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Enemies To AlliesCold War Germany and American Memory$
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Brian C. Etheridge

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813166407

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813166407.001.0001

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“Your Post on the Frontier”

“Your Post on the Frontier”

Germany in an Age of Consensus, 1945–1959

Chapter:
(p.113) 3 “Your Post on the Frontier”
Source:
Enemies To Allies
Author(s):

Brian C. Etheridge

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813166407.003.0003

This chapter shows how the hegemony of the Cold War narrative was replicated in the mainstream American media. In a time of consensus, government endorsement naturalized the Cold War narrative and gave it the veneer of commonsense reality. Conventional publications absolved most common Germans from responsibility for the Third Reich and praised postwar progress in West Germany, doing so by “Americanizing” Germans, thus positioning Americans to adopt prosthetic memories of the German people. The hegemony of the Cold War narrative contributed to the state's larger aims of including the Federal Republic of Germany in the Western world and employing Germany to differentiate between the East and West. In the process, the Cold War narrative legitimated American domestic and foreign policy in the Cold War by trumpeting the superiority of American civilization. Americans also spontaneously endorsed this narrative because it both reflected and contributed to the emerging Cold War consensus. The burgeoning Cold War, the clash between the United States and the Soviet Union in Germany, and particularly the struggle in Berlin helped Americans conceive of Germany as a battleground between capitalism and communism.

Keywords:   totalitarianism, rubble, Volkswagen, economic miracle, Berlin

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