Crimes of War: Guilt and Denial in the Twentieth Century

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A groundbreaking and controversial look at the question of wartime atrocities, by an all-star group of historians. How do societies remember, or forget, the wartime atrocities their soldiers and citizens may have committed? In The Crimes of War leading historians explore this difficult, troubling question. Offering valuable comparative insight, the book includes original essays on the United States in Vietnam and Korea, the Germans during World War II, and the Japanese in China. Citing recent admissions of the ...
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2002 Hardcover New HARDCOVER IN DUSTJACKET Tracking provided on most orders.

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Overview

A groundbreaking and controversial look at the question of wartime atrocities, by an all-star group of historians. How do societies remember, or forget, the wartime atrocities their soldiers and citizens may have committed? In The Crimes of War leading historians explore this difficult, troubling question. Offering valuable comparative insight, the book includes original essays on the United States in Vietnam and Korea, the Germans during World War II, and the Japanese in China. Citing recent admissions of the killing of unarmed Koreans by American troops at No Gun Ri, newly unearthed evidence of atrocities committed by German soldiers (who were not affiliated with the Nazi SS) on the Russian front, and a new spate of information on Japanese barbarity in China during World War II, the essays sketch a distinctive, repeated pattern from country to country, which typically includes a half-century of denial before a given society is prepared to confront these kinds of grizzly truths about the behavior of its citizens and soldiers. Sure to cause a stir, The Crimes of War delineates a whole new area of inquiry and reveals fascinating patterns of human emotion and behavior. Contributors include distinguished European and American historians such as Saul Friedländer, Omer Bartov, John Dower, Christopher Browning, and Marilyn Young.

Author Biography: Omer Bartov is the John P. Birkelund Professor of European History at Brown University and the author of Mirrors of Destruction. Atina Grossmann is an associate professor of history at the Cooper Union in New York. She is the author of Reforming Sex. Mary Nolan is the author of Visions of Modernity and is professor of history at New York University.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Despite its broad subtitle, Crimes of War: Guilt and Denial in the Twentieth Century focuses mainly on WWII and mostly on Germany's struggle to come to terms with Nazi atrocities. Edited by historians Omer Bartov, Atina Grossmann and Mary Nolan, this anthology of 13 scholarly essays includes Saul Friedl nder on German society's knowledge of Jewish extermination, Gudrun Schwartz's look at the role of women in the Nazi military and Robert G. Moeller on Germans' collective memory of the devastating battle of Stalingrad. There's also an investigation by Marilyn Young of American involvement in (and denial of) the civilian massacre at No Gun Ri during the Korean War. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
This collection of essays acknowledges the "unprecedented memory boom" in studies concerning responsibility for Nazi-era crimes. A recent exhibition of photographs in Hamburg, War of Extermination: Crimes of the Wehrmacht 1941-44, shocked the many Germans who still believed in the relative immunity of the regular German army (Wehrmacht) in contrast to the more egregious crimes of the Holocaust, and it serves as a leitmotif of the book. The essays, mainly by European and American historians, include studies of the role of women in wartime Germany as well as the problem of guilt and denial in Japan and the most recent allegations of civilian massacres during the Korean War at No Gun Ri. The nuanced study of Japanese opinion offers an excellent account of the relation of guilt and contemporary politics, yet, excepting the short introduction, the essays beg many questions about the nature of collective guilt, public acknowledgment, and political rehabilitation. Indeed, the final chapter on No Gun Ri implies the strained comparison of the Holocaust and a single wartime episode. Still, for its examination of German guilt and contemporary belief, this book is recommended for larger public and university libraries. Zachary T. Irwin, Penn State Univ., Erie Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565846548
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 4/1/2002
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 War and War Crimes: A Brief History 1
2 On War Crimes 8
3 The Wehrmacht, German Society, and the Knowledge of the Mass Extermination of the Jews 17
4 The Wehrmacht in Serbia Revisited 31
5 The Wehrmacht Exhibition Controversy: The Politics of Evidence 41
6 Zloczow, July 1941: The Wehrmacht and the Beginning of the Holocaust in Galicia: From a Criticism of Photographs to a Revision of the Past 61
7 Nazi Photographs in Post-Holocaust Art: Gender as an Idiom of Memorialization 100
8 "During Total War, We Girls Want to Be Where We Can Really Accomplish Something": What Women Do in Wartime 121
9 Between Amnesty and Anti-Communism: The West German Kameradenschinder Trials, 1948-1960 138
10 "In a Thousand Years, Every German Will Speak of This Battle": Celluloid Memories of Stalingrad 161
11 When Memory Counts: War, Genocide, and Postwar Soviet Jewry 191
12 "An Aptitude for Being Unloved": War and Memory in Japan 217
13 An Incident at No Gun Ri 242
Notes 259
About the Authors 325
Index 329
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