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Heimat, Loss and Identity

Flight and Expulsion in German Literature from the 1950s to the Present


Karina Berger

What became of ethnic Germans in Eastern Europe during the Second World War? In recent years, their suffering, flight and expulsion during and after the war has attracted increasing critical attention. A wave of literary fiction has accompanied this trend, contributing to, and sometimes triggering, heated debate in the media and German-speaking society more widely. Often said to have broken a ‘taboo’, these postunification novels are in fact only the latest in a long history of literary representations of flight and expulsion in German writing.
This book offers the first comprehensive account in English of ‘expulsion literature’ in West Germany from the early 1950s to present-day Germany, providing detailed readings of both canonical and lesser known texts and carefully placing the novels in their broader literary and historical context. The book demonstrates that these literary representations have often been viewed too narrowly and offers an alternative and, arguably, more positive perspective on the representation of flight and expulsion over six decades in German literature.
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Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data:Berger, Karina, 1977-   Heimat, loss and identity: flight and expulsion in German literature from the 1950s to the present / Karina Berger.  pages cm. -- (Studies in modern German and Austrian literature ; 2)Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN 978-3-0343-1741-21. German fiction--20th century--History and criticism. 2. German fiction--21st century--History and criticism. 3. Displacement (Psychology) in literature. 4. Collective memory in literature. I. Title. PT772.B365 2014833’.91409358--dc23


Cover image © R.F. Myller, Flucht und Vertreibung 2 (2007). Oil on canvas, 18 × 24 cm. Reproduced with permission.

ISSN 2235-3488ISBN 978-3-0343-1741-2 (print)ISBN 978-3-0353-0665-1 (eBook)

© Peter Lang AG, International Academic Publishers, Bern 2015Hochfeldstrasse 32, CH-3012 Bern,,,

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