Main Article Content
Jörg Friedrich’s Brandstätten (2003) may be considered the visual counterpart of Der Brand. Deutschland im Bombenkrieg 1940–1945(2002), a book which sparked a debate about how to properly treat the subject of German air raid victims in historiography. Brandstätten, on the other hand, is a photo book consisting of archival photographs, literary and eyewitness quotes, statistics, as well as excerpts from Nazi propaganda. Though I consider many of the troubling continuities between Der Brand and Brandstätten (e.g., equation of victims of the Shoah and victims of the air war), the main point of analysis in this paper is Friedrich’s emplotment of the air war. Friedrich presents the reader with two protagonists: German culture and the German people. German cultural heritage, in Friedrich’s formulation, is itself reified in the face of the very cities that the air raids destroyed. He emplots the cities (embodiments of historical architecture and cultural artifacts) differently than the German people (conceived according to the idea of the mythical Volksgemeinschaft): the former takes the shape of a Tragedy, the latter that of a Romance. Drawing from Hayden White’s work on historical narrative and figuralism, I conduct a close reading of Friedrich’s Brandstätten (2003) and the narrative strategies he uses in order to emplot the air war according to his own particular, even if semi-recycled, story arc. I illustrate how Friedrich employs montage, chronological-thematic ordering, as well as what Michael André Bernstein calls “backshadowing,” in order to doubly emplot the air war according to Tragic and Romantic story types.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Whereas Focus on German Studies is undertaking to publish the volume named above, of which the undersigned is Author of one or more parts, the Author hereby grants and assigns to Focus on German Studies (hereafter the Press) the entire literary property and all rights of whatsoever kind in the Work and every part thereof, throughout the world and agrees that the copyright may be taken and held in the name of the Press. The Author warrants that this Work is original and that he/she is the sole author and owner of the Work and has full power to make this grant. If the Work includes material protected by copyright, the Author will provide proof of permission to include that material.
- The Author and the Press mutually agree that publication of the Author’s work is contingent upon its acceptance for publication by the editor of the volume.
- The Author guarantees that none of the material included in his Work has been previously published, or, if it has been previously published in whole or in part, that an assignment of copyright in the name of Focus on German Studies has been obtained. Such assignment shall be submitted with the Author’s manuscript.
- The Press will edit the Work for style, usage, and felicity, in accordance with its usual practice. After the Work has been accepted through peer review, the Author, or the title page editor of the volume, as they shall agree between them, shall have an opportunity to read and correct the edited manuscript.
- The Author will receive no royalty or other monetary return from Focus on German Studies for the use of this Work.
- Focus on German Studies retains the copyright for published works; however, the Author may reprint the work provided that credit is given to FoGS as the initial source of publication.