Presentation on theme: "Post War Consciousness- Guilt/Social Amnesia Nam and George."— Presentation transcript:
Post War Consciousness- Guilt/Social Amnesia Nam and George
Following the defeat of Germany in 1945, the country was divided into four areas, one for each of the Allied Powers: France, United States, Britain, and Soviet (Russia). 15 million Germans would suffer terrible hardships between 1944 and 1947 during their flight and expulsion from the eastern German territories and Sudetenland.
The Western Allies turned over increasing authority to Western Germany and moved to establish the foundations for a future German government by creating a central Economic Council for their zones. West Germany would experience the fastest period of growth in European history from the early 1950s on, all thanks to the currency reform (1948) and the Allied Marshall Plan. Industrial production increased by 35%. Agricultural production substantially surpassed pre-war levels. The poverty and starvation of the immediate post-war years dispersed, and West Germany enjoyed 20 years of growth that saw standards of living increase dramatically.
Social amnesia refers to a collective group’s dismissal/denial of an event that has occurred. Many emerging countries employ social amnesia as a method of suppressing shameful episodes of the past. This strategy of denial and reconstitution of historical myths opposes national reconciliation within a country, as victims of human rights abuses are denied recognition of their suffering.
West Germany was where many citizens from East Germany tried to escape to for its political freedom and economic prosperity. The horrible events of the war led to a period where leaders and citizens alike experienced social amnesia, as everyone was trying to forget the horrors of the war. Another reason for social amnesia during this time was because events such as the Blitz and Holocaust during the course of the war was something the world looked down on as an obvious negative aspect of history, and all the Germans wanted was to lessen the blame on them.
A result of social amnesia, many people in Germany were not recognized for their suffering during the war, and were further abused by larger powers. Social amnesia was also a method of trying to repress the guilt that German as a collective group felt due to the events of the war. Germany was also expected to accept responsibility for all that happened during the war.