Love and war: German-Slavic wartime relationships in post-World War II literature
Ronald, John Jamison
Weissenberger, Klaus H.
Master of Arts
The glorification of war and the thoughtless use of "national" stereotypes characteristic of 19th century literature have broken down in the later 20th century after World War II and the end of the Cold War in 1991. German-speaking authors from various parts of Europe have participated in this dismantling through their creation of engaging fictions related to the war experience that contain critical reexaminations of relationships between the German and Slavic peoples of Europe at an individual, existential level. They have proven that "national" stereotypes perish when individuals are presented with real human beings. The works examined are Siegfried von Vegesack's Tanja: Eine Erzahlung aus dem Kaukasus, Heinrich Boll's Der Zug war punktlich and Gruppenbild mit Dame, Max Frisch's Als der Krieg zu Ende war, Herbert Eisenreich's Tiere von ganz naturlicher Grausamkeit, and Christa Wolfs Moskauer Novelle. Thus, the phenomenon is a Europe-wide development and not an isolated incident.
Modern literature; Germanic literature; Slavic literature; East European literature; Theater