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Representations of War in Films and Novels

Edited By Richard Mason and Jarosław Suchoples

This book discusses different aspects of the cinematic and literary representation of war. The papers in this volume consider the roles of war films and war novels in remaking historical memories, the influence of films and novels as social media and debate their roles as instruments of propaganda and mystification. The book is organized along chronological and geographical lines, looking first at the First and Second World Wars in Europe; then the Pacific War; the Vietnam War; and espionage and propaganda in the Cold War and Post-Cold War.
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World War II in Europe in Selected European Feature Films, 2010–2013



The current transition from communicative to cultural memory and an ongoing public interest in Nazi Germany and in World War II has resulted in the making of about 50 World War II dramas by 15 European countries between 2010 and 2013. Contributing to ensuing discourses on memory and national identities, on history and values, these critically acclaimed or controversially reviewed films showcase many facets of the bloodiest military conflict in human history set in Norway, Poland, the Soviet Union, Germany, and in the Atlantic Ocean. Award-winning narratives realistically convey aspects of the brutal German occupation regimes and tell powerful stories of individual and organized resistance, of civil disobedience, courage and heroism, of tragedy and perseverance but also add uncomfortable truths by showing acts of collaboration, cowardice and betrayal. Movies from Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland depict the final days of World War II, the revenge of the victors and the suffering of (German) civilians in 1945/1946. Told from their unique perspectives several of the European film productions have caused overdue public discussions, soul searching, debate and uproar, and have even led to political controversies between countries.

Key words: Cinematic representation of World War II, European feature films, memory discourse, film analysis, war drama, war crimes

In today’s Germany, film and television have taken over from historians and history books as the main way in which the history of the Third Reich is transmitted to the public. Andrew Wormald

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