German youths have already mastered the topic of war and a complex of national guilt that has plagued them for the past half century. However, despite the fact that after the “Group of 47” - a group of western german writers such as Heinrich Böll, Siegfried Lenz, Uwe Johnson an Martin Walser, who wanted to strengthen literary power after world war II - for a long time it was believed that what they said could no longer be surpassed, the beginning of the XXI century gave rise to a new flash of revelation, primarily related with an individual past.
This topic seems relevant to me, because now young people read little historical literature, and it would be interesting for me to talk about this topic. I am against military propaganda, and against militarization in particular, but knowing history from different points of historiography is very important. And not only one-sided, as we were told in the Russian school, that there are "good" our and "bad" enemies.
One of the first to open the door to that closet with a skeleton was a representative of the “middle” post-war generation - Uwe Timm, in 2003 publishing the story “Am Beispiel meines Bruders” (engl. In my brother's shadow). Timm’s story was published even before Gunter Grass admitted in his novel “Beim Häuten der Zwiebel” (engl. Peeling the onion) that he had served in the SS troops in his youth - therefore Timm can rightfully be considered one of the initiators of the “second wave”, which embraced the last of the “old” and many of the "new young" German writers in the mid-2000s. Two relevant storylines converge in it - military documentary and family.
Personal stories, the fate of fathers and grandfathers are of interest to writers of various generations today, but most of them are young writers. Therefore, by the onset of the 2010s, the same principle of processing memories will affect those families of writers whose childhood was the division and reunification of Germany.
In military subjects, writers find the following turn: without waiting for the escalation of the European migration crisis and the growing popularity of right-wing parties, the authors speculate on what would have happened in our time, another such figure as Adolf Hitler. The most direct and grotesque realistic answer is given in the debut novel “Er ist wieder da” (engl. Look who's back) by the young journalist Timur Vermes, making the mustached horror of the whole of Europe rise in the middle of modern Berlin and become the new media hype - it looks especially picturesque in the film adaptation of the same name.
Noteworthy is the interest in the publication of works that have long been stored in the archives of writers. This happened, for example, with Siegfried Lenz's novel "Der Überläufer", written in 1951 and which became a high-profile find of 2016; the same fate befell the manuscript of the book “Geschichte eines Deutschen” by Sebastian Hafner, discovered in 1999 after the death of the writer.
The novel by Timur Vermes “Look who's back” almost immediately after the release, in 2012, became a bestseller. This is an incredibly funny and witty book about how Hitler can become a hero of our time. According to the plot, the Führer suddenly finds himself in modern Berlin. At first, of course, he was not very comfortable: the Germans mistook him for a madman, and around everything that he was so afraid of - migrants who get along well with native Berliners, tolerance for everything and everyone, and as a result freedom of expression. Wandering around the city lead Hitler to meet with reporters.
The impressive character is quickly becoming the star of the television screen and the Internet. The world has changed, but man has not changed, it’s still easy to manipulate, parasitizing on a textbook formula: mine should be mine, and strangers should get out to hell. It was only in the 21st century that managing people thanks to modern technology became easier, and Hitler perfectly understands this.
In 2015, the book was filmed, starring the popular German actor Oliver Mazucci. Both the book and the film are a great opportunity to reflect on who we are and where we are moving.