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# Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (August 31, 2006)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 019512779X
# ISBN-13: 978-0195127799
"This penetrating analysis of how modern Germans have coped is highlighted by Jarusch's observation that the Germans created and then capitalized on a new sociological phenomenon--an 'arrogance of humility.' The articulation of this phenomenon is perhaps the most remarkable achievement of this work that enriches the historiography of post-WW II Germany. Highly recommended."--D.A. Browder, CHOICE
"Prolific historian Konrad H. Jarausch has laid out many arguments and superb information as to why our focus should shift from analyzing the establishment of the Third Reich and its actions, to examining how German society attained a new humanitarianism after World War II.... Jarausch provides the best basis thus far for reflecting on the positive transformation of, historically, one of the world's most problematic contries."--Dieter K. Buse, H-Net Reviews
"This book's very important contribution is Jarausch's effort to place 'civil society' and human rights at the centre of twentieth-century German history. This perspective allows many fresh and original insights; it will undoubtedly inspire new research as well as open up new possibilities for transnational and international comparisons."--Frank Biess, German History
"Admirably balanced."--Arthur B. Gunlicks, Holocaust and Genocide Studies
"A fascinating work.... Internal developments, foreign contracts, and a deliberate effort by outsiders assisted the German people in aligning themselves with the West not only in the military sense but also in the values of civil society. That process is reviewed in this book in an exemplary fashion and with a fair attention to the disputes that have attended it."--Gerhard L. Weinberg, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"A work of seasoned learning, judicious intelligence, and wide empirical range, After Hitler tells the complex and uneven story of a ruined society's long-term moral and political reconstruction. Holding in view the attainment of a 'civilized society' as a workable ideal, Konrad Jarausch surveys Germany's divided histories between 1945 and the present to draw a careful and persuasive balance. Even in the most catastrophically damaged society, he shows us, certain basic values of democratic political culture may be painfully reclaimed."--Geoff Eley, author of A Crooked Line: From Cultural History to the History of Society
"What an extraordinary challenge! Konrad Jarausch asks us to think of postwar German history--of West and East Germany in tandem--as a 'civilizing process,' as the lengthy and contorted effort of learning to live in empathy, where enmity had reigned supreme and a literally murderous war had destroyed the foundations of civility. Needless to say, this endeavor was not self-evident nor was it unequivocally chosen or, for that matter, plainly successful. How would you measure success in any case? Jarausch brings postwar history alive with these and similar questions. But his most important contribution is to put the question of civility and 'civil' society--of the sense and sensitivity of civilization--at the center of his inquiry into German history."--Michael Geyer, University of Chicago
"As a history of the German post-war period this account will become a standard work in German schools--and one can only wish that for this book."-- Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung
"Jarausch's thoughtful study offers more than just a thesis-driven contemporary history that provides stimulating insights; it also presents a political and moral perspective which is impressive through its liberal cosmopolitanism."-- Die Zeit
In the spring of 1945, as the German army fell in defeat and the world first learned of the unspeakable crimes of the Holocaust, few would have expected that, only half a century later, the Germans would emerge as a prosperous people at the forefront of peaceful European integration. How did the Germans manage to recover from the shattering experience of defeat in World War II and rehabilitate themselves from the shame and horror of the Holocaust? In After Hitler, Konrad H. Jarausch seeks to answer this question by analyzing how civility and civil society, destroyed by the Nazi regime, were restored during the post-war period.
It took a joint effort by the victors and the vanquished to bring about such a fundamental reorientation. In the aftermath of World War II, the Allies forced the defeated and divided Germans to demilitarize, denationalize, and decartelize, thereby setting them on a path towards physical recovery. During the 1960s and early 1970s, however, internal rethinking began to overshadow outside intervention as the Germans themselves began westernizing their political culture and democratizing their outlook. A younger generation also vocally protested the status quo. As a united Germany rose from the ruins of the Berlin Wall after 1989, the Germans attempted to complete their material and moral metamorphosis by repudiating communism, adopting a commitment to human rights, and dealing with contentious issues of immigration and citizenship. Viewed from the vantage point of the physical and moral devastation of 1945, this rebirth is a truly astounding success story, providing a unique look at a nation's recovery from dictatorship and its atonement for massive crimes.
Unlike other intellectual inquiries into German efforts to deal with the Nazi past, After Hitler primarily focuses on the practical lessons a disoriented people drew from their past misdeeds, and their struggle to create a new society with a sincere and deep commitment to human rights. After Hitler offers a comprehensive view of the breathtaking transformation of the Germans from the defeated Nazi accomplices and Holocaust perpetrators of 1945 to the civilized, democratic people of today's Germany.