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Symposium: “Post-Fascist Politics in Germany and Japan”

March 4, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Co-sponsored by the Center for European Studies, the Department of History, the George L. Mosse Program in History, and the Harvey Goldberg Center.

The end of World War II brought common challenges and crises to Germany and Japan. Not only did the defeated Axis powers face physical devastation and massive population displacements in the wake of Allied bombings, but Allied military occupations undertook unprecedented projects of denazification, demilitarization, and reeducation. Occupation changed the political calculus for millions of participants in Nazism and Japanese imperialism, who sought to destroy the material traces of fascism and rewrite their political biographies. The past decade has seen a burst of scholarship in both fields, as historians problematize not only the origins of German and Japanese fascism but the reconstruction of West Germany and Japan as prosperous democracies allied with the United States. However, due to traditional geographic divisions in historical research, the two subfields are rarely brought into dialogue. This half-day workshop aims to bridge the divide of postwar German and Japanese history, exploring comparisons and entanglements of post-fascist politics in both countries. Questions to be addressed include: How did former collaborators in the Nazi and Imperial Japanese regimes navigate the politics of democratization? To what extent did fascist or anti-fascist networks forged between the two countries during the 1930s survive into the post-1945 period? How did methods of political cleansing, interpretations of fascism, and strategies for securing local cooperation circulate between the two Allied occupations? How were occupation policies inflected by American conceptions of race?

Panel 1: Re-Branding Nationalism and Conservatism After Defeat


  • Reto Hofmann, University of Western Australia (virtual)
  • Franziska Seraphim, Boston College (in person)
  • Brandon Bloch, UW-Madison (in person)
  • Till van Rahden, University of Montreal (virtual)

Panel 2: From Enemies to Allies: The Ambivalence of Living in the US Embrace


  • Kim Brandt, Columbia University (in person)
  • Louise Young, UW-Madison (in person)
  • Mikkel Dack, Rowan University (in person)
  • Julia Roos, Indiana University-Bloomington (in person)

More information forthcoming.


March 4, 2022
1:00 pm - 5:30 pm


Pyle Center
702 Langdon St
Madison, WI 53706
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