In the spring of 1945, as the German army fell in defeat and the world first learned of the unspeakable crimes of the Holocaust, few would have expected that, only half a century later, the Germans would emerge as a prosperous people at the forefront of peaceful European integration. How did the Germans manage to recover from the shattering experience of defeat in World War II and rehabilitate themselves from the shame and horror of the Holocaust?
In AfterHitler, Konrad H. Jarausch seeks to answer this question by analyzing how civility and civil society, destroyed by the Nazi regime, were restored during the post-war period.
Unlike other intellectual inquiries into German efforts to deal with the Nazi past, After Hitler primarily focuses on the practical lessons a disoriented people drew from their past misdeeds, and their struggle to create a new society with a sincere and deep commitment to human rights. After Hitler offers a comprehensive view of the breathtaking transformation of the Germans from the defeated Nazi accomplices and Holocaust perpetrators of 1945 to the civilized, democraticpeople of today's Germany.