Journal Article

What Did You Do in the War, Mutti? Courageous Women, Compassionate Commanders, and Stories of the Second World War

Robert G. Moeller

in German History

Published on behalf of German History Society

Volume 22, issue 4, pages 563-594
Published in print October 2004 | ISSN: 0266-3554
Published online October 2004 | e-ISSN: 1477-089X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1191/0266355404gh322oa
What Did You Do in the War, Mutti? Courageous Women, Compassionate Commanders, and Stories of the Second World War

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In the mid–1950s, West Germans were ready to fight the Second World War again, this time at the cinema. This paper analyses Kinder, Mütter und ein General, a war film in which a band of courageous women pushed to the eastern front in March 1945 to bring home their sons who had only just put on Wehrmacht uniforms. The paper concludes that the film indicates how West Germans had come to understand the past of the war a decade after the shooting stopped, and how memories of the war also shaped contemporary discussions of rearmement, the rehabilitation of the Wehrmacht, and the redefinition of ‘a women's place’ after the defeat of Fascism.

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Subjects: European History

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