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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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“We Refuse to Be ‘Good Germans’”

“We Refuse to Be ‘Good Germans’”

Germany in a Divided Decade, 1959–1969

Chapter:
(p.203) 5 “We Refuse to Be ‘Good Germans’”
Source:
Enemies To Allies
Author(s):

Brian C. Etheridge

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813166407.003.0005

This chapter shows that while most West German officials believed that the apparent “anti-German wave” signified an upsurge in anti-German feeling, an examination of the constituent parts of the wave reveals that the story was far more complex. The various events in and about Germany—the swastika daubings of 1959–1960, the Eichmann trial, the publication of William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich—offered a new set of symbols for Americans to use in discussing their current and future foreign and domestic policies. Most important, with the fragmentation of the postwar consensus in light of civil rights activism, increasingly violent riots, open dissent against American foreign policy, and outright cultural rebellion, the state's ability both to contain alternative narratives of Germany and maintain a media monopoly on Germany's meaning for America faltered. Conjuring the Cold War narrative failed to persuade many Americans to stay within the fold. Although the state-sanctioned narrative endured and remained evident in mainstream products such as Hogan's Heroes and Combat! Germany was remembered and deployed by different groups to critique the Cold War consensus itself.

Keywords:   Adolf Eichmann, Hogan's Heroes, Combat!, neo-Nazis, Judgment at Nuremberg, Weathermen, Students for a Democratic Society, Barry Goldwater

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