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Suicide in the German Novel 1945-89


Michael Zimmermann

The nearly fifty years between the end of World War II and the reunification of Germany represent a period of intense self-reflection for the German people. Emanating from the literature of this period are the motif of suicide and its ideation of self-destruction. An examination of the motif of suicide in novels from East and West reveals the depth of and reasons for the psychic turmoil. From the collective suicidal impulse of soldiers at Stalingrad to the individual alienation experienced in both the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic, the particular circumstances of suicide as depicted in each novel are uniquely German.
Contents: Suicide in the German Novel 1945-49 – Suicide in the Novel of the German Democratic Republic – Suicide in the Novel of the Federal Republic of Germany.