Memory and myth: the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima in German and Japanese TV drama

Kirsch, Griseldis GND

Japan is often blamed for not coming to terms with its own wartime past and for focusing solely on its role as a victim of the war. Germany, however, is often seen as the model that Japan has to emulate, having penitently accepted responsibility. Thus, in order to work out how these popular myths are being perpetuated, the media prove to be a good source of information, since they help to uphold memory and myth at the same time. In this paper, it will be examined how the “memory” of the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima is being upheld in Japan and Germany – and what kinds of “myths” are being created in the process. In focusing on two TV dramas, it shall be worked out to what extent Japan and Germany are represented as “victims” and to what extent, if at all, the issue of war responsibility features in these dramas.

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