract. the philosopher Karl Jaspers published Die Schuldfrage in 1946. which he published in cooperation with Walter Dirks from April 1946 onwards. some Germans were certainly involved in a debate about guilt and the causes of National Socialism in the first years after the war.9 Of course. indirekt und haufig auch verschlus¨ ¨ selt. some church leaders and scientists. and a fair percentage of the German intellectual elite did not shy away from the issue of guilt and were actively engaged in introspection. In it.

a small intellectual . In Die Schuldfrage. which was based on lectures he gave in Heidelberg in the winter of 1945–46. this differentiated concept of guilt was more than a response to the Kollektivschuldthese or a philosophical exercise. was guilty in a metaphysical sense. They should not excuse themselves on the grounds of following orders: crimes remained crimes. It concerned the acts of the political leaders of the state. The final category of guilt distinguished by Jaspers – metaphysical guilt – concerned the lack of absolute solidarity among individuals. According to Jaspers. this ‘cleansing’ was a prerequisite for true political freedom. Jaspers himself was disappointed with the small number of copies sold and the usually negative reactions. and only God could judge them. which he broke up into criminal. To replace the collective guilt idea. The premise of his lectures was that the German people had experienced the 12-year rule of National Socialism in various ways. To Jaspers. Whereas this type of guilt concerned the individual. Jaspers formulated a differentiated concept of guilt. so ¨ ¨ ist in mir eine Stimme. The main reason why he left Heidelberg was his disappointment about what he felt to be the insufficient German willingness to confront the past. In 1948.554 Friso Wielenga openly about the persecution of the Jews and the killing of millions.16 The direct influence of Jaspers’s book was limited. but on several occasions also advocated a Wiedergutmachung. moral and metaphysical guilt14. ist meine Schuld. wo der andere getotet wird. All Germans should look into their souls and ask themselves what concessions they had made to the regime. it is striking that the Nazi past was mainly discussed in a general and metaphorical sense and that the crimes themselves were usually mentioned only in passing and by means of veiled references. in turn. His goal was social interaction concerning the recent past which should lead to ‘cleansing’. The few letters he received expressing approval sometimes concluded with the remark that nobody the writer knew shared this positive opinion.13 When looking for a common denominator in the debate about the guilt issue in the first years after the war.17 The above shows that during the first years after the war. the city where he had lived for some time during the Nazi period. Since each citizen should be considered responsible for the way in which he or she is governed. Criminal guilt was borne by those who had broken the law. even if this person had tried to prevent the injustice: ‘… wenn ich dabei war und wenn ich uberlebe. political. political guilt was different. any person who had witnessed injustice and crimes. Moral guilt occurred when people could not reconcile their actions with their consciences. and thus a breach of solidarity. this was a case of a common political responsibility. Such individuals should be prosecuted by means of the legal system. he distinguished several forms of guilt and thus provided a concrete tool for dealing with the past at both an individual and a collective level. durch die ich weiss: dass ich noch lebe. An exception to this was Karl Jaspers’s contribution.’15 This guilt was therefore shared by all survivors. Jaspers accepted a professorship in Basel.

amidst total confusion. in various ways their daily lives constantly forced them to confront the past. indeed untenable.An inability to mourn 555 and political elite addressed the issue of guilt and responsibility from various points of view. This was not possible because. although this. and there was no place for a wide debate about the guilt issue. and their initiative to start a public debate about the guilt issue was only taken up by a handful of people.18 This notion is confirmed by the fact that the vast majority of the population supported the Nuremberg tribunal where the political and military leaders of Nazi regime (the so-called Hauptkriegsverbrecher) were tried in 1945–46. Under these circumstances. people preferred to look for arguments that absolved them from their association with the regime. 55% agreed with them.20 The historian Peter Steinbach has therefore rightly observed that dieser ‘Aufklarung’ [war]ein ¨ 21 bleibendes Verdienst des Prozesses. the national paralysis that followed it. However. thesis did provide many Germans with a welcome excuse for putting aside the guilt issue. as the Mitscherlichs had suggested with their phrase ‘Die Unfahigkeit zu trauern’. ¨ This distinction between a section of the political and intellectual elite and the majority of the population should not lead to the conclusion that the masses simply went about their business.’ This argument can plausibly be countered and Steinbach himself acknowledges this – in that many people used the trial against the main culprits to absolve themselves by posing as innocent ‘followers’. however. in March 1946 the figure was 75%.’ as the standard phrase soon became. Even the many opponents and victims of the regime were more inclined to draw ‘lessons’ from the past than to deal with it in depth. When the trial started in December 1945. but when the sentences were pronounced in October 1946. war and genocide had come about. Their influence on the majority of the population was minute. Surveys showed that 70 to 80% of the population in the American zone followed the extensive press coverage of the tribunal and accepted the information provided as true. but how ‘sich derartiges nie wiederhole. 70% of the population in the American zone believed the accused to be guilty. yes. The causes for the dismissal of the issue by the vast majority of the population lay elsewhere: in the total defeat. and only 9% felt the punishments were too severe. . the tribunal also provided detailed information about the German war preparations and the nature and extent of the Nazi crimes. and the fear of punishment by the Allies. This did not so much involve the question of how dictatorship. this was not a total repression or denial of the past. 21% felt the Allied judges had been too mild. even as ‘a lesson’. This number dropped to 52% in August of that year. This was not so much caused by the counterproductive effect of the Kollektivschuldthese. Added to these were the experiences of flight and exile for the millions of Germans from the East and the daily worries of ‘organizing’ one’s food.19 In addition (and the significance of this aspect should not be underestimated).

