The Past in Hiding: Legacies of War, Holocaust, Occupation and Collaboration in Post-1945 Europe
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
29 May 2019
Requisites for this module
This module explores how Germany, Italy, Holland, Poland, France and Austria dealt with the legacies and memories of fascism, National Socialism, occupation, collaboration and resistance. Coming to terms with the recent past of war, Holocaust and destruction was a European teask carried out differently in different countries. New founding narratives were created and former enemies were replaced with new ones.
Taking the triangle of history, memory and narrative as a starting point, the module explores ways in which different nations coped with the past, providing insight into historical narratives and political thought in post-1945 Europe. After the end of the Second World War, Europe's population was faced with death and destruction on an unprecedented scale and there was little time, so it seemed, to mourn and reflect.
New governments and new political systems quickly replaced the previous ones and often based their foundation on an explicit stance against totalitarian regimes. Stories of resistance and martyrdom, of suffering and victimhood were essential to create the sense of a new beginning.
In this module, we will look at key debates—sometimes generated by books, sometimes by trials, films, exhibitions and other cultural forms—that altered the view on the past of individual European countries
To understand the importance of political narratives, the use/abuse of history and memory in European history.
General Reading List:
D. Geppert, The Postwar Challenge. Cultural, Social and Political Change in Western Europe 1945-58 (2003)
I. Deak et al (eds), The Politics of Retribution in Europe: World War II and its Aftermath (2000)
M. Winter/ M. Spiering (eds), European Identity and the Second World War (2011)
R. Ned Lebow et al. (eds), The Politics of Memory in Postwar Europe (2006)
P. Lagrou, The Legacy of Nazi Occupation: Patriotic Memory and National Recovery in Western Europe 1945-65 (1999)
R. Bessel/ D. Schumann, 'Introduction: Violence, Normality and the Construction of Postwar Europe', in R. Bessel/ D. Schumann (eds), Life after death. Approaches to cultural and social history of Europe during the 1940s and 1950s (2003)
I. de Haan, 'Paths of Normalization after the Persecution of the Jews: The Netherlands, France and West Germany', in R. Bessel/D. Schumann (eds), Life after death (2003)
P. Lagrou, 'Victims of Genocide and National Memory: Belgium, France and the Netherlands 1945-65', Past and Present, 154 (1997)
1 x 2 hour seminar per week
- Bessel, Richard; Schumann, Dirk. (2003) Life after death: approaches to a cultural and social history of Europe during the 1940s and 1950s, Washington, D.C.: German Historical Institute.
The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
||5,000 Word Extended Essay
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Nadine Rossol
Graduate Administrator, Department of History, Telephone: 01206 872190
Dr Paul Corthorn
Queen's University Belfast
Senior Lecturer in Modern British History
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 18 (90%) hours available to students:
2 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).
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