Everyday Life in a German Town

Panikos Panayi explores the conditions endured by the people of Osnabrück between 1929 and 1949.

During the first half of the twentieth century the population of Germany experienced a series of crises, which stretched from the outbreak of the First World War to the creation of two German states in 1949. These crises encompassed the trials of war, the aftermath of defeat, the effects of racism, and the consequences of economic collapse. Poverty, homelessness, deportation and murder would more specifically describe Germany in this period, which was also defined by the late Weimar crisis, the Nazi years and the post-war dislocation. The Germany of 1929–49 contains millions of tales of personal hardship. Clearly, minorities suffered most, but ethnic Germans also experienced problems. Even if they did not make up sections of the population regarded as inferior by the Nazis they would have experienced unemployment, homelessness and hunger.

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