A second disadvantage of the massive denazification and the associated thesis of collective guilt was that it promoted the solidarity between ‘minor’ and ‘major’ Nazis. the denazification involved millions of adult Germans. The latter was even more galling after the American Foreign Secretary. This denazification did not take the form of criminal charges. In a speech made in Stuttgart he stated that the punishment of Germany was no longer the central issue. as we have seen. the social basis for the denazification. However. A total of 201 accused faced the Allied judges in the 1945–46 tribunal and the 12 subsequent Nuremberg Nachfolgeprozesse during which. but was meant to purge the administrative apparatus. No matter how just this cause was. he was in favour of neutralizing and punishing Nazis. were not interested in sophisticated answers to these questions at first. but he also considered the future and concluded that the Allied policy did not further the . again formulated strong objections in the Frankfurter Hefte. among others. and the inequality of rights between the zones (and even within zones) had several grave consequences. soon became even smaller. who took the lead in the denazification process in the Western zones. the criteria for this purge had not been sufficiently considered. the trial did contribute significantly to the discrediting of the Nazi regime in the eyes of the German population. the economy and society in general. let alone built up. which meant that in many places the government and the economy could hardly be kept going. since nobody had any experience with such a vast problem. industrialists. When was an individual to be regarded as contaminated. The result was that minor offenders and serious criminals joined forces to resist what they believed to be injustice and arbitrariness on the part of the Allies. and for which posts? Should a distinction be made between active and responsible Nazis on the one hand and opportunistic ‘fellow travellers’ on the other? The Americans. Eugen Kogon who. Whereas the Nuremberg trials thus involved only a relatively small group. Byrnes announced a change in the general American policy towards Germany in September 1946. Naturally. It was also criticized by some of the victims of National Socialism. James F. Their primary objective was the total eradication of Nazi influences and the prevention of any armed resistance. and that Germany should be given opportunities for reconstruction. which had never been very broad. Thus. diplomats and physicians were tried. This was hardly surprising. This policy change would inevitably mean a more lenient denazification. The first was the huge number of people who lost their jobs. its implementation made the denazification of 1945–46 such a massive and superficial operation that it already bore the seeds of failure in its early stages.556 Friso Wielenga Nevertheless. The initially very intricate purge conducted mainly by the Americans. had already called the Allied policy counterproductive. the massive scale of the purge even after the proclamation of the so-called Befreiungsgesetz in 1946.

First. such evidence was not produced by the Allied denazification policy because it did not sufficiently distinguish between ‘minor’ and ‘major’ Nazis. In 1948. the economy. the legal system. In the first years after the war. ¨ he wrote in July 1947 about the large number of people who had supported Hitler. ‘Man kann sie nur toten oder gewinnen’. Kogon did not advocate ‘mercy’ or ‘forgiveness’. The end result was. the diplomatic service. And in some sectors. and education. Kogon’s correct analysis could not save the denazification. Man muss beweisen. they moved towards the cancellation of denazification. In brief. the Hitler regime had so discredited itself through its . which meant that there was a high degree of personal continuity between the German Federal Republic and the Third Reich in the bureaucracy. about half of the population still believed that National Socialism was ‘a good idea that had been badly implemented’. The growing East–West conflict and the imminent division of Germany. only in this way could a lasting rejection of National Socialism occur. Although by 1947 the Allies had recognized with increasing clarity that the policy was a dead end.’ According to Kogon. an end to the unpopular denazification followed by rehabilitation fitted in with this policy. as Lutz Niethammer concluded. dass Demokratie besser ist. This approach.25 Secondly. therefore. The Western allies were preparing to integrate the future West German state into the West as a full partner. in 1948. Also muss man sie ¨ gewinnen. Instead. Kogon’s argument was that this was the only way in which the integration of the millions of ex-Nazis into the emerging democracy would have any chance of success. were the motives for this rigorous change of policy. would not lead to a ‘positive Befreiung’ of the German nation from National Socialism and militarism.23 Many of the persons discharged in 1945–46 returned to their former positions. shuffles had taken place in which the distinction between what were regarded as ‘decent’ and ‘indecent’ Nazis had indeed played an important role.An inability to mourn 557 development of democracy in Germany. and he was not far wrong in this respect. and continued: ‘toten kommt hierzulande … nicht in Frage. they did not make the distinction advocated by Kogon.24 It would be erroneous to characterize the development that followed as the failure of denazification as a renazification. this continuity mainly involved low-level and middle level officials. that ‘Sauberung und Rehabilitierung zu ein und ¨ demselben Vorgang verschmolzen [waren]’. the denazification was officially discontinued. renazification is an incorrect term because the returning ex-Nazis did not engage in dubious political activities but quietly played their roles in the emerging democracy. In other words. but a distinction between those who had been criminals and those who had made a political error of judgement.26 However. which became very evident in that year. while at higher levels seriously culpable ex-Nazis did not return to their former key positions (with some exceptions).

As the fruits of the Wirtschaftswunder became more plentiful. The bombed-out cities were being reconstructed. which everybody could take note of through the press coverage and discuss in everyday conversation. with most of the blame attributed to Hitler so that the large number of other perpetrators need not be mentioned at all or only in . Monuments to commemorate Nazi victims that had been erected shortly after the war were being neglected. where the central issue was to what extent the millions of ‘decent’ Nazis would come to identify themselves with this Republic. Although this seemed logical from the 1945 perspective in view of the massive support for National Socialism. the denazification failed. not a resurgence of ideologies and politicization. so the past seemed to fade away. to promote their career opportunities. all eyes were on the future. torn down or replaced by apolitical monuments with inscriptions dedicated to all war victims. the denazification policy contributed to the ongoing discrediting of the Nazi regime. Only a few ‘incorrigibles’ wanted to revive the Nazi movement. Only the dissemination of such insights could form the basis for a constructive dealing with the past.558 Friso Wielenga crimes that people were also anxious to dissociate themselves from it. However. it may seem disappointing that many people initially did not look beyond the distinction between ‘decent’ and ‘indecent’ Nazis. more than in any other period. the high post-war unemployment was melting away and holidays abroad came within the reach of the reunited families. before or after. security and reconstruction of the country. on political and moral grounds. but it did mean a step forward on the road towards total rejection of National Socialism. and one could almost say had to fail. It regularly presented evidence of the criminal nature of the Nazi regime. it could not be realized because of the economic. a future which was already taking shape in many areas of life. war crimes and denazification held from 1945 to 1948 had faded away. the passages about the crimes of the Third Reich were brief and formulated in general terms. or for both reasons.27 Relative calm The 1950s are usually regarded as being the heyday of the denial and repression of the Nazi past. The German population wanted peace. The debate about guilt. this argument is not strong enough to characterize the entire denazification as a fiasco. This road becomes clearly visible when one studies the political organization of the democratic Federal Republic. administrative and psycho-social consequences. because the Allies wanted to ‘screen’ the entire population instead of limiting themselves to a purge of the relatively small top echelon. Judged by its original objectives. Public displays of sympathy for the Third Reich would soon lead to the suspicion that one had been an ‘indecent’ Nazi. and the vast majority wished to avoid such suspicions. From a moral point of view. In school books. Like the Nuremberg processes.

