Sunday, January 20, 2013
5:00 - 7:00 pm
(University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Internment Camps and the Politics of Denazification in American Occupied Germany, 1944 – 1950
In mid-to-late 1945, seeking to eradicate Nazism for security reasons and as a precursor to democratization, American authorities interned a wide array of Nazi Party-affiliated Germans. One year later, the Military Government transferred the majority of camps to state officials after recognizing that successful reorientation would require increased German participation. Focusing on Hessen, this talk shows that from the outset German authorities sought to avoid association with the activities of the Third Reich while mediating between American guidance, public expectations, and their own visions of democracy. Moreover, as the society outside the barbed wire transformed, Americans and Germans alike increasingly viewed civilian internment, and the denazification program, as obstacles to moving forward.
Kristen Dolan is a doctoral candidate in the History Department at UNC Chapel Hill. Her research and teaching interests include 20th Century German, European and Military history.