The representation of violence

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Jonathan Littell’s novel The Kindly Ones depicts many scenes of graphic violence

Choices in dictatorships

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In Imre Kertész’s novel Fiasco, Köves describes his experience of being called up to do military duty under the Hungarian regime of János Kádár (1956-1988). He was asked to sign a piece of paper committing him to become a prison guard in the central military prison. Despite not wishing to assume this role, he signed.

Conformity and Hypocrisy

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Elisabeth Langgässer (1899-1950) was a writer. The story ‘Start of the Season’ was published in 1947 in her collection of short stories, The Torso.

Post-war justifications

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Hans Baumgartner, one of the former shooters involved in mass killings in Libau between July and December 1941, was interrogated by the Stasi in the GDR 1969-1970. He was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to death.

Knowledge about atrocities

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Daniel Lerner, Chief editor of the Allied Psychological Warfare Division, reported after travelling through occupied Germany in the first two weeks of April 1945

Innocent Bystanders?

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US Marine Corps Reserve Captain P. Dickson interrogated German civilians in the Rhineland in March 1945

Facilitating ‘Aryanisation’

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Report of an interrogation by Saul Padover and Lewis Gittler, Psychological Warfare Division, 12th Army Group US Army, with Arthur Koenig, 19 November 1944

Bystanders to deportations

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Extracts from the Diary of Berlin journalist, Ruth Andreas-Friedrich

‘Justifications’ for killing

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Letters sent to his wife by Walter Mattner

Kristallnacht: The difficulty of interpreting contemporary sources

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Reports for the Social Democratic Party in Exile (Sopade)

Conformity and compromise

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A young woman’s experiences of life in 1930s Germany