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By Cora Sol Goldstein

Shedding new mild at the American crusade to democratize Western Germany after global conflict II, Capturing the German Eye uncovers the significance of cultural coverage and visible propaganda to the U.S. occupation.

        Cora Sol Goldstein skillfully inspires Germany’s political weather among 1945 and 1949, including an unforeseen measurement to the war of words among the USA and the USSR. in this interval, the yankee occupiers actively vied with their Soviet opposite numbers for regulate of Germany’s visible tradition, deploying movie, images, and the positive arts whereas censoring photographs that contradicted their political messages. Goldstein unearths how this U.S. cultural coverage in Germany was once formed by means of 3 significant components: pageant with the USSR, worry of alienating German electorate, and American family politics. Explaining how the americans used photos to discredit the Nazis and, later, the Communists, she illuminates the instrumental position of visible tradition within the fight to catch German hearts and minds on the introduction of the chilly war.

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Extra info for Capturing the German eye : American visual propaganda in occupied Germany

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The French also showed classic German art in order to emphasize the essential cultural role played by Germany in Western civilization. The four occupying powers did more than impose new political, economic, and legal paradigms in Germany. Each military government attempted to project the cultural paradigms of its nation, and to offer credible and positive programs to guide German cultural rebirth. Their psychological warfare specialists sought to replace Nazi imagery with a new set of images, and new conceptions of culture and aesthetics, that were intrinsically tied to their respective ideologies and agendas.

In so doing, the photographic evidence of the camps served retroactively to justify the war and the occupation of Germany. The response of the German civilian population to American atrocity propaganda was more complex. American intelligence found that the Germans accepted the photographs of the concentration camps as evidence of Nazi criminality but dissociated themselves from the crimes. 55 Worse, the Americans quickly realized, the confrontation policy was a political failure, alienating the Germans and making the Soviet military occupation look benign and sympathetic.

A large number of the Germans now being interrogated are indeed lying. . No normal German living in the area of Weimar or Gotha could fail to have a fairly clear picture of the general proceedings at Buchenwald and Ohrdruf. The stories of these camps were told over and over among Germans by the guards or by the German civilians who worked in the camp and returned home each night. . The secret of blissful ignorance lies in the mental block which most Germans seem to have set up, to exclude from their daily consciousness knowledge of this sort.

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