Download Life among the Ruins: Cityscape and Sexuality in Cold War by Jennifer V. V. Evans PDF

By Jennifer V. V. Evans

As domestic to Twenties debauchery and extra and Hitler's ultimate resolution, Berlin's actual and symbolic panorama was once a massive staging flooring for the highs and lows of modernity. existence one of the Ruins asks how postwar makes an attempt to rebuild infrastructure and identification necessitated an engagement with earlier practices set in movement lengthy earlier than 1945. Berliners have been pressured to evolve quickly to altering ancient conditions. urban areas may be allowing in addition to restrictive, websites of possibility and hope, locations of crime and experience. As expats, squaddies, viewers, and voters navigated the ruined city panorama looking for what as soon as was once, they found indicators of destruction but additionally symptoms of lifestyles. even supposing an emblem of defeat and destruction, the rubble gave shelter to a reemerging homosexual and lesbian scene, whereas formative years gangs, prostitutes, hoods, and hustlers sought protect and group there. As a metaphor for a modernity either feared and wanted, the e-book questions what grew to become of this historical past within the years major as much as the development of the Berlin Wall in 1961 while chilly battle war of words intended town persisted to occupy a different position in twentieth century ecu heritage.

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Additional resources for Life among the Ruins: Cityscape and Sexuality in Cold War Berlin (Genders and Sexualities in History)

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76 Some bunkers formed temporary shelter for refugees while others housed German POWs soon to be marched off to the Soviet Union. 77 These spaces of death, rape, and retribution were resurrected swiftly to help lessen the impact of privation on postwar living conditions. By November 1946, the Allies hoped to spring many of the larger bunkers so as to affirm Germany’s commitment to peace and pave the way for new urban planning initiatives. 78 Attempts to reconfigure the city’s topography, motivated by public safety, democratization, and morale, began to reflect new Cold War priorities once Marshall Plan money started trickling into city coffers.

70 Most depressing of all for Kurt Wafner, a committed leftist who served as a soldier before his release in 1943 forced him into the civil defense as an air raid warden, was the fact that he had to sit helpless while families were subjected to the grossest of indignities in public view. Defeat was far less depressing than the fact that the Russians, whom he admired as the “bearers of the world revolution and of socialism,” confirmed rumors of sexual excess as they overtook the city. The vengeful Russians forced Wafner to question his political sympathies and assumptions, and they also took a personal toll on his relationship with his fiancée, who questioned whether he’d be able to protect her from the rapaciousness of the conqueror.

Photographer: Friedrich Seidenstücker (1882–1966). © Copyright BPK. Photo credit: Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz/Art Resource, NY. often disoriented) teenaged and elderly Volkssturmists, former prisoners of war, and returning soldiers were forced to watch in bewilderment as their sisters, mothers, and wives cavorted willingly or otherwise with occupation soldiers in a sad picture of self-preservation and sacrifice. Yet, Berlin was more than a simple stage or a show place (Schauplatz – as diarist Ruth-Andreas Friedrich would call it) upon which this drama of capitulation unfolded.

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