dass Demokratie besser ist. promoted this development by pressing for German rearmament. Remarque’s Der Funke Leben is a very detailed account of the horrors of death and destruction in Buchenwald. and this proof was furnished in the 1950s. The past was also the subject of literary works. nicht zuletzt von Rassismus und Antisemitismus.30 In contrast. it casts Germans as the principal criminals. the Vierteljahrshefte fur Zeitgeschichte published by this Institute did ¨ not enjoy a wide readership. The large Swiss publisher Scherz even broke a previously signed contract because they feared attacks on the author and publisher by the German population.000 copies between 1950 and 1958 and.29 This conclusion seems too radical. the exemplar for the massacre of millions remains implicit. the murder of the author always hovers in the background.’ wrote Kogon in 1947 in his critique of the denazification. The political stability. ¨ Obviously. At the same time. However. but Graml is right when he points to the important role played by The Diary of Anne Frank in this period. although the past was fading away. The Western states. its impact could be compared to that of the Holocaust television series of 1979. which on the one hand ridiculed the denazification.31 The difference in the reception of the two books is typical of the way in which the Germans in the 1950s dealt with the Third Reich: many preferred a Nichtgenauwissenwollen of the German crimes to a Nichtwahrhabenwollen. In contrast.33 ‘Man muss beweisen. growing welfare and the return of Germany to the international political scene of the West German state gave its citizens something to hold onto after the collapse of 1945. almost without exception in the form of a condemnation of the Third Reich. but this crime. The impact of research conducted by the Institut fur die Erforschung ¨ der nationalsozialistischen Zeit. under the leadership of the United States. A typical example was the high sales figures for Ernst von Salomon’s Fragebogen. established in Munich in 1949–50 and shortly afterwards renamed Institut fur Zeitgeschichte. a relative calm descended on the Nazi past. moreover.32 In The Diary of Anne Frank. but Munich did become a centre of high-quality research which laid a foundation for the future dissemination of knowledge about the Third Reich. should not be underestimated. but on the other hand voiced a ‘geradezu wutende Distanzierung ¨ von nationalsozialistiseher Ideologie und NS-Bewegung.’28 The Diary of Anne Frank sold 700.An inability to mourn 559 passing. The philosopher Hermann Lubbe characterized this period as a phase of a ¨ . which dealt with Buchenwald concentration camp. according to the historian Herman Graml. When the book finally appeared in 1952 the response was negative and few copies were sold. Erich Maria Remarque had great difficulty in finding a publisher for his manuscript of Der Funke Leben. it was also becoming more concrete. pardoning convicted Nazi criminals and welcoming the Federal Republic as an almost equal partner in the Western coalition in 1955.

‘Quarantining’ millions of ex-Nazis would have resulted in a breeding ground for resentment. this objection does not discredit the central issue of Lubbe’s Integration thesis.’34 Lubbe did not mean that National Socialism ¨ would still be able to mobilize millions of people in a post-war Germany. the repression and denial of the Nazi past.35 Left-wing critics accused Lubbe of providing West German society ¨ with arguments for not only looking back on their assimilation of the Nazi past with great satisfaction but also for ending the debate about this issue and developing a ‘normal’ historical consciousness. In his interpretation. because he sees this calm as essential for the development of the Federal Republic.37 Although this may have been less than satisfactory from ¨ a moral point of view. bitterness and Nazi nostalgia. According to Lubbe in 1983. the indifference of society towards the victims. ‘Von dieser Demokratie … konnte man schwerlich erwarten. and painful to many victims of the Nazi regime in Germany and abroad. . i. What he did mean was that the integration of the millions of ex-Nazis in the democratic Federal Republic could only be realized through a certain degree of public restraint about the Nazi past and by a kommunikatives Beschweigen of both perpetrators and victims. It was alleged that he legitimized what ¨ Ralph Giordano called ‘Die zweite Schuld’. Lubbe’s thesis was not without its critics.560 Friso Wielenga gewisse Stille that had a necessary psycho-social and political function in the development of the democratic Federal Republic. What he does not take into account is that in many areas of life different attitudes and different decisions could certainly have been possible. Examples are the almost complete termination of the trials against Nazi criminals in the 1950s. In other words. Although these criticisms were sometimes formulated in overly sharp terms. sie werde die Vergangenheit ihrer Burger als eine standige und heftige Anklage gegen ihre ¨ ¨ Burger thematisieren’. even ‘tiefbraun’. the (long) term of office (1953–60) as Minister of Theodor Oberlander. and who had written legal commentaries on the Nurembcrg Rassengesetze. He rightly assumed that this was a thing of the past. the early release of convicts. who had been ‘braun’.e. Gegen die Mehrheit des Volkes konnte er schwerlich eingerichtet werden. ¨ the majority of the population had supported Hitler and identified with the Third Reich: ‘Gegen Ideologie und Politik des Nationalsozialismus musste der neue deutsche Staat eingerichtet werden. the Federal Republic had to rely on the same population that had previously lived in the Third Reich. One relevant objection to Lubbe’s thesis is that it allows any criticism of the ¨ relative calm of the 1950s to be ignored. becomes the only conceivable way of dealing with it. the actual dealing with the Nazi past. they were not entirely unjustified.36 A final example ¨ that by no means exhausts the list is Hans Globke. In order to become a stable democratic ¨ state. However. who held the post of State Secretary to the Federal Chancellery. including the debatable aspects. there is no question that the integration of former Nazis in the new democratic state was necessary.

