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In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe

Today marks the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, commemorating the conclusion of World War II. On May 8, 1945, the Allies formally accepted Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender, marking the end of the war on the European continent.

In the spirit of this day, browse our new and featured titles on the history of World War II and its long, complex legacy.

As a reminder, all Berghahn Journals are available to access until June 30. Scroll down for related articles.


POSTWAR SOLDIERS
Historical Controversies and West German Democratization, 1945–1955
Jörg Echternkamp
Translated from the German by Noah Harley
Vol. 39, MAKING SENSEOF HISTORY

Contemporary historians have transformed our understanding of the German military in World War II, debunking the “clean Wehrmacht” myth that held most soldiers innocent of wartime atrocities. Considerably less attention has been paid to those soldiers at the end of hostilities. In Postwar Soldiers, Jörg Echternkamp analyzes three themes in the early history of West Germany: interpretations of the war during its conclusion and the occupation period; military veteran communities’ self-perceptions; and the public rehabilitation of the image of the German soldier. As Echternkamp shows, public controversies around these topics helped to drive the social processes that legitimized the democratic postwar order.

Introduction: The Problem: Paths Out of the War

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

“…a fine collection… The book is affecting, to be read a little at a time. You won’t forget it afterwards.” · Finnish American Cultural Activities.

“Over a number of years, Sue Saffle has earned the respect of the war children in Finland and Sweden… to such an extent that she has been able to tap into a great source of social and war history. In addition, for many who contributed to the research, [this book] has the added element of being a form of personal catharsis. This is an excellent book which will add a great deal to the academic study of war children past and present.” · Martin Parsons, University of Reading

Introduction

BUREAUCRACY, WORK AND VIOLENCE
The Reich Ministry of Labour in Nazi Germany, 1933–1945
Edited by Alexander Nützenadel
Translated from the German by Alex Skinner

Reviews for the German Edition:

“The results of this broad archival research venture are as impressive as they are innovative, especially since—unlike the thoroughly researched topic of Nazi state social and labor policy—the Reich Ministry of Labor comes into the spotlight for the first time.” • Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“One reads with interest the descriptions of institutional affairs, housing, pension insurance, labor law, and developments after 1945. The strength of the study lies in its presentation of new results based on intensive archival work by scholarly collaborators.” • Süddeutsche Zeitung

Introduction

ON THE EDGES OF WHITENESS
Polish Refugees in British Colonial Africa during and after the Second World War
Jochen Lingelbach

From 1942 to 1950, nearly twenty thousand Poles found refuge from the horrors of war-torn Europe in camps within Britain’s African colonies, including Uganda, Tanganyika, Kenya and Northern and Southern Rhodesia. On the Edges of Whiteness tells their improbable story, tracing the manifold, complex relationships that developed among refugees, their British administrators, and their African neighbors. While intervening in key historical debates across academic disciplines, this book also gives an accessible and memorable account of survival and dramatic cultural dislocation against the backdrop of global conflict.

FORTHCOMING
VOICES ON WAR AND GENOCIDE
Three Accounts of the World Wars in a Galician Town
Edited and with an Introduction by Omer Bartov
Vol. 30, WAR AND GENOCIDE

Taking as its point of departure Omer Bartov’s acclaimed Anatomy of a Genocide, this volume brings together previously unknown accounts by three individuals from Buczacz. These rare narratives give personal glimpses into daily life in unsettled times: a Polish headmaster during World War I, a Ukrainian teacher and witness to both Soviet and German rule, and a Jewish radio technician, genocide survivor, and member of the Polish resistance. Together, they offer a prismatic perspective on a world remote from our own that nonetheless helps us understand how people not unlike ourselves responded to mass violence and destruction.

THE INDOCTRINATION OF THE WEHRMACHT
Nazi Ideology and the War Crimes of the German Military
Bryce Sait

Far from the image of an apolitical, “clean” Wehrmacht that persists in popular memory, German soldiers regularly cooperated with organizations like the SS in the abuse and murder of countless individuals during the Second World War. This in-depth study demonstrates that a key factor in the criminalization of the Wehrmacht was the intense political indoctrination imposed on its members. At the instigation of senior leadership, many ordinary German soldiers and officers became ideological warriors who viewed their enemies in racial and political terms—a project that was but one piece of the broader effort to socialize young men during the Nazi era.

Introduction

AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK
EXPERIENCE AND MEMORY
The Second World War in Europe
Edited by Jörg Echternkamp and Stefan Martens
Vol. 7, CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN HISTORY
CHOICE OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC BOOK OF THE YEAR 2011

This stimulating, wide-ranging collection deftly combines national and European perspectives, which makes it especially valuable for the study of the post-Cold War era and the new Europe. Historians of memory in particular will find it useful, but so will others interested more generally in postwar European history. Highly recommended.”  ·  Choice

AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK
OCCUPATION IN THE EAST
The Daily Lives of German Occupiers in Warsaw and Minsk, 1939-1944
Stephan Lehnstaedt
Translated by Martin Dean

“Lehnstaedt’s powerful work should inspire additional research… Highly Recommended.” • Choice

“Lehnstaedt’s study provides valuable new insights into the nuanced nature of the German-Nazi occupations in Warsaw and Minsk.” • Slavic and East European Review

