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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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Beyond the Fall

Beyond the Fall

(p.91) 2 Beyond the Fall
The Child’s View of the Third Reich in German Literature

Debbie Pinfold

Oxford University Press

The myth of the ‘fremdes Kind’ who represents an alternative dimension to that of society has persisted in works about the Third Reich. In this chapter, the clash between the historical situation and the literary myth of childhood in the Third Reich is examined. The chapter explores two groups of fictional child figures: Jewish children and Gentile children under the Third Reich. The chapter demonstrates that although the historical reality of these two groups is very different, what potential writers see in them is very similar. Further, this chapter illustrates the diverse treatment the myth of the ‘fremdes Kind’ has received through consideration of Grass’s child figures, demonstrating the tension between a Romantic and a Freudian view of childhood. This chapter concludes in a reflection of Oskar Matzerath and Siggi Jepsen as Romantic children for recent time.

Keywords:   oskar matzerath, siggi jepsen, fremdes kind, third reich, literary myth, jewish children, gentile children, freudian view

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