handed the evidence to a public prosecutor with the proper jurisdiction. It was also very important that for the first time there was one central office where all the information was gathered together. Now this procedure was reversed. In the period 1961–65 there were twice as many as in the years 1951–61. Once a Verbrechenskomplex had been detailed. and the legal system had only operated against individuals if there had been specific allegations against them. The establishment of the zentrale Stelle after the ‘relative calm’ of the 1950s thus marked the onset of a third phase in the prosecution policy. who summed up the outcome of denazification and criminal prosecution as ‘der grosse Frienden mit den Tatern. to 1984. the material was handed to the Bundesgerichtshof. it was also part of a gradual change in the political and social climate concerning the . The year 1958 witnessed a reversal. this number had dwindled to around 20 each year. the lawyers from Ludwigsburg. attempts were made to track down the suspects. and in certain places a systematic search was initiated for information about certain types of crimes. some 5000 sentences were imposed in German courts – i. as it were. the zentrale Stelle could do things that the ordinary legal system could not do. scientific literature and other sources. the Auschwitz trial of 1964–65 drew much attention. however. which soon resulted in a rise in the number of convictions. Many of the latter cases could not be prosecuted38.e. Because it conducted independent historical and legal research. Until 1958.An inability to mourn 561 The trials against Nazi criminals had virtually ceased in the ‘relative calm’ of the 1950s. a category of crimes came to light that until then had hardly been prosecuted. Early release rather than prosecution fitted in with the social climate. Even the highly critical Ralph Giordano. In the same year. when during the trial of an Einsatzkommando who had killed at least 4000 Jews in Lithuania.41 The about-turn in 1958 not only led to a more active prosecution policy. the Ministers of Justice of the Federal States took the initiative to establish the so-called Zentrale Stelle der Landesjustizverwaltungen zur Aulklarung nationalsozialistischer Gewaltverbrechen in Ludwigsburg to investigate this question. prosecution had essentially been left to chance. apart from the Nuremberg trials.40 From its inception in 1958. who were not allowed to prosecute the cases themselves. By 1955.’ ¨ referred to the ‘immensen quantitativen Leistung’ made by the dedicated zentrale Stelle. In 1991. it initiated more than 12 000 criminal cases or inquests. On the basis of the protocols of the Nuremberg trials. If this succeeded. over 10 000 persons were still the subject of criminal investigations and (in some cases) of trials thanks to the zentrale Sidle. In the years between 1945 and 1950. The question of how many other crimes were still to be uncovered arose. It may rightly be said that it is entirely due to the work of the zentrale Stelle that such trials are still being conducted up to the present day.39 In particular. attempts were made to outline Verbrechenskomplexe and the degree of involvement of all individuals who were connected with them. If the residence of a suspect could not be identified.

Early in 1960. a new shock followed the Einsatzkommando trial in Ulm when. Some of them noisily demanded the resignation of the above-mentioned Theodor Oberlander. coping with the Third Reich often seems to have been a half-hearted affair and was seldom characterized by great moral sensitivity. partly conflicting tendencies. Of more significance for the developing transformation of the political and social climate was the kidnapping of Adolf Eichmann from Argentina in 1960 and the subsequent trial in Jerusalem (1961–62) of this former head of the so-called Judenreferat of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA). swastikas were chalked on the walls of the rebuilt synagogue in Cologne. it also became apparent that many people knew much more about this than they had admitted since 1945. who had continued to ¨ voice his pre-war sympathies for the Henlein movement (a Sudeten German National-Socialist organization). A wholesale moral catharsis certainly did not occur. There is evidence that many of these incidents were staged by the East German secret police (the Stasi). even when he was Bundesvertriebenenminister in the 1950s. a total of 470 incidents (antiSemitic graffiti on buildings. the German population did continue honestly to turn away from National Socialism. it is a fact that the GDR actively helped to discredit the Federal Republic in the eyes of the international community. The impact of the extensive press coverage can be regarded as a continuation of the effects of the Nuremberg trials in the first post-war years. To sum up. Adenauer addressed 3000 students in Cologne. but the German and foreign press were not so easily convinced that these had been isolated incidents. Although it would be an exaggeration to attribute all anti-Semitic incidents to the Stasi. the Federal Republic would be confronted with the past in a more serious way. etc) were registered. The issue was not only the dissemination of information about the bureaucratically organized killing of the European Jews.562 Friso Wielenga Nazi past. the main feature of this period is the simultaneous existence of several. On closer examination.42 Up to the end of January 1960. invisible and not without inner conflicts. Chancellor Adenauer tried to play down this unmistakable anti-Semitism by characterizing the perpetrators as ‘scum’ who should be given ‘a good hiding’. In the 1960s. The ‘relative calm’ had come to an end. the Third Reich appeared to be not so far away in time as had often seemed to be the case in the false light of the 1950s. and anti-Semitic slogans appeared in other places in the Federal Republic. the image of the 1950s as a period of denial and repression of the Nazi past needs to be qualified. Although the anti-Fascism of the 1950s sometimes appeared ‘helpless’. but the past was always present in many areas of life as an ‘anti-identity’ of the young democracy and formed the basis of a political catharsis.45 Indeed.46 . on Christmas Eve.43 The students were also starting to get restless. Late in 1959.44 In the 1960s. circulation of anti-Semitic pamphlets.

Young people. had completely supplanted the Nazi past. developed a political consciousness and an interest in the past. a new era had begun by the end of the 1950s: the Third Reich was no longer ‘a ¨ theme’. In 1963. One problem was that part of the protest generation lost sight of the continuity between past and present during the heated phase of the protest (1967–68). ‘1968’ appears as a cut-off point in the history of post-war Germany. Gunter Grass published Die Blechtrommel.48 In other words. Many of their generation did not feel at home on the barricades but they. In literature. It should be emphasized that this impulse was not only on the part of the demonstrating students. Other. the protest movement did not signify the beginning of a trend. too. Their penetrating questions to the older generation broke taboos and criticized the political and social careers of ex-Nazis. too. Rolf Hochhuth’s Der Stellvertreter appeared. the cut-off point lies around ten years earlier than the protest generation in their reminiscences have constantly – and with a degree of moral recklessness – asserted. A positive aspect of this development was that young people were no longer satisfied with the scanty information about the Third Reich that had been imparted to them at school. but also raised the issue of the continuity of imperialism in German foreign policy. and thus contributed to the special character of the generation gap in Germany in the 1960s. In 1961. a Federal Republic which. Two years later. As far as coping with the Third Reich is concerned. rebelled against the timidity of a major part of the older generation and acted as catalysts. in which he severely criticized the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church towards the Third Reich.47 In 1959. but caught up with a development that had already started in the late 1950s. On the barricades against the so-called Notstandsgesetze – new laws governing the . It was possible to believe that it was the protesting students who eliminated many aspects of the old Federal Republic of the 1950s. In this lies the importance of the second half of the 1960s. who had no need to confront the issue of personal guilt and responsibility. historians participated as experts in the trials against Nazi criminals and published detailed accounts of their studies. according to the same historical consciousness.An inability to mourn 563 Historical consciousness and identity Within the historical consciousness of the student protesters of the 1960s. to name just three examples. the so-called Fischer controversy broke out among historians after Fritz Fischer identified Germany as the guilty party in the outbreak of the Great War in his Griff nach der Weltmacht. He thereby not only broke a taboo. now that the debate was no longer restricted to those who had lived through the Third Reich. Peter Weiss staged the Auschwitz trial in his play Die Ermittlung. The previous sections have already shown that this is a one-sided and simplified image of the 1950s. new questions arose that many had so far not wanted or dared to ask. mostly young. it had become ‘the theme’.

