Submitted by: Walter Felscher []

On Thu, 26 Oct 1995, Joanne Klein [] wrote

> 1) Can anyone recommend a good novel for post-1939 Germany? Could
> recommendations please include some description of the novel
> including the date of publication to help me in my decision?

1944/45 Heinrich Böll: Der Zug war pünktlich

Short stories presenting the common soldiers experience

1945/56 Wolfgang Borchert (all you can get your hands on)

Short stories about that time.

1954/55 Martin Walser: Halbzeit

A fat novel, depicting the normalcy of the early fifties

> 2) Are there any good films I could show?

1944 Helmut Käutner: Unter den Brücken

A simple story, very similar to Jean Vigo's L'Atalante. Made when Germany fell apart under the war, expressing the illusion of a peaceful past.

1947 Helmut Käutner: In jenen Tagen

The story of car, and its diverse owners, from 1932 to 1945.

1967 Wolfgang Staudte: Rosen für den Staatsanwalt

preparing the public climate for the collapse of authority after 1968.



Submitted by: Scott Denlinger []

Two works by Heinrich Böll spring to mind: Ansichten eines Clowns (1963) and Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum (1974?). I have only read these in the original, so I cannot comment on English translations. Both works should be accessible to undergraduates, however.

Ansichten ..._ examines the post-war West German society through the eyes of a down on his luck mime who can't reconcile the behavior of his fellow citizens in the post-war years with their behavior during the war.

Katharina Blum is Böll's more "programatic" examination of the West German struggle with the balance between state power and the individual in the wake of the late 1960's protests.

Perhaps "the" World War II novel is Grass' Die Blechtrommel (late 1950s). This work is more demanding, but also offers an unusual glimpse into German life during and after the war. I would not recommend a screening of the film adaptation of Die Blechtrommel, since it completely ignores the protagonist's life after the war is over, and it removes the frame narrative of the original novel.

These brief descriptions have done a disservice to these works, but I hope you found them useful.

Scott Denlinger


Submitted by: Belinda Davis []

To Joanne Klein: You will surely get many suggestions to this query, but, as to film, my students have enjoyed the following inter alia: M. von Trotta's Marianne und Julianne and the adaptation from Boell's Lost Honor , and, on coming to terms with the NS-Zeit, of course, Germany , Pale Mother and Nasty Girl. The second and fourth most easily squeak into a 90-minute period.

Belinda Davis
Rutgers University