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After Hitler - recivilizing Germans, 1945-1995
Konrad Hugo Jarausch
Paperback / softback
Oxford University Press
UK Publication Date

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 AfterHitler, 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. 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, democraticpeople of today's Germany.

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After Hitler is a detailed and comprehensive study of foreign and domestic efforts to "recivilize" Germany following World War II.

Arthur B. Gunlicks Holocaust and Genocide Studies

...impressive book...Jarausch writes in a lively, engaging fashion, and this book will surely reach a broad audience extending well beyond academic specialists. Its clearly laid-out narrative will also be of enormous use to anyone seeking to find an organisational framework for a course on Germany since 1945.

Robert G. Moeller
The English Historical Review

[an] impressive and wide-ranging [book]... allows many fresh and original insights [and] it will undoubtedly inspire new research

Frank Biess, German 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, 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

Keyword Index
Political culture - Germany.|Germany - History - 1945-1990.|Germany - Social conditions - 20th century.|Germany - Economic conditions - 1945-1990.
Country of Publication
New York (State)
Number of Pages

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