Willy Brandt. Western ‘imperialism’ and the ‘repressive’ character of the bourgeois democracy. and on the other hand their theories of Fascism were so abstract that the reality of the Third Reich could be safely kept at arm’s length.564 Friso Wielenga powers of the state in times of crisis – they set themselves up as the generation that had learnt from the failings of their parents. On the one hand. Pointing an accusing finger at ‘monopolist capital’ did not provide an explanation for the massive support for Hitler. present and future became very clear once this theory had been embraced. In March of that year Gustav Heinemaun (SPD). by 1970 many people regarded him and Heinemann – for exactly these reasons – as representatives of a ‘new and better Germany’. The general shift in the way in which people were dealing with the past that had occurred since the 1950s can be witnessed in two characteristic events in 1969. the neo-Marxist Fascism debate in the late 1960s and 1970s. What is more important. gave a boost to the already increasing moral sensitivity about the Nazi past. unhindered by its own biography. It goes without saying that Heinemann and Brandt did not owe their prominent positions to their past but to their plans for present and future reforms. the killing of the Jews and the large number of Nazi criminals. Although many West Germans had regarded Brandt as suspect because of his emigrant past until well into the 1960s. who had been a member of the Bekennende Kirche during the Third Reich. and went completely bankrupt in the terrorist acts of the Rote Armee Fraktion. If the positive and negative aspects are put in the balance. was elected Chancellor. In addition. the participants put themselves on a higher moral plane by vociferously denouncing their parents’ attitudes before and after 1945. the fact that they had climbed to these positions and that their . Thus the Nazi past also became an instrument in the battle against the ‘establishment’. was characterized by a remarkable paradox. With little sense of historical proportion. they joined the ‘resistance’ against this new ‘enabling act’ (1933) and regarded themselves as a watchful vanguard against ‘advancing anti-democratic and Fascist’ tendencies. Past. Was not this abstract reasoning based on theories of Fascism – although from a radically different starting-point – equivalent to the indirect and metaphorical approach to the Nazi past of the 1940s and 1950s? Whatever the case may be. The resistance to the state was underpinned by neo-Marxist theories of Fascism. which seemed to offer a comprehensive explanation of National Socialism. This generation. was elected Federal President. initiated by the student movement. a former emigrant. However. the neo-Marxist Fascism debate eventually petered out within the confines of the intolerant (splinter) organizations of the extreme left. In the same year. a Germany they could identify with. the contribution of the 1960s generation clearly swings to the positive. the need for more openness about the past rested on a much broader social and political basis. but the disadvantage was that it had very little to do with the past and nothing at all to do with the reality of West Germany in the 1960s.

There was a growing insight that the internal structure of the Nazi regime had not been as rigid and streamlined as had previously been assumed.An inability to mourn 565 popularity was also based on their past did signify a fundamental change in the politico-cultural climate in West Germany. as did more aspects of daily life under the Nazis. The strong emphasis on the victims of National Socialism in the historical consciousness of many ‘68ers’ and the awareness of the German guilt they displayed were not self-evident to the generation that followed them. Pupils were now informed at length about National Socialism. In this they differed not only from the older generation but also from part of the younger generation. A strong moralizing approach to the Third Reich was a typical trait of most of the generation of teachers of the 1970s and 1980s. but it did emphasize the central position now occupied by the Nazi past in history classes. there was even a so-called Schulerwettbewerb around this theme. persecution and resistance. This created a more differentiated perspective on state and society in the Third Reich.49 History lessons at school also changed. educational projects were set up concerning local circumstances during the Third Reich. Many young teachers made up for what usually had been neglected in the 1950s and 1960s. Many young people did not feel at ease with the ideas of a generation for whom the debate about the Nazi past had been an aspect of the generation gap of the 1960s. the many other Nazi crimes. not of their parents. In the 1970s and 1980s. Paralleling the growing interest in local history among historians. town or city. much improvisation. this shift in the politico-social assimilation of the Nazi past influenced many areas of life. It was not only young people whose perspective shifted in the 1980s. The left-wing resistance against Hitler also came to light. This project. was certainly not without its critics. The homage Brandt paid to Nazi victims in the former Warsaw ghetto also expressed their desire for a greater moral sensibility as regards the Nazi past. the new curricula paid a great deal of attention to the victims of the Third Reich. The massacre of the Jews. In a comment on his visit to Saudi Arabia in 1981 and the proposed arms sales to that . with Federal President Carl Carstens (CDU) acting as patron. which culminated in prizes for the best essays and their subsequent publication. a sensibility they felt was lacking in many other members of the older generation. fierce power struggles had been taking place. The longer time span since 1945 and the publication of new historical sources led to new questions and a broadening of historical research. and above all. It now appeared that behind the scenes of this seemingly well-oiled regime. In 1982. Pupils in secondary schools throughout the Federal Republic wrote essays about daily life in Nazi Germany as it had been in their village. In the light of the above it is not surprising that it was mainly young people who welcomed this shift. The children of these ‘68ers’ saw the Nazi past as the history of their grandparents or great-grandparents.

