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Speaking the Unspeakable in Postwar Germany
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Speaking the Unspeakable in Postwar Germany: Toward a Public Discourse on the Holocaust

Sonja Boos


This book is an interdisciplinary study of a diverse set of public speeches given by major literary and cultural figures in the 1950s and 1960s. Through close readings of canonical speeches by Hannah Arendt, Theodor W. Adorno, Ingeborg Bachmann, Martin Buber, Paul Celan, Uwe Johnson, Peter Szondi, and Peter Weiss, the book demonstrates that these speakers both facilitated and subverted the construction of a public discourse about the Holocaust in postwar West Germany. The analysis of original audio recordings of the speech events (several of which will be available on a companion website) impr ... More

Keywords: public speech, 1950s, 1960s, canonical speech, Holocaust, West Germany, Hannah Arendt, Theodor W. Adorno, Ingeborg Bachmann, Martin Buber

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780801453601
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801453601.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Sonja Boos, author
Assistant Professor of German, the University of Oregon