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Thomas Kühne

Dr. Thomas Kühne is Strassler Professor of Holocaust History at the Strassler Family Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies of Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts (USA).

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Thomas Kühne


Die Soldaten des nationalsozialistischen Krieges und das 20. Jahrhundert

1. Edition 2006
327 pages
ISBN 978-3-647-35154-4
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht

Kritische Studien zur Geschichtswissenschaft. - Band 173

29,99 €
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Why did German soldiers fight with such determination in the Second World War, even when defeat was inevitable? And how could so many common soldiers have supported such an iniquitous war? The answer to these questions does not just lie in anti-Semitism or in the Germans’ obedience to authority, but also in the soldiers’ longing for a sense of community and the fulfilment of this longing amidst mass violence and death. Adopting a contemporary perspective from cultural, gender and military history, this book shows how the mythical concept of comradeship determined the mental preparation, experience and collective memory of the Second World War in Germany.
The book examines the entire period from the First World War through to the end of the 20th century. The idea of comradeship was central to shared experience and encompassed both equality and authority, affectionate homoeroticism and manly conviviality, self-sacrificing compassion and collective crime, intimate personal relationships and national hierarchies. In spite of its primary focus on male bonding, it was even capable of exercising a fascination on women. Comradeship thus not only generated a sense of order in the chaos of the National Socialists’ war of destruction, it also generated continuity between the societies of the Weimar Republic, National Socialism and Germany after 1945.

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Further books in this series
Kritische Studien zur Geschichtswissenschaft.