Life in the Fallout of the Third Reich, 1945-1955
How does a nation recover from fascism and turn toward a free society once more? This internationally acclaimed revelatory history--"filled with first-person accounts from articles and diaries" (The New York Times)--of the transformational decade that followed World War II illustrates how Germany raised itself out of the ashes of defeat and reckoned with the corruption of its soul and the horrors of the Holocaust.
Featuring over 40 eye-opening black-and-white photographs and posters from the period.
The years 1945 to 1955 were a raw, wild decade that found many Germans politically, economically, and morally bankrupt. Victorious Allied forces occupied the four zones that make up present-day Germany. More than half the population was displaced; 10 million newly released forced laborers and several million prisoners of war returned to an uncertain existence. Cities lay in ruins--no mail, no trains, no traffic--with bodies yet to be found beneath the towering rubble.
Aftermath received wide acclaim and spent forty-eight weeks on the best-seller list in Germany when it was published there in 2019. It is the first history of Germany's national mentality in the immediate postwar years. Using major global political developments as a backdrop, Harald Jähner weaves a series of life stories into a nuanced panorama of a nation undergoing monumental change. Poised between two eras, this decade is portrayed by Jähner as a period that proved decisive for Germany's future--and one starkly different from how most of us imagine it today.
About this Author
HARALD JÄHNER is a cultural journalist and former editor of The Berlin Times. He has been an honorary professor of cultural journalism at Berlin's University of the Arts since 2011. Aftermath, his first book, won the Leipzig Book Fair Prize in 2019.
SHAUN WHITESIDE is a translator of French, Dutch, German, and Italian literature. He has translated many works of nonfiction and novels, including Manituana and Altai by Wu Ming, The Weekend by Bernhard Schlink, Serotonin by Michel Houellebecq, and Magdalena the Sinner by Lilian Faschinger, which won him the Schlegel-Tieck Prize for German translation in 1997.
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