Surviving ‘Stunde Null’: Narrating the Fate of Nazi Elite-School Pupils during the Collapse of the Third Reich
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Roche, H. (2015). Surviving ‘Stunde Null’: Narrating the Fate of Nazi Elite-School Pupils during the Collapse of the Third Reich. German History, 33 (4), 570-587. https://doi.org/10.1093/gerhis/ghv100
This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in German History following peer review. The final version [Roche H., German History (2015) 33 (4): 570-587] is freely available to all via http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerhis/ghv100
This paper considers the experiences of one particular, rarely discussed group of ‘war children’: former pupils of the most prominent type of Nazi elite school, the Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalten or ‘Napolas’. Drawing upon a variety of original testimonies, the paper explores the hardships and dilemmas that Napola pupils (often as young as 12 or 13) faced as the Second World War drew to a close, and the ways in which ex-pupils have attempted to present this aspect of their past in autobiographical memoir literature and personal recollections. Public attitudes have certainly influenced these former pupils’ self-presentation, and their personal narratives of victimhood. However, their narrations also seem to contain recurring themes that are specific to their status as former elite-school pupils, and that have interesting implications for the ways in which we might approach such testimonies, both historically and methodologically.
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External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/gerhis/ghv100
This record's URL: http://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/246845