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Harald Jähners time of the wolf : The euphoria of the Beginning

After the Second world war were not just German cities, but also the old certainties shattered. The phrases of the national socialist Propaganda had led in the

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Harald Jähners time of the wolf : The euphoria of the Beginning

After the Second world war were not just German cities, but also the old certainties shattered. The phrases of the national socialist Propaganda had led in the decline, not to mention the million-fold murder. No one has described the feeling of proximity of Death, Despite, and shame mixed, better than Wolfgang Borchert. Weakened from wounds at the Front, and an internment because of "defeatism" and escape, he was shackled to the hospital bed and died in 1947, on the eve of the world premiere of returning drama "Out the door".

But the man of sorrows of the rubble literature celebrated the life, the Exuberance and Excess. "The excited flurry of Jazz is our music," he writes in his Text, "This is our Manifesto". "Our Juppheidi and our music are a dance about the pit, the angähnt us." It came with the life, it was to savor. "Those who could, danced," says Harald Jähner brings the euphoria of the so-called Zero hour on the dot. "Tanzwut" is the title of the most beautiful Chapter of his book "time of the wolf", a Panorama of the German post-war years from 1945 to 1955, which was awarded at the Leipzig book fair with the prize for the best non-fiction book.

Jähner is a late child of the time, he writes about

This demonstrative pleasure of Existence does not fit into our picture of the ghostly gravity of the Era, to the hungry winters of 1946 and 1947, from the known to the crimes in the concentration camps and the occupied countries. The memory of the post-war period, States Jähner, was "in retrospect, always dark". At some point the Germans, it seems, began to be ashamed of how you left out were in the middle of the bombed-out past. They saw themselves as victims, and displaced the moments of happiness and Laughter, as they repressed their participation in the atrocities of the Nazi regime. From the Holocaust, they wanted to know nothing, until the Auschwitz trials began a new Form of engagement, which focused some of the later late sixties politi.

Jähner is a late child of the period he writes about, he was born in 1953. The former arts editor of the "Berliner Zeitung" has opened up no new sources, but contemporary diary notes, literary and journalistic documents to a thick description of German mentality and history. Priorities for West Germany and Berlin. The pace of change in the speed with which the quotes are sometimes arranged matches. "I went for months, every evening for Dancing, although there was of course no alcohol and nothing to eat," recalls a Munich.

It is the records of an 18-year-old, Berlin's Secretary, which begins already to be expected at the end of may 1945, 17 days after the surrender, re-follow. The list of dance the shed and the basement dives, they visited with Friends, it is long, you can wear sparkling names such as Piccadilly Bar, Robin Hood, Roxy, Royal Club or Grotta Azura. Then she's assigned to night guard duty in front of their door-to-door in Prenzlauer Berg. It is rampant the fear of attacks by criminal gangs.

In the wolf's time, everyone was the Next

The time of the wolf was a no one time that was Next. The old Power was gone, a new one had to be established, the law was effectively repealed. Anarchic conditions in a country, in the nine-million-Bombed-out and Evacuated, tens of millions of laid-off forced laborers and prisoners, 14 million refugees and Displaced persons were on the road. That people, citizens enjoyed were gradually, and, at least in the three Western zones is a functioning, free, soon, prospering community, United, Jähner, a "totally undeserved luck."

On this Happy End in a "Paradise of Mediocrity" had long suggests nothing. Because the Germans encountered not only the Jewish survivors of the hostilities, with a new-old anti-Semitism, even compared to their compatriots from the lost territories in the East, in search of a new home, they were hard-hearted. The newcomers were called "Polacks" and "Gypsy pack", quarters, they were often only in the form of police coercive measures. West Germany had in 1950, ten per cent, more inhabitants than before the war. The greatest distribution were fighting in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein, where the proportion of Displaced persons to the total population stood at 33 and 21 percent. The allies have warned of a civil war.

The divorce rate doubled after the war

Germany was after 1945, in the woman's hand. Many men were killed or still in captivity, the women had their jobs taken over and everyday life is organized. Some bandelten with crew, soldiers, and the forced independence resulted in a "boost of erotic activities," the Jähner compares with the twenties. If the husband was then, after years of emaciated and burned out in front of the door, the disappointment was often large. A former member of the Marine-SA, described why he could not cope with his wife: "It has taken a long time, until I realized that she has learned to say' I'." The divorce rate doubled after 1950, a wedding is a set boom.

With the defeat suffered in the manhood. Beate Uhse, since 1947 in the field of "marriage Hygiene", has potency drops and pneumatic penile prostheses in the offer of the shipping trade. The pilot rises to the secret heroine of the economic miracle, Jähner presents her as a contrast figure of Heinrich Nordhoff, the General Director of the Volkswagen AG. As in 1955 the millionth beetle leaves the Wolfsburg factory buildings, the former military economy leader as a "king Nordhoff", which according to Jähner be an understatement. "The work groups in the plant are similar to the martial community in the field", was an observer.

At the Berlin Winterfeldtplatz existed until the early seventies, behind a weggebombten front of the house there is a pub called the ruins. The Germans had taken away 500 million tons of rubble from their cities, but here it looked as if the war had just stopped. The guests enjoyed the atmosphere.

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fiction and nonfiction Leipzig book prices for Anke Stelling and Harald Jähner

Gerrit Bartels

Harald Jähner: time of the wolf. Germany and the Germans, 1945-1955. Rowohlt Berlin In 2019. 477 p., 26€.

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