Narrating German history

Konrad Jarausch draws on six dozen memoirs of Germans born in the 1920s to illuminate life in the 20th century

By GLENN C. ALTSCHULER
July 5, 2018 19:41
4 minute read.
YOUNG ADULTS sit on a fence in Berlin in 1986

YOUNG ADULTS sit on a fence in Berlin in 1986. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
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A survivor of Theresienstadt and Auschwitz, Ruth Klüger emigrated to the United States in 1947. Unable, and to some extent unwilling to escape her cultural heritage, she became a professor of German literature.

Klüger’s life story, as Konrad Jarausch, a professor of European Civilization at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, points out, “helps put ordinary people back into the well-known narrative of major events.”

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