Adoleszenz, Verantwortung und poetologisches Konzept : Erklärungsmodelle zur motivation jugendlicher Angehöriger der nationalsozialistischen Wehrmacht in der Jugendliteratur der Nachkriegszeit / by Dirk Wendtorf.
This present study examines how German authors, who participated in World War II as adolescent members of the German Armed forces, attempt to convey their experience to a juvenile audience. Therefore, the attempt to elicit an answer to the following pivotal questions is the ultimate goal of this work: (1) How does the adolescent and later adult author portray his motivation to fight as a juvenile for National Socialist Germany? (2) How does this portrayal coincide with the historical and sociological development in post war Germany? (3) To what degree do the authors address the topic of individual responsibility in the context of the developmental stage of adolescence? (4) What literary techniques do the authors employ in their attempt to convey their concepts to the juvenile reader? According to the authors of the 1940s and 50s, the success of the National Socialist in manipulating juveniles to defend Germany until defeat is based on the particular cognitive and affectionate stage of adolescence. In the mid 1960s, when the publication of World War II juvenile literature reaches its climax, the authors of this genre begin to incorporate the seductive side of the consolidation phase of the national socialist regime. In the course of a more intense accommodation of the presumptive reader the authors also introduce the topics of resistance and the Holocaust in their works. However, like their predecessors of the Adenauer-era, these writers refrain from a conclusive and definitive statement on personal responsibility for their involvement in the national socialist system. The 1980s mark the commencement of a new and more far-reaching sensitivity of German society to the topic of national socialism, which is also reflected in the juvenile literary medium. The presentation of resistance within the military, civil disobedience, the ideological infiltration of the Wehrmacht as well as of the involvement of the German Armed Forces in the genocide are emphasized in juvenile literature. Subsequently, both the content and literary form of these works can be viewed as an expression of self-reproach of socio-ethical failure in the face of the national socialist scourge.
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