What significance did the Nazi past have for the identity of the Federal Republic 40 years after 1945 and what significance should be attributed to it? To what extent should the Federal Republic come out of Hitler’s shadow 40 years after 1945 and to what extent was this possible? Various conservative historians tried to answer these questions in the affirmative.566 Friso Wielenga country. Chancellor Helmut Schmidt stated that German politics in the 1980s and 1990s should no longer be so overshadowed by the past. scholarly interest in the German past. it was not a debate in any scholarly sense of the word: there were no new sources to discuss. and Michael Sturmer wrote pessimistically about the impact ¨ of National Socialism on a positive German self-image. his contemporaries and later generations.50 His successor. explicitly continued this policy of ‘demonstrative normality’ in foreign policy. Helmut Kohl. Ernst Nolte used the excuse that there was a causal link between Stalin’s Gulag and the genocide of the Jews. in Israel. In retrospect. One of the manifestations of this polarization was the so-called Historikerstreit. Admittedly. since it only points to the fact that his generation (and later ones) were spared the burden of criminal guilt (see Jaspers) simply because of their date of birth and not because they had deserved it.51 When visiting Israel in 1984. ideological and moral issues of the controversy were hidden behind the question of the historical uniqueness of the massacre of the Jews. A comparable desire for ‘normality’ formed the basis of Kohl’s intention to lay wreaths at the monument at the Bitburg military cemetery together with President Reagan in 1985. he feared the post-war democratic identity of Germany might be in jeopardy. A typical characteristic of the 1980s was a strong polarization concerning the way in which the Nazi past should be assimilated. Jurgen Habermas established a connection between these three perspectives. With this polemic stand he caused the outbreak of the Historikerstreit. Kohl created the impression that he ‘mit allen Mitteln des Wortes und der Korpersprache …. Although this controversy raged mainly between historians (to which it owes its name). in 1989 the British historian Richard Evans rightly concluded that ‘the discussion … has very little to offer anyone with a serious. The actual political.52 However. Andreas Hillgruber strongly identified himself with the Wehrmacht at the Eastern front during the last stages of the war. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published the contributions from the conservative faction and Die Zeit the articles with a left-wing. If ¨ such revisionism were to become widely accepted.uber eine Hintertur den ¨ ¨ ¨ Ausgang aus der historischen Verantwortung in die tagespolitische Normalitat ¨ 53 suchte. the phrase used by Kohl is correct.’ in the words of Michael Wolffsohn’s critical comment. liberal signature. he spoke about ‘die Gnade der spaten ¨ Geburt’ that would apply to him (he was born in 1930). it did not lead to new insights into National Socialism and it did not point the way to future research.54 It is therefore not surprising that the controversy was not fought out in scholarly journals but in the media. This is not the place to discuss this . In sharp words in 1986.

she later explained that her own recitation had moved her so much that she had not heard Jenninger’s words at all.’ ‘Beschamend’: the immedi¨ ¨ 56 ate press coverage was almost entirely negative. partly by the Historikerstreit. but it did create an avalanche: nearly 50 MPs left the auditorium during the speech. Jutta Oesterle-Schwerin. Her walking out of the Plenarsaal was therefore totally unconnected with the content of Jenninger’s commemorative speech. on the one side were the conservative ‘relativists’ and on the other a united front of ‘true guardians’ of the burdensome historical legacy. These political and social reactions were typical of the climate that had been created in West Germany. This Jewish actress had recited a poem by Paul Celan prior to Jenninger’s speech and had hidden her face in her hands during the rest of the ceremony. In front of the cameras and in the . sie wird auch nicht vergehen. In reality. had interrupted Jenninger early in his speech and had left the auditorium in protest. Jenninger had looked for historically sound explanations for Hitler’s huge following and for anti-Semitism without trying to condone. Even before the vast majority of the German and foreign press had nailed Jenninger to the wall.An inability to mourn 567 polemic in detail. factions. ‘Peinliche Entgleisung. in retrospect it can be seen that this kind of dubious revisionism was much less popular than many liberals had feared. under the pressure of public opinion and almost the entire Bundestag. It seemed that the Federal Republic had been split into two. However. A photograph of Ida Ehre was published all over the world as proof of his inconsiderateness. or of trying to create a historical consciousness that was free of these stains: ‘Unsere Vergangenheit wird nicht ruhen. at first sight irreconcilable. However. It was also said that he had not sufficiently acknowledged the unbearable sufferings of the victims and had been lacking in Betroffenheit. thus effectively creating a scandal. A typical example of the way in which West Germans were coping with the Nazi past in the second half of the 1980s was the political and social response to the speech held in the Bundestag by its president Philipp Jenninger on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Reichskristallnacht in November 1988. a Green MP. The explanation seemed obvious: Ida Ehre was astounded by the faux pas of the Bundestag president. defend or gloss over these issues. it was alleged. had shown an understanding of the anti-Semitism of the Nazis and Hitler’s popularity. It was not common knowledge at the time that even before the ceremony had begun she had already stated it was ‘unertraglich’ ¨ that she had to celebrate in the company of MPs who were against a liberalization of Wiedergutmachungsregelungen and other such measures. all hell had broken loose in the Bundestag. Jenninger. The following day Jenninger resigned.’ The aim of his speech had been to increase insight into that past and to indicate its significance for the present.’ ‘Jenningers boser Fehltritt. He cannot be accused of smoothing over the brown past either.

and certainly no Symptom of the conservative fad for glossing over National Socialism. more than 40 years after 1945. After the ‘relative calm’ of the 1950s. I have used the 14th edition (1982). The same could be said about political commentators in relation to their readership. and a guilt-ridden recollection of that past as part of the German identity. many politicians stated categorically that they wished to be rated among the latter group. 50 ¨ years after the Reichskristallnacht in 1988. The reality of the 1980s was more varied and differentiated. West Germany was now looking for a new bearing. The Mitscherlichs themselves have not essentially modified their . and M. it was the response that had got on the wrong track. Germany seemed to be torn between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ by the Historikerstreit and the excitement surrounding Jenninger’s speech. What cannot be denied either is that the urge for ‘normality’ sometimes appeared strained. far more instinctive response? Jenninger’s speech was no Entgleisung. pp.M). On the surface it seemed a straightforward clash of attempts to repress and explain away the Nazi past. ¨ NS-Erbe und StasiAngst (Frankfurt a. ¨ 3. it was less alarming than it had often seemed in the heat of battle. people were trying to distance themselves further from the past. shrill tones could still be heard from time to time and the right came up with dubious historical perspectives. T. Spaltung. Naturally. and people who had not listened carefully could have interpreted it incorrectly. and the moralizing impulse of ‘1968’. Nevertheless. for better or for worse. ¨ 2. although the debate in this period with its many round-figure anniversaries 50 years after the Machtsubernahme in 1983. A.568 Friso Wielenga presence of journalists. UberSexualisierung. Admittedly. Jenninger’s speech left much to be desired in a rhetorical sense. as the Frankfurter Rundschau put it in a comment. 40 years after the end of the war two years later. Moser (1992) Vorsicht Beruhrung. Of course. But why did so few take the trouble to study the text afterwards? Why were so few prepared to defend the Bundestag president on the basis of the content of the speech and to reconsider their initial. to name just three – appeared controversial. a symptom of a polarized.. 13–43.58 References and Notes 1. the breaching of that calm since 1958. Grundlagen ¨ kollektiven Verhaltens (Munchen). pp. But the intensity and orientation of the debate showed that this emergency exit did not exist and that the Nazi past had long since been ‘branded’ into the German identity.57 Rather. Mitscherlich (1967) Die Unfahigkeit zu trauern. hypersensitive and often impotent debate about a past that had not been buried properly. however. and some were undoubtedly trying to find an emergency exit out of history. 203ff 4. Ibid.