Introduction

AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK
TERRITORIAL REVISIONISM AND THE ALLIES OF GERMANY IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR
Goals, Expectations, Practices
Edited by Marina Cattaruzza, Stefan Dyroff & Dieter Langewiesche
Vol. 15, AUSTRIAN AND HABSBURG STUDIES

“Overall this book represents a welcome addition to the existing scholarship on nationalism in Central and Eastern Europe, and there is much that scholars of the region can learn from the essays included in this anthology. It is well researched, and many of the authors make provocative, substantiated claims about the nature of territorial acquisition in the mid- twentieth century. This is a text that will be most useful to specialists on World War II or anyone with an already extensive knowledge of the rise of nationalism and its expressions in the region.” · Journal of Austrian Studies

“An impressive work of original and documented scholarship, [this book] provides an insightful history of a previously overlooked aspect of German expansionism as a specifically intended outcome of the Nazi government and military forces of World War II. A remarkably informed and informative study, [it] very highly recommended.” · Midwest Book Review

Introduction: Contextualizing Territorial Revisionism: Goals, Expectations, Practices

VIEWS OF VIOLENCE
Representing the Second World War in German and European Museums and Memorials
Edited by Jörg Echternkamp and Stephan Jaeger
Afterword by Jay Winter
Vol. 19, SPEKTRUM: PUBLICATIONS OF THE GERMAN STUDIES ASSOCIATION

Twenty-first-century views of historical violence have been immeasurably influenced by cultural representations of the Second World War. Within Europe, one of the key sites for such representation has been the vast array of museums and memorials that reflect contemporary ideas of war, the roles of soldiers and civilians, and the self-perception of those who remember. This volume takes a historical perspective on museums covering the Second World War and explores how these institutions came to define political contexts and cultures of public memory in Germany, across Europe, and throughout the world.

Introduction: Representing the Second World War in German and European Museums and Memorials

AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK
THE ENEMY ON DISPLAY
The Second World War in Eastern European Museums
Zuzanna Bogumił, Joanna Wawrzyniak, Tim Buchen, Christian Ganzer and Maria Senina
Vol. 7, MUSEUMS AND COLLECTIONS

“…the book highlights the fascinating issue of displaying war, and, through display, defining and exposing certain concepts of national and local identity. In that sense the volume is an important contribution to the growing literature on Central and East European museums in particular, and the issue of presentation of war in museums in general.” · Canadian Slavonic Papers

“The study contains a multitude of interesting details and observations pertaining to various regimes of collective memory, the specifics of national and local commemorations, and the inclusion of contested past into the fabric of museum exhibitions.” · Laboratorium: Russian Review of Social Research

Introduction: The Enemy on Display

AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK
THE LONG AFTERMATH
Cultural Legacies of Europe at War, 1936-2016
Edited by Manuel Bragança and Peter Tame
Foreword by Richard Overy
Afterword by Jay Winter

Vol. 17, CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN HISTORY

“The chapters confirm that individual and collective memory often wields great influence when framed by culture and history. Within academic circles focusing upon this aspect of cultural history and memory, this collection of essays is highly valuable… The academics in this volume are well placed to make a significant contribution to the ambitions [of forging a cohesive European sense of history] and to help frame Europe’s sense of its long and troubled history during the latter twentieth century, and how it is perceived in this new century.” • War in History

“Manuel Braganca and Peter Tame have compiled a highly stimulating volume of essays, which whets the appetite for more.” • Journal of European Studies

Introduction: The Long Aftermath of the Long Second World War

OPEN ACCESS
COMRADES IN ARMS
Military Masculinities in East German Culture
Tom Smith

Without question, the East German National People’s Army was a profoundly masculine institution that emphasized traditional ideals of stoicism, sacrifice, and physical courage. Nonetheless, as this innovative study demonstrates, depictions of the military in the film and literature of the GDR were far more nuanced and ambivalent. Departing from past studies that have found in such portrayals an unchanging, idealized masculinity, Comrades in Arms shows how cultural works both before and after reunification place violence, physical vulnerability, and military theatricality, as well as conscripts’ powerful emotions and desires, at the center of soldiers’ lives and the military institution itself.

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Berghahn Journals

Full access until June 30*

CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HISTORY OF CONCEPTS
Editors: Jani Marjanen, University of Helsinki, Jan Ifversen, University of Aarhus, Margrit Pernau, Max Planck Institute for Development
SPECIAL ISSUE: Citizenship in Europe after World War II (Vol. 9, Issue 1)

FRENCH POLITICS, CULTURE & SOCIETY
Executive Editor: Herrick Chapman, New York University
Editor: Elisabeth Fink, New York University
SPECIAL ISSUE: The Rescue of Jews in France and its Empire during World War II (Vol. 30, Issue 2)

HISTORICAL REFLECTIONS
Editor: Elizabeth C. Macknight, University of Aberdeen
Co-Editor: W. Brian Newsome, Elizabethtown College 
SPECIAL ISSUE: Micro-annihilation(Vol. 39, Issue 2)

*To help you overcome the challenges many of you are facing in teaching and researching outside of your universities, we have made all Berghahn journals available to access until June 30. View full COVID-19 updates