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In History: 71st anniversary of D-Day

“You must prepare the invasion of Europe because we will never win this war unless we bring the war against Hitler on his own land” – Winston Churchill

June 6th will mark the 71st anniversary of The Normandy landings, the day when Western Allies landed in northern France, opening the long-awaited “Second Front” against Nazi Germany. The largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the invasion of German-occupied Western Europe, led to the restoration of the French Republic, and contributed to an Allied victory in the war.

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Of related interest, please take a look at some of Berghahn’s recent books on WWII:

 

TO THE BOMB AND BACK
Finnish War Children Tell Their World War II Stories
Edited by Sue Saffle
Foreword by Kai Rosnell

Between 1939 and 1945, some 80,000 Finnish children were sent to Sweden, Denmark, and elsewhere, ostensibly to protect them from danger while their nation’s soldiers fought superior Soviet and German forces. This was the largest of all of World War II children’s transports, and although acknowledged today as “a great social-historical mistake,” it has received surprisingly little attention. This is the first English-language account of Finland’s war children and their experiences, told through the survivors’ own words. Supported by an extensive introduction, a bibliography of secondary sources, and over two dozen photographs, this book testifies to the often-lifelong traumas endured by youthful survivors of war.

 

 

 

 

EXPERIENCE AND MEMORY
The Second World War in Europe
Edited by Jörg Echternkamp and Stefan Martens

CHOICE OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC BOOK OF THE YEAR 2011

Modern military history, inspired by social and cultural historical approaches, increasingly puts the national histories of the Second World War to the test. New questions and methods are focusing on aspects of war and violence that have long been neglected. What shaped people’s experiences and memories? What differences and what similarities existed in Eastern and Western Europe? How did the political framework influence the individual and the collective interpretations of the war? Finally, what are the benefits of Europeanizing the history of the Second World War? Experts from Belgium, Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, and Russia discuss these and other questions in this comprehensive volume.

 

 

 

 

THE ENEMY ON DISPLAY
The Second World War in Eastern European Museums
Zuzanna Bogumił, Joanna Wawrzyniak, Tim Buchen, Christian Ganzer and Maria Senina

Eastern European museums represent traumatic events of World War II, such as the Siege of Leningrad, the Warsaw Uprisings, and the Bombardment of Dresden, in ways that depict the enemy in particular ways. This image results from the interweaving of historical representations, cultural stereotypes and beliefs, political discourses, and the dynamics of exhibition narratives. This book presents a useful methodology for examining museum images and provides a critical analysis of the role historical museums play in the contemporary world. As the catastrophes of World War II still exert an enormous influence on the national identities of Russians, Poles, and Germans, museum exhibits can thus play an important role in this process.

 

 

 

 

 

THE GREATER GERMAN REICH AND THE JEWS
Nazi Persecution Policies in the Annexed Territories 1935-1945
Edited by Wolf Gruner and Jörg Osterloh

Between 1935 and 1940, the Nazis incorporated large portions of Europe into the German Reich. The contributors to this volume analyze the evolving anti-Jewish policies in the annexed territories and their impact on the Jewish population, as well as the attitudes and actions of non-Jews, Germans, and indigenous populations. They demonstrate that diverse anti-Jewish policies developed in the different territories, which in turn affected practices in other regions and even influenced Berlin’s decisions. Having these systematic studies together in one volume enables a comparison – based on the most recent research – between anti-Jewish policies in the areas annexed by the Nazi state. The results of this prizewinning book call into question the common assumption that one central plan for persecution extended across Nazi-occupied Europe, shifting the focus onto differing regional German initiatives and illuminating the cooperation of indigenous institutions.

 

 

 

 

New in Paperback! 

TERROR FROM THE SKY
The Bombing of German Cities in World War II
Edited by Igor Primoratz

In this first interdisciplinary study of this contentious subject, leading experts in politics, history, and philosophy examine the complex aspects of the terror bombing of German cities during World War II. The contributors address the decision to embark on the bombing campaign, the moral issues raised by the bombing, and the main stages of the campaign and its effects on German civilians as well as on Germany’s war effort. The book places the bombing campaign within the context of the history of air warfare, presenting the bombing as the first stage of the particular type of state terrorism that led to Hiroshima and Nagasaki and brought about the Cold War era “balance of terror.” In doing so, it makes an important contribution to current debates about terrorism. It also analyzes the public debate in Germany about the historical, moral, and political significance of the deliberate killing of up to 600,000 German civilians by the British and American air forces. This pioneering collaboration provides a platform for a wide range of views—some of which are controversial—on a highly topical, painful, and morally challenging subject.

 

 

New in Paperback! 

THE LAW IN NAZI GERMANY
Ideology, Opportunism, and the Perversion of Justice
Edited by Alan E. Steinweis and Robert D. Rachlin

While we often tend to think of the Third Reich as a zone of lawlessness, the Nazi dictatorship and its policies of persecution rested on a legal foundation set in place and maintained by judges, lawyers, and civil servants trained in the law. This volume offers a concise and compelling account of how these intelligent and welleducated legal professionals lent their skills and knowledge to a system of oppression and domination. The chapters address why German lawyers and jurists were attracted to Nazism; how their support of the regime resulted from a combination of ideological conviction, careerist opportunism, and legalistic selfdelusion; and whether they were held accountable for their Nazi-era actions after 1945. This book also examines the experiences of Jewish lawyers who fell victim to anti-Semitic measures. The volume will appeal to scholars, students, and other readers with an interest in Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, and the history of jurisprudence.

