A Nazi Past
Recasting German Identity in Postwar Europe
Contributions by Daniel E. Rogers, Katrin Paehler, Hillary C. Earl, David A. Messenger, Susanna Schrafstetter, Thomas Maulucci, Kerstin von Lingen, Florian Altenhöner, Gerald Steinacher, Norman J.W. Goda and Elizabeth Kohlhaas
In A Nazi Past, German and American scholars examine the lives and careers of men like Hans Globke—who not only escaped punishment for his prominent involvement in formulating the Third Reich's anti-Semitic legislation, but also forged a successful new political career. They also consider the story of Gestapo employee Gertrud Slottke, who exhibited high productivity and ambition in sending Dutch Jews to Auschwitz but eluded trial for fifteen years. Additionally, the contributors explore how a network of Nazi spies and diplomats who recast their identities in Franco's Spain, far from the denazification proceedings in Germany.
Previous studies have emphasized how former Nazis hid or downplayed their wartime affiliations and actions as they struggled to invent a new life for themselves after 1945, but this fascinating work shows that many of these individuals actively used their pasts to recast themselves in a democratic, Cold War setting. Based on extensive archival research as well as recently declassified US intelligence, A Nazi Past contributes greatly to our understanding of the postwar politics of memory.
About the Authors
Katrin Paehler is associate professor of history at Illinois State University and a contributor to Secret Intelligence and the Holocaust.
"These superb essays move our understanding of the postwar politics of memory forward in important ways. A Nazi Past will alter how we think about the ways former National Socialists, fascists, and collaborators reshaped their identities and how networks of the like-minded provided mutual assistance."—Steven Remy, author of The Heidelberg Myth: The Nazification and Denazification of a German University
"This valuable work adds to our understanding of the role of personal agency, trials, publicity, and networks in the integration process."—Journal of Military History
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