Authenticity and Victimhood after the Second World War: Narratives from Europe and East Asia
Published: October 2021© 2021
360 Pages, 6.25 x 9.25 x 1.00 in, 1 B&W illustration, 1 figure
The shadow of the Second World War was filled with many terrible crimes, crimes, such as genocide, forced migration and labour, human-made famine, forced sterilizations, and dispossession, that. None of these atrocities were new, but they all occurred on an unprecedented scale.
Authenticity and Victimhood after the Second World War examines victim groups constructed in the twentieth century in the aftermath of these experiences. The collection explores the concept of authenticity through an examination of victims’ histories and the construction of victimhood in Europe and East Asia. Chapters consider how notions of historical authenticity influence the self-identification and public recognition of a given social group, the tensions arising from individual and group experiences of victimhood, and the resulting, sometimes divergent, interpretation of historical events.
Drawing from case studies on topics including the Holocaust, the siege of Leningrad, American air raids on Japan, and forced migrations from Eastern Europe, Authenticity and Victimhood after the Second World War shows demonstrates the trends towards a victim-centred collective memory as well as the interand the role trends play of in memory politics and public commemorative culture.
Introduction: Authenticity and Victimhood after the Second World War
Randall Hansen, Achim Saupe, Andreas Wirsching, and Daqing Yang
Part One: Methodological and Theoretical Approaches
1. From Hero’s Death to Suffering Victim? Reflections on the “Post-Heroic” Culture of Memory
2. Victim Identities in the Public Sphere: Patterns of Shaping, Ranking, and Reassessment
Part Two: Victims of Genocide and Massacres
3. Eastern European Shoah Victims and the Problem of Group Identity
4. History on Trial before the Social Welfare Courts: Holocaust Survivors, German Judges, and the Struggle for “Ghetto Pensions”
5. Construction of Victimhood in Contemporary China: Toward a Post-Heroic Representation of History?
6. “The Death of Manila” in World War II and Its Postwar Commemoration
Part Three: War Victims
7. Air Raid Victims in Japan’s Collective Remembrance of War
8. Between Memory and Policy: How Societies of Leningrad Siege Survivors Remember the War
9. Victims or Perpetrators or Both? How History Textbooks and History Teachers in Post-Soviet Lithuania Remember Postwar Partisans
Part Four: Victims of Forced Migration and Deportations
10. In Search of a Usable Memory: Politics of History and the Commemoration Day for German Forced Migrants after World War II
11. Of Italian Perpetrators and Victims: Forced Migration in the Italian-Yugoslavian Border Region (1922–54)
12. Defiant Victims: The Deportation of the Chechens and the Memory of Stalinism in the Soviet Union and Russia
13. East Asian Victimhood Goes to Paris: A Consideration of WWII-Related Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Nominations to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Project
"This thought-provoking and wide-ranging collection of essays on post-1945 Europe and East Asia is very welcome. The rich case studies with their careful focus on specific domestic political contexts should ensure that this volume will be widely read. I anticipate that its publication will stimulate further comparative research into memory and constructions of victimhood in the modern world."Peter Gatrell, Professor of History, University of Manchester
"This volume makes an important contribution to the study of memory culture by examining the shift from a celebration of heroism to the authentication of victimhood after the Second World War in Japan and Germany that has ironically made the victim into a new hero. Its suggestive case studies compare European with East Asian experiences through analyses of scholarly accounts as well as media representations of controversies about genocide, war crimes, and forced migration."Konrad H. Jarausch, Lurcy Professor of European Civilization, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"A wide-ranging set of essays that not only reveals the historical threads woven into the dominant victimhood narratives of World War II in Europe and Asia but also provides astute analysis of the global fabric of collective memory in what the authors call our ‘post-heroic age.’ Fascinating."Carol Gluck, George Sansom Professor of History, Columbia University