Aftermath: Legacies and Memories of War in Europe, by Tim Haughton, Nicholas Martin

By Tim Haughton, Nicholas Martin

Targeting 3 of the defining moments of the 20th century - the tip of the 2 global Wars and the cave in of the Iron Curtain - this quantity offers a wealthy selection of authoritative essays, protecting quite a lot of thematic, local, temporal and methodological views. by way of re-examining the stressful legacies of the century's 3 significant conflicts, the quantity illuminates a few recurrent but differentiated rules bearing on memorialisation, mythologisation, mobilisation, commemoration and disagreement, reconstruction and illustration within the aftermath of clash. The post-conflict courting among the residing and the useless, the contestation of thoughts and legacies of warfare in cultural and political discourses, and the importance of generations are key threads binding the gathering together.While now not claiming to be the definitive research of so huge an issue, the gathering however provides a sequence of enlightening old and cultural views from best students within the box, and it pushes again the limits of the burgeoning box of the examine of legacies and stories of battle. Bringing jointly historians, literary students, political scientists and cultural reviews specialists to debate the legacies and stories of battle in Europe (1918-1945-1989), the gathering makes an incredible contribution to the continuing interdisciplinary dialog concerning the interwoven legacies of twentieth-century Europe's 3 significant conflicts.

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He is currently writing his second monograph, which concerns the diaries, letters and pictures of children and adolescents in wartime Japan, China, Britain and the USSR. He also works on prewar science fiction in North Asia. John Paul Newman is Lecturer in Modern European History at the National University of Ireland at Maynooth. His current research interests lie in the cultural history of Yugoslavia and of the Balkan region. He has published on paramilitary violence in the Balkans after 1917, the transition of the Croat lands from a Habsburg to a Yugoslav framework, and the successes and failures of institution building in interwar Eastern Europe.

6 Proceeding in this associative fashion nonetheless points to a common characteristic of wars and their aftermaths. Indeed, irrespective of the outcome of the conflict, post-war periods are – like combat itself – typically laden with uncertainty. 7 For in the aftermath of Europe’s twentieth-century conflicts, uncertainty undermined and destabilised conventional visions of the past and understandings of present challenges. As a result, former belligerent societies strove and struggled to project themselves into the post-war future.

Strategies and individual narratives of the self varied accordingly, with interesting similarities and differences. On both sides, politically dominant and socially prevalent strategies included means of exonerating large numbers of people who had gone along with Nazism, but the emphases were subtly different. In the West, a widely prevalent claim was that one had ‘always been against it’ (immer dagegen), and had ‘known nothing about it’ (nichts davon gewusst). Stories of alleged attempts to ‘save a Jew’ appear to have been widely prevalent, and were brought up even by defendants in war crimes trials.

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