The Original 45ers: A European “Generation of Resistance”?
Rigoll examines the role former opponents to Nazism could play in the political and intellectual life of post-war West Germany and Western Europe. He first offers 10 biographical sketches of original 45ers, that is, the tiny minority of German Anti-Nazis or Non-Nazis whom the allied occupation powers allowed to participate in the democratic reconstruction during the early years after the Second World War. Focusing on the Auschwitz survivor and former Resistance fighter Jean Améry, Rigoll then explores whether the 45er phenomenon also existed in other countries, especially in France. He argues that 45ers indeed existed in many countries, but they were too few to form a whole ‘generation’.