Coming of Age in Post-War Berlin: Young Women’s Search for New Emotional Subjectivities, 1946-1950

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Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
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Date
2022-01-15
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Mcode
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Language
en
Pages
27
168-194
Series
Journal of Social History, Volume 56, issue 1
Abstract
During the Allied occupation of Germany, educators asked students to write about their feelings and experiences of youth before and after the Second World War. This article uses Abitur and Reifeprüfung examination essays written by young German women, between the ages of fourteen and twenty-three, to explore how they performed and represented their emotional subjectivities in early postwar Berlin. First, it examines how young women used selective strategies of forgetting and remembering to repress their troubling emotional memories of the regime. Second it explores how women achieved some level of psychic comfort, through a selective remembering of their home lives and Bund Deutsche Mädel experiences by developing different emotional coping mechanisms. The article argues that young women’s emotional renegotiation was not a passive process as previously thought, but rather based on young women’s active and astute reading of the postwar emotional climate. Subjecting these emotional subjectivities to greater attention elucidates a key, but hitherto underexplored, stage in these young people’s lives.
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Keywords
young people, emotions, Nazi Germany, examination essays
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Citation
Sahrakorpi , T & Watton , C 2022 , ' Coming of Age in Post-War Berlin: Young Women’s Search for New Emotional Subjectivities, 1946-1950 ' , Journal of Social History , vol. 56 , no. 1 , shac002 , pp. 168-194 . https://doi.org/10.1093/jsh/shac002