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BellaOnline's German Culture Editor

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WW II - Before, During and After

World War Two did not only involve six years of bitter fighting. People, places and events were involved and affected for many years both post and pre-war.

'Frugal Fashionista' Chic Behind The Berlin Wall star
Fashion was inseparable from politics in former East Germany, with a one style fits all mentality. A sewing machine, needle, thread and "Sybille", a culture and fashion magazine supplying dreams as well as patterns, made possible a world of individuality and escape from every day grayness.

Berthold Beitz, Humanitarian and Philanthropist star
One of Israel's Righteous Among the Nations, German Industrialist Berthold Beitz saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish adults and children during the Holocaust, and was a main contributor in the rebuilding of Germany's post-war reputation.

Fashion in Communist East Germany star
On the Eastern side of a divided Germany fashion was inseparable from politics, and there was a one style fits all mentality. So a sewing machine, needle, thread and "Sybille", a culture and fashion magazine, led to "GDR Chic´" a world of individuality and escape from every day grayness.

Germany 1946/47, The Hunger Winter star
Europe lay in rubble, and the winter of 1946/1947 was the coldest in living memory. Known in Germany as the time of "Weisser Tod", white death, and "Schwarzer Hunger", black hunger, hundreds of thousands died. Weihnachten was different that year, Spring and New Year held no promises.

Hitlerland - American Eyewitnesses - A Review star
Hitlerland - American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power, by former Newsweek staffer Andrew Nagorski, is an insight on 'interwar' life in Germany, from the view point of American journalists and socialites who lived there. Many were initially impressed when the Nazis took over.

My Father's Keeper - Book Review star
My Father's Keeper: Children of Nazi Leaders - An Intimate History of Damage and Denial: follows the lives of children, many of whom are still alive, their unenviable legacy: being born to senior members of the Third Reich.

My Father´s Keeper - Book Review star
My Father´s Keeper:Children of Nazi Leaders - ´An Intimate History of Damage and Denial´, follows the lives of children, many of whom are still alive, who were left the unenviable legacy of being born to ‘war criminals’, senior members of the Third Reich. With a background of post war life under the Allies and their place in modern Germany, it isn´t a difficult read but it is a thought provoking one.

Sophie Scholl and The White Rose star
Sophie Scholl was 21, a leader of The White Rose a non-violent resistance group of Munich University students. One of many Germans who did not support the Nazi regime. In February 1943 she was executed for treason, together with her brother Hans and a fellow member of White Rose Christoph Probst.

The Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945, Book Review star
Life, revolutions and war changed Marie (Missie) Vassiltchikov’s predestined comfortable and privileged future, from that of a beautiful, spirited "White Russian" princess in Tsarist Russia to an aristocratic, but penniless, refugee wandering Europe. Ending in Berlin during WWII.

Truemmerfrauen, Germany's Post War Heroines star
The foundations for a "New Germany" were laid by its "Truemmerfrauen", Rubble Women. Aged from 15 to 50 and often half starved, they were post war Germany's heroines. With bare hands, and hard work, they cleared the rubble from the streets and buildings of their war torn cities.

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