Authenticity and Victimhood after the Second World War: Narratives from Europe and East Asia
The shadow of the Second World War was filled with many terrible crimes, such as genocide, forced migration and labour, human-made famine, forced sterilizations, and dispossession. 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 the trends towards a victim-centred collective memory and the role trends play in memory politics and public commemorative culture.
- Series: German and European Studies
- World Rights
- Page Count: 328 pages
- Illustrations: 1
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
Author InformationRandall Hansen is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto and director of the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at the Munk School.
Achim Saupe is the director of the Leibniz Research Alliance for Historical Authenticity at the Centre for Contemporary History (ZZF).
Andreas Wirsching is the director of the Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ).
Daqing Yang is an associate professor of history and international affairs at George Washington University.
Table of contents
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
Subjects and Courses