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Lecture 12

WLIT 017 Lecture 12: West Germany and the Holocaust

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University of Vermont
World Literature
WLIT 017

West Germany and the Holocaust Tuesday, April 18, 201712:24 PM 32 West Germany and the Holocaust Trmmerfrauen (rubble women) Cleaned up rubble bc many men were still gone, POW,etc. Situation 1945 Germanyfor the main part wasdestroyed 400 million cubic meters of rubb no housing, infrastructure, energy 4.3 million men killed in the war Several hundred thousand hurt Until 194849 several hundred thousand men still POWs Loss of eastern states important for resources (coal, food) and major industries Dismantling of part of existingindustry 9 million displaced persons had to be accommodated (Sudeten Germans) Policy of the Allies Western allies united under US leadership Notion of collectiveguilt everyone in DE shares the guilt (protest, especially younger generation: if everybody is guilty, the perpetrators couldhide behind this concept) Allies established denazification aneducation program Denazification process For practical reasons, clear cut cases were prosecutedfirst Acceleration of cold war: denazification programs came to a hasty end with the resultthat lesseroffenders wereoften punished more harshly and disproportionately to those criminals who were sentenced later with the cold war and European integration in mind 194549: 5000 found guilty of war crimes 195077: 1204 convictions 1945: 84,403 cases of war crimes opened, 74,263 resulted in no punishment at all German attitudes Germanssawthemselves asvictims: Their homes and cities weredestroyed Many civilians killed in the war Lived through horrendous battles and air strikes Food situations were extremely bad
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