A Past Without Shadow (Children's Literature and Culture) by Zohar Shavit

By Zohar Shavit

A previous with out Shadow examines 50 years of German kid's books during which the darkest horrors of the 3rd Reich have generally remained hidden. The horrors of the 3rd Reich are systematically screened and filtered, permitting the darker, bleaker elements of heritage to flee illumination. the following Zohar Shavit explores 345 German books for kids describing the 3rd Reich and the Holocaust, and reveals a stunning distortion of the earlier: a recurrent narrative which implies that the Germans themselves had no hand within the pain inflicted at the Jews. those books, Shavit argues, have created the fake ancient lesson that the genuine sufferers of Hitler's crimes have been the German humans themselves. First released to nice acclaim in Hebrew and now on hand in English, this ebook is a warning sign for a person curious about German kid's literature and its accountability to earlier and destiny.

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Additional info for A Past Without Shadow (Children's Literature and Culture)

Sample text

The historical self-examination is conceived as a vital means of discovering one’s own self. (my translation) Ihnen stellt sich das Thema Nationalsozialismus und Drittes Reich als lebensgeschichtliche Aufgabe der Erforschung von eigener Kindheit und Jugend. Die zeitgeschichtliche Selbsterforschung wird als eine Aufgabe aufgefaßt, die zur eigenen Selbstfindung nötig ist. (Sannes-Müller 1988, p. 51) Nonetheless, it is difficult to accept the “authenticity” of the autobiographical model as self-evidential.

As a consequence, the question of Jewish persecution was indeed introduced into the agenda of juvenile literature, even if, as Part II will show, it functioned as a standard to relate to and gauge German suffering. In addition, these books awakened great public interest, as attested by numerous reprints (see also Sannes-Müller 1988, p. 49). All scholars agree that translated literature played a pivotal role in the introduction of the theme of Jewish persecution into German children’s literature.

Lisa Tetzner’s series was republished in 1980. Leonie Ossowski’s Stern ohne Himmel (Star Without a Sky), which had appeared in East Germany in 1958 and adapted for stage in 1959, was published in a West German edition in 1978. Damals war es Friedrich came out in a paperback edition in 1974. In this context, Sannes-Müller (1988, p. 50) cites works by Clara Asscher-Pinkhof, Leonie Ossowski, and Lisa Tetzner, which were reissued and enjoyed numerous large printings. Yet, aside from Asscher-Pinkhof s book, it is not surprising that the texts mentioned by Sannes-Müller enjoyed immense success.

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