Bücherschau

If you are interested in European history of the 20th century, and especially the aftermath of WWII, the book by Igor LUKES On the Edge of the Cold War. American Diplomats and Spies in Postwar Prague, Oxford 2012, maybe interesting for you. The American ambassador STEINHARDT (Eng.) seems not to have been on top of the game, the services got it all wrong – they simply did not understand the special situation of the CSR (Ger., Eng.), STALIN’s aims and politics and the role of BENEŠ (Ger., Eng.). The review is very good, it seems worth a read.
Another topic that always comes up when speaking about the end of the war is the escape of war criminals to South America. A new study sheds light not on the escape routes (Rattenlinie, Ger., Eng.)), but how the American states (with an emphasis on Argentina) dealt with the problem: Daniel STAHL, Nazi-Jagd. Südamerikas Diktaturen und die Ahndung von NS-Verbrechen (= Beiträge zur Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts 15), Göttingen 2013. The reviewer calls it an “impressive work”.
And finally – if you have nothing else to do in the next spring, why not attend a conference on Schloß Kuenburg in Tamsweg (Ger., Eng.) (Austria) in April 2014 and discuss your favorite exploitation fillum Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält (Ger., Eng.) (1970). Of course, if you prefer the sequel from 1973 Hexen geschändet und zu Tode gequält (Eng.) you are at the right place too, and I am sure you’ll meet like-minded connoisseurs.
Next one will receive a BA for sitting through all that mondo-crap (Ger., Eng.).

ADDITION

Two titles dropped in that continue the cold-war-theme signalised in the previous works – of course not in the fillum, I wonder whether some cineast would dare to read Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält as cold war narrative, all is possible.
Anyway, the monograph by Toni PERUCCI Paul Robeson (Ger., Eng.) and the Cold War Performance Complex. Race, Madness, Activism, Ann Arbor 2012, looks at the early cold war and the McCarthy-“era” in a cultural-historic way and under the aspect of performance, as the title says. The reviewer calls the work innovative and inspiring.
Jon WIENER takes a look at what’s left from the cold war: How We Forgot the Cold War. A Historical Journey across America, Berkeley, CA 2012, visits 50 places that deal with the memory of those years. It is a journalistic travel book, not a scientific text,  that brings the reader into strange corners of the US, well written and impressionistic.
WIENER finds to his (and mine) astonishment that more than 30 original parts of the Berlin Wall are presented in the US, including the pissoir of a Las Vegas casino. Maybe someone took utilitarism a bit too far.

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2 thoughts on “Bücherschau

  1. Rattenlinie is a perfect term. Cynically, the US worked the rat lines when the characters in question suited our purpose.

    In the Navy, we used rat guards (the conical metal disks) on the ship’s mooring lines to keep the rats from coming aboard that way.

    Thanks for the film festival tip! [checks calendar]

  2. Rena and Thomas GIEFER made a documentation about the ratline over the Alps through Südtirol, the film must have come out end of the eighties, I may have the book (1992) here somewhere. I think it is still standard.

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