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Original Essays | June 20, 2014

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Wounds of Memory: The Politics of War in Germany


Wounds of Memory: The Politics of War in Germany Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

German memories of the Second World War are controversial, and they are used to justify different positions on the use of military force. In this book, Maja Zehfuss studies the articulation of memories in novels in order to discuss and challenge arguments deployed in political and public debate. She explores memories that have generated considerable controversy, such as the flight and expulsion of Germans from the East, the bombing of German cities and the ‘liberation’ of Germany in 1945. She shows how memory retrospectively produces a past while claiming merely to invoke it, drawing attention to the complexities and contradictions within how truth, ethics, emotion, subjectivity and time are conceptualised. Zehfuss argues that the tensions and uncertainties revealed raise political questions that must be confronted, beyond the safety net of knowledge. This is a compelling book which pursues an original approach in exploring the politics of invocations of memory.

Book News Annotation:

Zehfuss (international politics, U. of Manchester) continues her quest to understand how World War II, which was the prime evidence that war is bad, is now being touted as justification for rehabilitating war into something virtuous, glorious, warm, and fuzzy. She explores what Germans know or remember about that war, particularly those like her too young to have experienced it directly, but only through post-war propaganda, history, literature, and art. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (


Studies memories of the Second World War articulated in novels to raise important political questions.

Product Details

Zehfuss, Maja
Cambridge University Press
International Relations - General
Europe - Germany
European - German
World war, 1939-1945
German fiction -- 20th century.
Memory in literature
World History-Germany
Publication Date:
9.16x6.39x.97 in. 1.41 lbs.

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Europe » Germany » Modern Germany
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » World History » Germany » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Wounds of Memory: The Politics of War in Germany New Hardcover
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Product details 294 pages Cambridge University Press - English 9780521873338 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Studies memories of the Second World War articulated in novels to raise important political questions.
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