A. 14. p. three to life imprisonment. Jaspers (1967) ‘Warum ich Deutschland verlassen habe. 105. see pp. p.’ in: L. cf.’ in: Suddeutsche Zeitung. 20. pp. Reaktion. p. Vier Beitrage uber den Umgang mit der NS. Weber and P. diagnosis since 1967 either. Wer war an Hitler schuld? Die Debatte um die Schuldfrage 1945–1949 (Munchen). Bergmann (1992) ‘Die Reaktion auf den Holocaust in Westdeutschland von 1945 bis 1989. K. pp. 17. ¨ F.’ in: J. 204–5. 104. Abusch (1946) Der Irrweg einer Nation (Berlin). ¨ E. also Grosscr. W. 19.’ in: Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht. Herbert and O. 16. p. Herbst (ed. cf. P. p. Reaktion. the preface to the paperback edition of Unfahigkeit and M. Integration (Munchen). Eberan. 9. Foschepoth (1986) ‘Zur deutschen Reaktion auf Niederlage und Besatzung. Foschepoth rightly points to the fact that many people in Germany assumed the role of victim. 15. Verbrechen. Meinecke (1946) Die deutsche Katastrophe. Unterwerfung. 80ff K. pp. 73ff. Steinbach (eds) Vergangenheits . Bergmann. 43(6). Birke (1989) Nation ohne Haus. cf. 48 Ibid. for a clarification of these concepts of guilt. 31–50. Eberan (1985) Luther? ¨ ¨ ¨ Friedrich ‘der Grosse?’ Wagner? Nietsche? … ?.Vergangenheit in den beiden ¨ ¨ deutschen Staaten (Hamburg).. Schuldfrage. cf. 19 August. Jaspers ¨ (1967) Schicksal und Wille (Munchen). 341. pp. Westdeutschland 1945–1955. 17ff.’ in: FrankfurterHefte. 333. 7. 151–166. l. Verbrechen. Groehler (1992) Zweierlei Bewaltigung. Jaspers (1946) Die Schuldfrage. Kogon (1946) Der SS-Staat. Zur politischen Haftung Deutschlands (Munchen: 1946). cf. Mitscherlich and B. 12 of the 24 accused were sentenced to death. Jaspers. A. pp. 1. 42. and three were acquitted. p. see J. p. 8. Grosser’s remark that Die ¨ Schuldfrage caused ‘ein grosses Echo’ when it appeared in 1946 should therefore be considered incorrect. 12. Grosser (1993) Verbrechen und Erinnerung. also Jaspers’s memoirs. U. cf. 69. ¨ K. No. Zwei deutsche Seelen – einander fremd geworden ¨ (Munchen). Burmeister (1993) Wir haben ¨ ein Beruhrungstabu.). In this context. Fragen und Akzente.. 11. 28. For the attitudes of both the Protestant and the Roman Catholic churches. pp. 127ff cf Bergmann. Einige Bemerkungen. B. cf. Berachtungen und Erinnerungen (Wiesbaden). Das System der deutschen Konzentrationslager (Munchen). I have used the 1987 edition. 18. ¨ 204. 328. J. Steinbach (1983) ‘Nationalsozialistische Gewaltverbrechen in der ¨ deutschen Offentlichkeit nach 1945. 10. p. Der Genozid im Gedachtnis der Volker (Munchen). cf. 13. ¨ E. Grosser. reprinted many times. p. Ibid. for the trial itself cf. Kontrolle.An inability to mourn 569 5. Kogon (1946) ‘Gericht und Gewissen. Deutschland 1945–1961 (Berlin). 6. six to jail sentences of up to 20 years. Debatte. A.

