‘Frieden, das ist nur Schlamperei, erst der Krieg schafft Ordnung.’ These words from Brecht's Mutter Courage may not have sounded as ironic to its first Berlin audiences in January 1949 as they do now. After four years of Allied occupation, with the Soviets and Western Allies increasingly at odds and West Berlin completely cut off from its surroundings and supported by airlift, peacetime may have seemed more of a mess than the war had. Since the beginning of the Allied occupation, those lucky enough to survive the war had faced hunger, homelessness, clothing and fuel shortages, and the coldest winter in living memory. The chaos following unconditional surrender in 1945 opened up a space for competing narratives – about Germany's future, about its recent and more distant past, about political systems and ideologies, and not least, about the role of art and culture in re‐shaping Germany.This issue of German Life and Letters examines some of the narratives circulating during the years immediately following the unconditional surrender of 1945. It focuses particularly on cultural life in the American and British zones of occupied Germany, covering film (Fay, Wolpert), literature (Oliver, Sollors), and journalism (Knowles and Vossen). Arising from a conference
German Life and Letters – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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