In the debates since 1945 on German history and culture, the concept of generations has become ever more prominent. Recent and ongoing shifts in how the various generations are seen -- and see themselves -- in relation to history and to each other have taken on key importance in contemporary German cultural studies. The seismic events of twentieth-century German history are no longer solely first-generational lived experiences but are also historical moments seen through the eyes of successor generations. The generation, seen as a category of memory, thus holds a key to major shifts in German identity. The changing generational perspectives of German writers and filmmakers not only reflect but also influence these trends, exposing both the expected differences between generational views and unexpected continuities. Moreover, as younger artists reframe recent history, older generations like the 1968ers are also contributing to these shifts by reassessing their own experiences and cultural contributions. This volume of new essays applies current discourse on generations in German culture to contemporary works dealing with major sociohistorical events since the Nazi period.
This book analyzes postwar literary works on large area bombings of German cities both in the context of trauma theory and questions of guilt and shame about Germany's Nazi past, embedding the recent debate surrounding the air war of World War II and its influence on German culture in a broader historical, societal, and psychological context.