Vom Umgang der 21. 34. 58ff. ¨ p. 36. Schwarz (1991) Adenauer. ¨ cf. For its development cf. pp.). Kogon (1947) ‘Das Recht auf den politischen Irrtum. ¨ p. 17. politische ¨ Sauberung. J. Henke (1991) ‘Die Trennung vom Nationalsozialismus. 37. 2nd edn (Amsterdam). Th. 28. Henke. who used them to describe the way in which historians dealt with the Shoah in the 1950s. 35. 23. ‘Entnazifizierung’ Strafverfolgung. pp. p.-P. Politische Sauberung undRehabilitierung in den vier ¨ Besatzungszonen 1945–1949 (Munchen). Politische Sauberung in Europa. Ibid. 586 R. 276ff. ¨ When evaluating the difference in the reception of these two books. 530). F. Trennung.). F. Wendepunkte deutscher Geschichte 1848–1945 (Frankfurt a. 153. The terms are borrowed from Norbert Frei. Winkler (eds. 29. p. 21 and p. 24. Schneider and T. 26. Westphalen (1992) Reue ist undeutsch. cf.’ in: M. pp. Bergmann.’ in: Historische Zeitschrift. Giordano (1987) Die zweite Schuld oder von der Last Deutscher zu sein (Hamburg). Wielenga (1994) ‘ “Stille revolutie” en schijnbare normaliteit. 26. Lubbe (1983) ‘Der Nationalsozialismus im deutschen ¨ Nachkriegsbewusstsein. ¨ Woller (eds). Band 236.’ in: Frankfurter Hefte. ¨ P.). Der Staatsmann 1952–1967 (Stuttgart). Vollnhals (1991) Entnazifizierung. 33. Kittel (1993) Die Legende von der ‘zweiten Schuld’ ¨ Vergangenheitsbewaltigung in der AraAdenauer (Berlin/Frankfurt a. Selbstzerstorung. p. Reaktion. as quoted in: K. 40. Hess and F. Niethammer (1982) Die Mitlauferfabrik Die Entnazifizierung am ¨ Beispiel Bayerns (Berlin).-D.’ in: J. Stern and H. p.A. literary factors should of course also be taken into consideration. 654–5 L. 2(7). 27. 176–218. Henke and H. p. De westerse zones en de Bondsrepubliek 1945–1990. Kocka (1979) ‘1945: Neubeginn oder Restauration?’ in: C. cf. Die Abrechnung mit ¨ Faschismus und Kollaboration nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg (Munchen).). Zasuren nach 1945. pp. for the quotes see p. P. Essays ¨ zur Periodisierung der deutschen Nachkriegsgeschichte (Munchen). Broszat (ed. for the denazification see also: C. 328. cf Herbert and Groehler.-D. H. As admitted by Adenauer himself (quoted in: H. 71.). 25. Wielenga (eds. 31. Graf Kielmansegg (1989) Lange Schatten. p. 153–154. 22. E. Duitsland en de democratie 1871–1990. .M. ‘Erich Maria Remarques Der Funke Leben und das Konzentrationslager Buchenwald Katalog zur Ausstellung (Bramsche). Graml (1990) ‘Die verdrangte Auseinandersetzung mit dem ¨ Nationalsozialismus. Bewaltigung. M. 176. 32. Steinbach (1981) Nationalsozialistische Gewaltverbrechen. H. Die Diskussion in der deutschen Ofjfentlichkeit (Berlin).570 Friso Wielenga bewaltigung durch Strafverfahren? NS-Prozesse in der Bundesrepublik ¨ Deutschland (Munchen). ¨ pp.M.’ in: K. cf.C. 30.

Chr. Deutsche Geschichtserinnerung heute (Munchen). Die geteilte Vergangenheit. Herbert and Groehler. a ¨ ¨ publicist who was the permanent representative of the Federal Republic in the GDR from 1974 to 1981. pp. Mass/London). 3rd edn (London). cf. 39. 53. Vergangenheitsbewaltzgung ¨ und Westintegration in derAraAdenauer (Hamburg). Staatsmann. 172. cf. 56. 175–188. I. Rede. Frankfurter Rundschau. 41. 45. Graml. 236. 54. 48.An inability to mourn 571 38. pp. p. 58. H. 53. cf G. 51. M. 47. For such an account see (1987) ‘Historikerstreit’. p. History. Kritische Betrachtungen (Koln). pp. 118. Shadow. 70. Giordano. 60. 44. Hoffmann (1992) Stunden Null? Vergangenheitsbewaltigung in ¨ Deutschland 1945–1989 (Bonn). Evans. J. pp. 43. 49. Bergmann. Gewaltverbrechen. Trennung. Ein polemischer Essay zum ‘Historikerstreit’ (Munchen). 61–86.). 115. Zum Umgang mit Nationalsozialismus und Widerstandin beiden deutschen Staaten (Berlin). p. 50. 19. cf. cf. 82–83 (note 175). Schuld. ¨ cf. Malangre (eds) (1989) Philipp ´ Jenninger. Chr. Grundlegung der Bundesrepublik (Munchen). quoted in: Laschet and Malangre. Sontheimer (1991) Die Ara Adenauer. cf. Danyel (ed. Rede und Reaktion (Aachen/Koblenz).’ in: J. 58. cf. Laschet and H. U. Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation. 40. West German Historians and the Attempt to Escape from the Nazi Past (New York). pp. p. Brochhagen (1994) Nach Nurnberg. 73–74. R. Lemke (1995) ‘Instrumental isierter Antifaschismus und SED-Kampagnepolitik im deutschen Sonderkonflikt 1960–1968. ¨ The term ‘Gnade der spaten Geburt’ was coined by Gunter Gaus. cf. and German National Identity (Cambridge. 528–529. Maier (1988) The Unmasterable Past. 11 and 127. cf. 46. cf. pp. cf Also K. p. Wolffsohn (1992) Keine Angst vor Deutschland! (Frankfurt aM/Berlin). 180–181. pp. pp. ¨ Wolffsohn. 276ff for an account of this aspect in the 1960s cf: M. 44. Die Dokumentation der Kontroverse um die Einzigartigkeit dcr nationalsozialistischen Judenvernichtung (Munchen). Steinbach. p. p. 51–53. Deutschen mit der nationalsozialistischen Vergangenheit (Berlin). Gaus (1986) Die Welt der Westdeutschen. Schwarz. Kershaw (1993) The Nazi Dictatorship. p. Bewaltigung. Meier (1990) VierzigJahre nach Auschwitz. pp. M. 44. p. Meier. 121ff. 72ff. cf. . 55. ¨ cf. ¨ cf. Evans (1989) In Hitler’s Shadow. Schatten. 52. Kielmansegg. Wolffsohn (1989) Ewige Schuld? 40 Jahre deutsch-judisch-israelische Beziehungen (Munchen). Schuld. pp. 12 November 1988. Henke. Ch. ´ cf. p. Auseinandersetzung. S. in extenso A. 42. Reaktion. pp. Jahre. ¨ Holocaust.-U Wehler (1988) Entsorgung der ¨ deutschen Vergangenheit. 57.

then 1997–1999 Associate Professor of German contemporary History at Utrecht University. 2000) ¨ . In 1999. 1995) and Vom Feind zum Partner – Die Niederlande und Deutschland seit 1945 (Munster. he became Director of the Centre of Dutch Studies at Munster University. His books ¨ include Schatten deutscher Geschichte – Der Umgang mit dem Nationalsozialismus und der DDR-Vergangenheit in der Bundesrepublik (Vierow/Greifswald.572 Friso Wielenga About the Author Friso Wielenga was Associate Professor of Contemporary History and Dutch-German relations at Groningen University.

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