This article reconstructs the evolution of the representation of Italian colonialism in history textbooks for upper secondary schools from the Fascist era to the present day. Textbook analysis is conducted here in parallel with the development of Italian historiography, with special attention being paid to the myth of the "good Italian", incapable of war crimes and violence against civilians, that has been cherished by Italian public opinion for a long time. Italian historians have thoroughly reconstructed the crimes perpetrated by the Italian army both in the colonies and in Yugoslavia and Greece during the Second World War, and this issue has slowly entered history textbooks.
Gerald D. Feldman
Christopher Simpson, ed., War Crimes of the Deutsche Bank and the Dresdner Bank. Office of Military Government (U.S.) Reports (New York and London: Holmes & Meier, 2001)
Creating Normative Arrangements of Bodies through Courtroom Talk
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) listed all but one of these buildings as World Heritage sites. 3 Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi was tried for war crimes according to Article 8(2)(e)(iv) of the Rome Statute and sentenced to nine years
A Piece in a Peacebuilding Mosaic
conflict, denial or relativisation of the war crimes, as well as factual manipulation in the school history textbooks used to drastically reshape history into the desired national paradigm. 5 Furthermore, everyday life is deeply affected by economic
Jonathan A. Bush
Nathan Stoltzfus and Henry Friedlander, eds., Nazi Crimes and the Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).
Nazi Crimes and the Law, a collection of eleven studies introduced and edited by Nathan Stoltzfus and Henry Friedlander, is the best collection to appear in years on war crimes trials of Germans. The following paragraphs will attempt to describe what the various essays offer and why they matter.
Visual Technology, Virtual Reality, and the Experience of War
Jose N. Vasquez
This article addresses the question of how visual technology—night vision, thermal imaging, and virtual reality—has changed the experience of war for both combatants and non-combatants. Video and still images are analyzed to draw out some of the phenomenological aspects of how technology mitigates the perception of combat and its resultant casualties. I argue that while visual technology makes the experience of war more intimate, it also generates psychological distance between the viewer and the viewed. Weapons equipped with visual technology facilitate war crimes by dehumanizing the individuals being targeted and filtering the carnage these weapons produce.
A Movie Ban and the Dilemmas of 1920s German Propaganda against French Colonial Troops
In the early 1920s, Germany orchestrated an international propaganda campaign against colonial French troops stationed in the Rhineland that used the racist epithet “black horror on the Rhine,” and focused on claims of widespread sexual violence against innocent Rhenish maidens by African French soldiers, in order to discredit the Versailles Treaty. I argue that black horror propaganda fused elements of Allied propaganda—especially images of the barbaric “Hun”—with Germany's own wartime propaganda against colonial Allied troops. I use the significant film against colonial soldiers, Die schwarze Schmach (The Black Shame, 1921), to highlight the tensions and pitfalls of the German propagandistic strategy. As the debates over the film illustrate, black horror propaganda often had the effect of reminding audiences of German war crimes rather than diverting attention away from them. The ultimate ban of Die schwarze Schmach demonstrates the complex political nature of the 1920s backlash against atrocity propaganda.
Alexander Dilger, Christopher Thomas Goodwin, George Gibson, Michelle Lynn Kahn, Randall Newnham, Christopher Thomas Goodwin, and Stephen F. Szabo
Mark K. Cassell, Banking on the State: The Political Economy of Public Savings Banks (Newcastle upon Tyne: Agenda Publishing, 2021).
Bryce Sait, The Indoctrination of the Wehrmacht: Nazi Ideology and the War Crimes of the German Military (New York: Berghahn Books, 2019).
Frank Bösch, ed., A History Shared and Divided: East and West Germany since the 1970s (New York: Berghahn Books, 2018).
Christopher A. Molnar, Memory, Politics, and Yugoslav Migrations to Postwar Germany (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2018).
Eva Noack-Mosse, Last Days of Theresienstadt, trans. Skye Doney and Birutė Ciplijauskaitė (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2018).
Michael H. Kater, Culture in Nazi Germany (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2019).
Rolf Steininger, Germany and the Middle East: From Kaiser Wilhelm II to Angela Merkel (New York: Berghahn Books, 2019).
The Case of the International Criminal Court
Writing in the aftermath of Adolf Eichmann’s dramatic prosecution in 1961 for his role in the Nazi genocide, Hannah Arendt suggested that the ‘need for a [permanent] international criminal court was imperative’ (Arendt 1963: 270). For Arendt, Eichmann’s trial in Jerusalem symbolized the unfortunate triumph of national interests over the demands of universal justice. In Arendt’s analysis, the Eichmann trial was flawed for a number of reasons, most notably because the Israeli government rejected the possibility of establishing an international criminal tribunal, claiming for itself the competence and jurisdiction for trying Eichmann. In the end, Arendt notes, the failure of the Israeli court consisted of the fact that it represented ‘one nation only’ and misunderstood Eichmann’s crimes as being inherently against the Jewish people rather than against humanity itself, that is, ‘against the human status’ (Arendt 1963: 268-270). As the subsequent occurrence of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes in countries as diverse as Cambodia, Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, and East Timor starkly testifies, the relevance of a permanent international criminal court to contemporary world politics and international relations is undiminished more than 40 years after the Eichmann trial.
Todd Samuel Presner, Mobile Modernity: Germans, Jews, Trains (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007).
Reviewed by Robert Tobin
Ruth Mandel, Cosmopolitan Anxieties: Turkish Challenges to Citizenship and Belonging in Germany (Durham: Duke University Press, 2008)
Reviewed by Hilary Silver
Wolfram Kaiser, Christian Democracy and the Origins of the European Union (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)
Reviewed by Clay Clemens
David Raub Snyder, Sex Crimes under the Wehrmacht (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2007)
Reviewed by Regina Mühlhäuser
Paul Hockenos, Joschka Fischer and the Making of the Berlin Republic. An Alternative History of Postwar Germany (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)
Reviewed by Joyce M. Mushaben
Katherine Pence and Paul Betts, eds. Socialist Modern: East German Everyday Culture and Politics (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2008)
Reviewed by Eli Rubin
Patricia Heberer and Jürgen Matthäus, eds., Atrocities on Trial: Historical Perspectives on the Politics of Prosecuting War Crimes (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008)
Reviewed by Joachim J. Savelsberg
Eric D. Weitz, Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007)
Reviewed by Michael Brenner