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

By Tim Haughton, Nicholas Martin

Concentrating on 3 of the defining moments of the 20th century - the top of the 2 global Wars and the cave in of the Iron Curtain - this quantity offers a wealthy selection of authoritative essays, overlaying a variety of thematic, neighborhood, temporal and methodological views. by way of re-examining the nerve-racking legacies of the century’s 3 significant conflicts, the amount illuminates a couple of recurrent but differentiated principles relating memorialisation, mythologisation, mobilisation, commemoration and war of words, reconstruction and illustration within the aftermath of clash. The post-conflict courting among the residing and the lifeless, the contestation of thoughts and legacies of warfare in cultural and political discourses, and the importance of generations are key threads binding the gathering jointly. whereas no longer claiming to be the definitive learn of so giant a topic, the gathering however provides a chain of enlightening old and cultural views from top students within the box, and it pushes again the bounds of the burgeoning box of the research of legacies and stories of struggle. Bringing jointly historians, literary students, political scientists and cultural reports specialists to debate the legacies and thoughts of warfare in Europe (1918-1945-1989), the gathering makes an immense contribution to the continued interdisciplinary dialog concerning the interwoven legacies of twentieth-century Europe’s 3 significant conflicts.

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Extra resources for Aftermath: Legacies and Memories of War in Europe, 1918–1945–1989

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The obvious material challenges are compounded by the political and psychological necessity to come to terms with the experience of war and to make sense of devastation and human loss on an unprecedented scale. Further etymological reflection on the term ‘aftermath’ leads us to its synonym and to one of Clausewitz’s most celebrated phrases, the ‘fog of war’. ’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.

23 The juxtaposition of these two phenomena showed just how implicated many West Germans felt in a continuing community of connection with the generation of perpetrators – the friendly grandfathers who were now revealed as former participants in genocide – and at the same time how committed many felt to the project of identification with the victims in the form of a massive ‘national’ memorial at the very centre of Germany’s political stage. ) was possible. The luxuries of the material plenty of the affluent society in the West were perhaps a key precondition for the eventual almost obsessive concern with the Nazi past among West German communities of connection and identification, in contrast to the East, where the alleged legacies of the past were far less pressing than critiques of the present and attempts to shape a different future.

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. In this respect, the aftermath of military conflicts proves as complex and messy as the business of war itself. Through their training and their leadership in the field, military commanders endeavoured to impose some order onto the ‘fog of war’.

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