A Past Without Shadow: Constructing the Past in German Books for Children

A Past Without Shadow: Constructing the Past in German Books for Children

by Zohar Shavit

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A Past Without Shadow: Constructing the Past in German Books for Children by Zohar Shavit

A Past Without Shadow examines 50 years of German children's books in which the darkest horrors of the Third Reich have routinely remained hidden. The horrors of the Third Reich are systematically screened and filtered, allowing the darker, bleaker parts of history to escape illumination. Here Zohar Shavit explores 345 German books for children describing the Third Reich and the Holocaust, and finds a shocking distortion of the past: a recurrent narrative which suggests that the Germans themselves had no hand in the suffering inflicted on the Jews. These books, Shavit argues, have created the false historical lesson that the real victims of Hitler's crimes were the German people themselves.

First published to great acclaim in Hebrew and now available in English, this book is a wake-up call for anyone concerned about German children's literature and its responsibility to past and future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781135880682
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 02/22/2005
Series: Children's Literature and Culture
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
File size: 591 KB

About the Author

Zohar Shavit is Professor at the Unit for Culture Research, Tel Aviv University. Her many books include Poetics of Children's Literature and several books in German on the History of Books for Jewish Children in the German-speaking world. Shavit is also known for her translations of American children's classics, among them her translation of E. B. White's Charlotte's Web, which received the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for distinguished translation.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the English Edition  Part 1: The "Story" of the German Past and the Construction of its Past Image  1. The Development of German Books for Children on the Third Reich and World War II  2. Keys to the Past Image  3. Construction of the Past Image  Part 2: Strategies in the Construction of the "Story"  Preface to Parts II and III  4. "Present, but not in Place"  5. "The Dream of the Thousand-Year Reich" - The Borders of the Reich and the Boundaries of Time  6. "Some of my Best Friends ... " - Philo-Semitic and Anti-Semitic Descriptions of the Jews  7. "Not the Way it Looks" - Nazis and Pseudo-Nazis  8. "If Only I Could ...." - An Analogy between Jews and Nazis  Part 3: Whose War Was It?  9. "The Whole People ... " - The Scope of the Resistance Movement  10. "Actually, I Myself was a Victim" - The Germans as Victims  11. "I'm not Guilty" - The Germans and Guilt  Part 4: The Construction of an Alternative Discourse  12. "Seeing it Differently" - An Alternative Narrative.  Conclusion: The Image of the Past in German Public Discourse and Texts for Children

What People are Saying About This

Elie Wiesel

...[S]imply fascinating. Where is Germany going if its children learn to remember things that constitute a distortion and falsification of their past?.(Elie Wiesel, author of Night)

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