Experiences of Fascism (401)

Principal Investigator:

Reports of international visitors in Nazi Germany (1933-1945)

How did international witnesses, who were in Germany between 1933 and 1945, experience the totalitarian dictatorship? How did they record their experiences at the time? What rhetorical techniques did they use? What are the implications of their poetics? To what extent can diaries be read as documents of (semi-) conscious self-experiments? What affects do the authors observe in themselves? How are, for example, fascination, disgust, participation in mass-psychology, eroticism or shame registered? What are the self-diagnostic and self-regulatory functions of travel literature and autobiographical writing? To what extent is the 'outsider view' of non-Germans specific? What do we learn about experiences, perceptions and insights with regard to the dictatorship?

This study will put these and other questions to the testimonies of foreign authors about their travels in Nazi Germany – among them Albert Camus, Max Frisch, Virginia Woolf, Jean Genet, Samuel Beckett, Karen Blixen, Sven Hedin, Louis-Ferdinand Céline and John F. Kennedy. Numerous sources have been assembled and published in two selections: Reisen ins Reich, 1933–1945 (Travels in the Reich, Frankfurt 2004, Munich 2009, Chicago 2010) and Berichte aus der Abwurfzone, 1939–1945 (Reports from the Target Zone, Frankfurt 2007).


Lubrich, O. (2011). Fremder Blick, blinder Fleck. Debatte und Historiographie am Beispiel des Bombenkrieges. Colin, N., Lorenz, M., Umlauf, J. (Eds.). Täter und Tabu. Grenzen der Toleranz in deutschen und niederländischen Geschichtsdebatten. 89-103. Essen: Klartext.

Lubrich, O. (2010). Faschimus im Selbstversuch. Rhetorik und Psychologie bei Virginia Woolf. Orbis Litterarum 65 (3). 222 - 253.

Lubrich, O. (2010). Travels in the Reich, 1933-45: Foreign Authors Report from Germany. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Northcott, K. J.; Wichmann, S.; Krouk, D. (transl.)

Lubrich, O. (2010). Sprachbilder des Krieges. Pandaemonium Germanicum 16 (2). 53 - 88.

Lubrich, O. (2009). Bombed and Silenced. Foreign Witnesses of the Air War in Germany. German Life and Letters 62 (4). 415 - 429.