Close Notification

Your cart does not contain any items

After the Nazis

The Story of Culture in West Germany

Michael H. Kater



In stock
Ready to ship


Yale University
07 November 2023
A wide-ranging, insightful history of culture in West Germany—from literature, film, and music to theater and the visual arts


After World War II a mood of despair and impotence pervaded the arts in West Germany. The culture and institutions of the Third Reich were abruptly dismissed, yet there was no immediate return to the Weimar period’s progressive ideals. In this moment of cultural stasis, how could West Germany’s artists free themselves from their experiences of Nazism?


Moving from 1945 to reunification, Michael H. Kater explores West German culture as it emerged from the darkness of the Third Reich. Examining periods of denial and complacency as well as attempts to reckon with the past, he shows how all postwar culture was touched by the vestiges of National Socialism.


From the literature of Günter Grass to the happenings of Joseph Beuys and Karlheinz Stockhausen’s innovations in electronic music, Kater shows how it was only through the reinvigoration of the cultural scene that West Germany could contend with its past—and eventually allow democracy to reemerge.

Imprint:   Yale University
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm, 
ISBN:   9780300259247
ISBN 10:   0300259247
Pages:   416
Publication Date:  
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Michael H. Kater is distinguished research professor emeritus of history at York University, Toronto, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He is the author of Culture in Nazi Germany, Weimar: From Enlightenment to the Present, and Hitler Youth.

Reviews for After the Nazis: The Story of Culture in West Germany

"“Kater paints a picture of a nation stripped of cultural touchstones it could rely on. . . . From the outset, Kater reflects on his own personal connections and experiences to draw readers into these stories.”—All About History ""[An] excellent new book…After the Nazis seeks to explore not only the details of West German culture, but also its importance to the nation in the first place"" —Ben Hutchinson, Times Literary Supplement   "

See Also