American Culture in East and West German Reconstruction

Uta G. Poiger

in Jazz, Rock, and Rebels

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780520211384
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520920088 | DOI:
American Culture in East and West German Reconstruction

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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A decade after World War II, many East and West Germans came to believe that American popular culture was shaping young Germans and especially young German men. From the late 1940s through the first half of the 1950s, debates over westerns, gangster stories, and jazz became vehicles through which Germans on both sides of the descending Iron Curtain discussed American influences and changing German identities. Ideas about America that Germans had developed during the Weimar and Nazi years, the experiences of U.S. and Soviet occupation, including fraternization, rape, denazification, and economic policies, were important in shaping unsure and often hostile East and West German attitudes toward American influences.

Keywords: America; Germany; identity; German attitudes; American influences; west

Chapter.  15829 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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