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In the aftermath of the Second World War, both the allied occupying powers and the nascent German authorities sought Germans whose record during the war and the Nazi period could serve as a counterpoint to the notion of Germans as evil. That search has never really stopped. In the past few years, we have witnessed a burgeoning of cultural representations of this "other" kind of Third Reich citizen - the "good German" - as opposed to the committed Nazi or genocidal maniac. Such representations have highlighted individuals' choices in favor of dissenting behavior, moral truth, or at the very least civil disobedience. The "good German's" counterhegemonic practice cannot negate or contradict the barbaric reality of Hitler's Germany, but reflects a value system based on humanity and an "other" ideal community.

This volume of new essays explores postwar and recent representations of "good Germans" during the Third Reich, analyzing the logic of moral behavior, cultural and moral relativism, and social conformity found in them. It thus draws together discussions of the function and reception of "Good Germans" in Germany and abroad.

Contributors: Eoin Bourke, Manuel Bragança, Maeve Cooke, Kevin De Ornellas, Sabine Egger, Joachim Fischer, Cn Hamilton, Jon Hughes, Karina von Lindeiner-Strásky, Alexandra Ludewig, Pól O Dochartaigh, Christiane Schönfeld, Matthias Uecker.

Pól O Dochartaigh is Professor of German and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Ueland. Christiane Schönfeld is Senior Lecturer in German and Head of the Department of German Studies at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick.


First Published: 01 Apr 2013
13 Digit ISBN: 9781571134981
13 black and white illustrations
Pages: 274
Size: 9 x 6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: Camden House
BIC Class: DSB

Details updated on 05 Oct 2015


  • 1  Introduction: Finding the "Good German"
  • 2  Re-Presenting the Good Citizen: Philosophical Reflections
  • 3  "Görings glorreichste Günstlinge": The Portrayal of Wilhelm Furtwängler and Gustaf Gründgens as Good Germans in the West German Media since 1945
  • 4  From Hitler's Champion to German of the Century: On the Representation and Re-invention of Max Schmeling
  • 5  Wilhelm Krützfeld and Other "Good" Constables in Police Station 16 in Hackescher Markt
  • 6  The "Good German" between Silence and Artistic Deconstruction of an Inhumane World: Johannes Bobrowski's "Mäusefest" and "Der Tänzer Malige"
  • 7  Saints and Sinners: The Good German and Her Others in Heinrich Böll's Gruppenbild mit Dame
  • 8  Being Human: Good Germans in Postwar German Film
  • 9  "The Banality of Good"? Good Nazis in Contemporary German Film
  • 10  Memories of Good and Evil in Sophie Scholl -- Die letzten Tage
  • 11  Deconstructing the "Good German" in French Best-Sellers Published in the Aftermath of the Second World War
  • 12  Macbeth, Not Henry V: Shakespearean Allegory in the Construction of Vercors's "Good German"
  • 13  A Good Irish German: In Praise of Hugo Hamilton's Mother
  • 14  Shades of Gray: The Beginnings of the Postwar Moral Compromise in Joseph Kanon's The Good German
  • 15  Filmography
  • 16  Index

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