Trümmerliteratur is a literary movement that originated in Germany shortly after the Second World War. What are typical charactaristics of Trümmerliteratur? How can a work that is Trümmerliteratur be recognized as such?


Typical charactaristics of Trümmerliteratur are:

  • The works are written within a few years after the end of the Second World War.
  • The work concernes the question of guilt of the war and the Holocaust.
  • One of the goals of the work is to warn for repeation.
  • The literary style is radically different from some styles form a while before the Second World War. However, some elements of older literary movements still come back, such as the Romanticism (Romantik) and Expressionism (Expressionismus).
  • The work is realistic, unpsychological and truthful. There are no ideologies.
  • The work describes the ruins (Trümmer) of Germany after the war ended.
  • 1
    I'm not sure your 2nd and 3rd point are that necessary at all. Let's take Wolfgang Borchert as one of the most famous representatives of this movement. While Draussen vor der Tür seems to have a moral aspect to it and a question of repressing moral responsibility, his short stories concentrated much more on the current ruined state of life. Asking a question of guilt was much less of a concern than merely depicting the harsh reality of the post-war citizens. So it would be interesting where you even have those characterisitics from that you present here. Jan 25 '17 at 22:27
  • 1
    @ChristianRau Of course, these do not necessarily all apply to every piece of literature, like most charactaristics of literary genres.
    – wythagoras
    Jan 26 '17 at 7:32

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