After two world wars, Germany was closely associated with military combat. With the Cold War taking place in a divided Germany, it seemed that the country would continue to be closely associated with war and the military. Under pressure from the US and the Soviet Union, both West and East Germany rearmed and the East German army, the NVA, was formed in 1956. Yet the East German state was very keen to present its audience as an ‘Army of Peace’. Film played a key role in transmitting this image to its own people and abroad.
Tom Smith introduces how the changing way East German directors presented military was presented in film over the course of the country’s existence. The study guide includes further reading and viewing suggestions if you want to pursue the topic further.
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About the Author
Tom Smith is a PhD student at University College London.
He started studying German at Harrogate Grammar School, and completed an undergraduate in History and Modern Languages in 2010 and a Master’s in German in 2012, both at New College, Oxford. He started PhD study at UCL in 2012.
Tom has published on queer figures and self-censorship in the works of Helga Königsdorf and his PhD focuses on literature and film about the East
German armed forces.