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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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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 17 October 2019

Answering the German Question

Answering the German Question

(p.1) Introduction Answering the German Question
Enemies To Allies

Brian C. Etheridge

University Press of Kentucky

The introduction broaches the subject of the book, arguing that Germany's visibility in and significance for American life during the postwar period have been neither foreordained nor fixed. Since the end of World War II, various actors have tried to mobilize German representations for different ends. As a result, images of Germany have been manufactured, contested, and co-opted as rival narratives of Germany have competed for legitimacy and hegemony. This introduction describes how the book illustrates that these representations have been both produced by and subjected to different forms of diplomatic, political, social, and cultural power. The introduction highlights that this work connects international and domestic, diplomatic and cultural, and German and American histories. It narrates not only the activities of American and West German government officials but also the efforts of journalists, public intellectuals, filmmakers, public relations experts, neo-Nazis, Jews, conservatives, and student radicals in shaping and articulating narratives of Germany's past and present. This introduction details the concept of “memory diplomacy,” which draws from the study of both public memory and public diplomacy to integrate these different stories.

Keywords:   public memory, public diplomacy, Germany, World War II, American culture

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