The postwar occupations of Germany and Japan were significant periods for the history of Europe and East Asia alike. They have both been thoroughly researched on their own right, yet until to date historical scholarship has hardly ever considered putting the history of both occupations into conversation, whether from comparative or entangled history perspectives. Our understanding of both occupations thus remains embedded into the national success stories of postwar Germany and Japan, and both nations’ respective relations to the occupation powers and immediate regional contexts. This talk, on the contrary, explores opportunities and challenges of writing a “geteilte Geschichte”—meaning both shared and divided history—of occupied Germany and Japan with a particular focus on the experience of the occupation period in peoples’ everyday life, race, gender, and sexuality.
Robert Kramm holds a doctoral degree in history from ETH Zurich and is now Freigeist-Fellow and principal investigator of the research group “Radical Utopian Communities” in the School of History at LMU Munich. Currently he is visiting Berkeley as a research fellow in Asian Pacific History at the Pacific Office of the German Historical Institute. His first book, Sanitized Sex: Regulating Prostitution, Venereal Disease, and Intimacy during the Occupation of Japan, 1945-1952, was published 2017 with University of California Press, and his articles appeared in the Journal of World History, Journal of Women’s History, Geschichte und Gesellschaft, Modern Asian Studies and Journal of Global History.
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