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 Reverberations of War

Communities of Experience and Identification in Germany and Europe since 1945



This collaborative project analyses reverberations of the Second World War across Europe through the Cold War and beyond. It will shed new light on the complex legacies of war for generations of Europeans and develop a new theoretical approach.

Reverberations of war’ are complex and multi-facetted, not always adequately captured by a concentration on ‘collective memory’. This project focuses on four inter-related themes, selected because each intrinsically connects a later present to a difficult past: reckoning, reconciliation, reconstruction and representation. These are often in some tension with one another: a search for ‘reckoning’, for example, may preclude openness to overtures of reconciliation. Each of these terms implies an attempt to build anew out of the ruins, under changed later circumstances. Such attempts are coloured by later social, political, and also emotional and cultural contexts, in which imaginative engagements in film and literature play a powerful role in shaping aspirations and perceptions.


The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Reserach Council (AHRC) and hosted by University College London (UCL).