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German Colonialism: Race, the Holocaust, and Postwar Germany

Edited by Volker Langbehn and Mohammad Salama

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Paper, 360 pages, 3 illus.
ISBN: 978-0-231-14973-0
$32.00 / £22.00

April, 2011
Cloth, 360 pages, 3 illus.
ISBN: 978-0-231-14972-3
$95.00 / £65.50

More than half a century before the mass executions of the Holocaust, Germany devastated the peoples of southwestern Africa. While colonialism might seem marginal to German history, new scholarship compares these acts to Nazi practices on the Eastern and Western fronts. With some of the most important essays from the past five years exploring the "continuity thesis," this anthology debates the links between German colonialist activities and the behavior of Germany during World War II. Some contributors argue the country's domination of southwestern Africa gave rise to perceptions of racial difference and superiority at home, building upon a nascent nationalism that blossomed into National Socialism and the Holocaust. Others remain skeptical and challenge the continuity thesis. The contributors also examine Germany's colonial past with debates over the country's identity and history and compare its colonial crimes with other European ventures. Other issues explored include the denial or marginalization of German genocide and the place of colonialism and the Holocaust within German and Israeli postwar relations.

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About the Author

Volker Langbehn teaches German in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at San Francisco State University and is the editor of German Colonialism, Visual Culture, and Modern Memory.

Mohammad Salama teaches Arabic in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at San Francisco State University and is the author of Islam, Orientalism, and Intellectual History: Modernity and the Politics of Exclusion Since Ibn Khaldun.

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