By Jennifer Fay
Within the aftermath of overall warfare and unconditional hand over, Germans came across themselves receiving guideline from their American occupiers. It used to be now not a standard schooling. of their attempt to rework German nationwide identification and convert a Nazi previous right into a democratic destiny, the american citizens deployed what they perceived because the strongest and convincing weapon-movies. In a rigorous research of the yankee career of postwar Germany and the military’s use of “soft power,” Jennifer Fay considers how Hollywood motion pictures, together with Ninotchka, Gaslight, and Stagecoach, inspired German tradition and cinema. during this cinematic pedagogy, darkish fantasies of yank democracy and its background have been unwittingly performed out on-screen. Theaters of career finds how Germans replied to those schooling efforts and gives new insights approximately American exceptionalism and digital democracy on the sunrise of the chilly battle. Fay’s leading edge method examines the tradition of profession not just as a section in U.S.–German kinfolk yet as a special house with its personal discrete cultural practices. because the American profession of Germany has develop into a paradigm for more moderen army operations, Fay argues that we needs to query its efficacy as a mechanism of cultural and political swap. Jennifer Fay is affiliate professor and codirector of movie reviews within the division of English at Michigan nation collage.
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Additional info for Theaters of Occupation: Hollywood and the Reeducation of Postwar Germany
Their studies of Nazi film culture brought the vocabulary and methods of psychoculturalism to bear on fi lm analysis, and they explained how the gangsterly propaganda of the Third Reich had perverted German sensibilities. , Hitlerjunge Quex centers on Heini, a working- class adolescent who, in the course of the fi lm, matures from a disaffected adolescent into a Nazi youth and martyr when he is murdered by the leader of the communist gang. When the fi lm opens, Heini lives in a lower- class urban neighborhood with his violent, communist- sympathizing father and browbeaten mother.
For it is in the United States that the anthropologist documents the power of culture to form a nation out of foreigners and rediscovers how “the newborn child, at birth potentially a Chinaman or an American, a Pole or an Irishman, becomes an American” (23) and embodies what she later in the book calls the “democratic character structure” (165). That all children, regardless of ethnicity or race, grow up in the United States to be Americans proves the folly of racial theory. Mead’s analysis of American culture is thus an important academic rebuttal to Nazi eugenics and Japanese racism: If the Racists were right, if the absolute believers in heredity were right, humanity would be caught in a trap which would — as the Fascists logically enough believe — make Democracy a pipe dream.
Because a newborn baby can be brought up to be a Hottentot or a German, an Eskimo or an American, because each group of people seems to be born with the same kinds of individual differences, democracy is not a pipe dream, but a practical working plan. (13) Democracy is the plan and the United States is the site where Mead discovers a multiethnic place without race, where the freemarket economy means that each man who works hard and well is rewarded with material prosperity and an uncontested social position.