 

 

 

 

NAZI PARIS
The History of an Occupation, 1940-1944
Allan Mitchell

CHOICE OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC TITLE 2009

Basing his extensive research into hitherto unexploited archival documentation on both sides of the Rhine, Allan Mitchell has uncovered the inner workings of the German military regime from the Wehrmacht’s triumphal entry into Paris in June 1940 to its ignominious withdrawal in August 1944. Although mindful of the French experience and the fundamental issue of collaboration, the author concentrates on the complex problems of occupying a foreign territory after a surprisingly swift conquest. By exploring in detail such topics as the regulation of public comportment, economic policy, forced labor, culture and propaganda, police activity, persecution and deportation of Jews, assassinations, executions, and torture, this study supersedes earlier attempts to investigate the German domination and exploitation of wartime France. In doing so, these findings provide an invaluable complement to the work of scholars who have viewed those dark years exclusively or mainly from the French perspective.

 

 

HISTORIES OF THE AFTERMATH
The Legacies of the Second World War in Europe
Edited by Frank Biess and Robert G. Moeller

In 1945, Europeans confronted a legacy of mass destruction and death: millions of families had lost their homes and livelihoods; millions of men in uniform had lost their lives; and millions more had been displaced by the war’s destruction, and the genocidal policies of the Nazi regime. From a range of methodological historical perspectives—military, cultural, and social, to film and gender and sexuality studies—this volume explores how Europeans came to terms with these multiple pasts. With a focus on distinctive national experiences in both Eastern and Western Europe, it illuminates how postwar stabilization coexisted with persistent insecurities, injuries, and trauma.

 

 

 

 

 

New in Paperback

‘FOR THEIR OWN GOOD’
Civilian Evacuations in Germany and France, 1939-1945
Julia S. Torrie

The early twentieth-century advent of aerial bombing made successful evacuations essential to any war effort, but ordinary people resented them deeply. Based on extensive archival research in Germany and France, this is the first broad, comparative study of civilian evacuations in Germany and France during World War II. The evidence uncovered exposes the complexities of an assumed monolithic and all-powerful Nazi state by showing that citizens’ objections to evacuations, which were rooted in family concerns, forced changes in policy. Drawing attention to the interaction between the Germans and French throughout World War II, this book shows how policies in each country were shaped by events in the other. A truly cross-national comparison in a field dominated by accounts of one country or the other, this book provides a unique historical context for addressing current concerns about the impact of air raids and military occupations on civilians.

 

 

 

THE DEVIL’S CAPTAIN
Ernst Jünger in Nazi Paris, 1941-1944
Allan Mitchell

Author of Nazi Paris, a Choice Academic Book of the Year, Allan Mitchell has researched a companion volume concerning the acclaimed and controversial German author Ernst Jünger who, if not the greatest German writer of the twentieth century, certainly was the most controversial. His service as a military officer during the occupation of Paris, where his principal duty was to mingle with French intellectuals such as Jean Cocteau and with visiting German celebrities like Martin Heidegger, was at the center of disputes concerning his career. Spending more than three years in the French capital, he regularly recorded in a journal revealing impressions of Parisian life and also managed to establish various meaningful social contacts, with the intriguing Sophie Ravoux for one. By focusing on this episode, the most important of Jünger’s adult life, the author brings to bear a wide reading of journals and correspondence to reveal Jünger’s professional and personal experience in wartime and thereafter. This new perspective on the war years adds significantly to our understanding of France’s darkest hour.

 

 

 

For a full selection of WWII titles please visit our subject page

 

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from Berghahn Journals:

 

French Politics, Culture & Society

French Politics, Culture & Society explores modern and contemporary France from the perspectives of the social sciences, history, and cultural analysis. It also examines France’s relationship to the larger world, especially Europe, the United States, and the former French Empire. The editors also welcome pieces on recent debates and events, as well as articles that explore the connections between French society and cultural expression of all sorts (such as art, film, literature, and popular culture). Issues devoted to a single theme appear from time to time. With refereed research articles, timely essays, and reviews of books in many disciplines, French Politics, Culture & Society provides a forum for learned opinion and the latest scholarship on France.

 

French Politics, Culture & Society is now available on JSTOR!

 

 

 

German Politics and Society

German Politics and Society is a joint publication of the BMW Center for German and European Studies (of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University) and all North American universities featuring programs and centers of German and European studies associated with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). These centers are represented by their directors on the journal’s Editorial Committee.

German Politics and Society is a peer-reviewed journal published and distributed by Berghahn Journals. It is the only American publication that explores issues in modern Germany from the combined perspectives of the social sciences, history, and cultural studies.

 

 German Politics and Society is now available on JSTOR!