Germany Post WWII: Reactions and Avenues of Rehabilitation

Created by: Francesco Sacca

Hello everyone!

It is an absolute pleasure to welcome you to another week of interesting material surrounding the “lessons and legacies of fascism”. In this week I will be mentioning four scholars and their sources (which will be posted at the bottom of this article) so with no more delay let us discuss the material.

This weeks material and sources were specifically challagening, not in their length but in their substance and effect. these authors particularly focus on the reactions of the GDR (or East Germany) and FRG ( or West Germany) and their sources review the different responses by Germany to the development and the eventual failure of the Nazi fascist government in 1945. Each source aids the reader in laying the foundations for the aftermath and how the GDR and FRG operated very differently in their responses to such things as judicial process, governmental adaptation, and legislation. However, out of all of these sources, one struck me as being particularly (while also gruesome in its details) fascinating, this was Mary Fulbrook and her articles titled, “Discomfort Zones” and “Voices of the Victims”, in the text Reckonings: Legacies of Nazi Persecution and the Quest for Justice. In these articles, Fulbrook describes results of certain cases of German SS officers and their commanders. These accounts were not only shocking due to the the recounting of the atrocities committed during World War 2 but also in how the GDR and FRG had tried the SS soldiers that had been located years after the war in court differently. Her accounts of Holocaust survivors was also very revealing as the validity of their claims were often challenged and the borders of who could claim the position of a “survivor” were also (originally) quite thin.

In essence, these materials were truly an eye opener when it came to understanding the fallout of Nazism in Germany (and elsewhere) and the solutions that were made to ensure that the fascist class were not to return.

Image of a mandatory 1945 Fragebogen.


Mary Fulbrook, “Discomfort Zones” and “Voices of the Victims” in Reckonings: Legacies of Nazi Persecution and the Quest for Justice (Oxford University Press, 2018), pp: 314-336, 361-377.

W. Sollors, “Everybody Gets Fragebogened Sooner or Later’: The Denazification Questionnaire as Cultural Text.” German Life & Letters. Vol 71, Issue 2 (2018): 139-153.

Joachim Häberlen, “(Not) Narrating the History of the Federal Republic: Reflections on the Place of the New Left in West German History and Historiography” Central European History Vol. 52, Issue 1 (March 2019): 107-124.

Robert Moeller, “How to Judge Stanley Kramer’s Judgement at Nuremberg” German History Vol. 31, Issue 4 (December 2013): 497-522.

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