World War 2
History of Germany

How did Germany perceive herself after World War 2?

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04/09/2008

This is a difficult question to answer as different Germans had different perceptions. For many Germans, the whole period from Stalingrad (early 1943) up to 1948-49 was one of very real hardship, and the majority of Germans were preoccupied with survival for much of this time. The loss of Germany's eastern territories, the division of Germany, first into zones and then into East versus West, meant the loss of the Germany created by Bismarck, and many found this hard or impossible to accept. Among those Germans with time to think there was concern about the immense damage to Germany's reputation. The last thing that Germans wanted was for the country to become the object of something akin to the 'black legend' that has dogged Spain ever since the 16th century. ('Black legend' - reputation for brutality and fanaticism, among other things). The long and arduous task of confronting the past began. Joncey