MCDOUGALL, Alan

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Research Interests: "In Soviet-occupied East Germany during the mid-late forties, a remarkable transition took place. Hundreds of thousands of young Germans, who had previously been members of the Nazi youth organizations, the Hitler Youth (HJ) and the League of German Girls (BDM), flocked to join the communist-led Free German Youth (FDJ), a unisex 'united youth organization' founded under Soviet auspices in March 1946. My current research project examines the experiences of this 'twice betrayed' generation, whose members rapidly switched allegiances from Nazism to communism after the Second World War and ultimately exchanged life in one authoritarian youth organization for life in another. Drawing on archival and interview material, it will firstly outline communist attitudes towards de-Nazification among the young in the post-war period, before going on to examine the experiences, motivations, and attitudes of those who exchanged their HJ or BDM membership books for those of the FDJ. Despite - or perhaps because of - the dogmatic 'anti-fascist' ideology of the East Germany state , open discussion of the Nazi past seems to have been taboo during the immediate post-war period, particularly among the young. My research findings will finally uncover the reasons behind this 'pact of silence' between the communists and the young in East Germany - and how it impacted upon subsequent generations of young people 'born into socialism'". Recent Publications Youth Politics in East Germany: The Free German Youth Movement, 1946-1968 (Oxford University Press, 2004).

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