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The Child’s View of the Third Reich in German LiteratureThe Eye Among the Blind$
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Debbie Pinfold

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199245659

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245659.001.0001

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‘Schuldig, Keiner Schuld Bewußt?’: 1 The Fallen Child

‘Schuldig, Keiner Schuld Bewußt?’: 1 The Fallen Child

(p.33) 1 ‘Schuldig, Keiner Schuld Bewußt?’:1 The Fallen Child
The Child’s View of the Third Reich in German Literature

Debbie Pinfold

Oxford University Press

The concept of a fallen child depicts how a child can be corrupted without necessarily incurring guilt and how far a child’s ‘guilt’ is determined by subjective adult attitudes. In discussing the sexual corruption of a child, this chapter deals with Freud’s emphasis on the potential sexual nature of children. This chapter also demonstrates how authors and educators alike display a highly ambivalent attitude to schools as imparters of knowledge and as socializing instruments, and this idea forms an important socio-historical background to what went on in German schools between 1933 and 1945. Further, an overview of the role of schools and youth organizations in the Third Reich is given to show the extent of children’s practical, intellectual, and emotional involvement in the regime and thus facilitate an understanding of the fictional perspectives of those subjected to Nazi indoctrination.

Keywords:   fallen child, adult attitudes, sexual corruption, freud, socializing instruments, german schools, third reich, nazi indoctrination

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