This article reflects on the functioning of ideology by examining different modes in which the myths of antifascism and victimhood in the setting of Berlin during 1945–48 were formulated. Rather than debunk these myths, Oberle asks about the processes, places, and actors involved in shaping them and about the subsequent transformations of the narratives. The evidence points to the importance of both Allies and Germans as actors, to a powerful dialectic of the rubbled space where myth formulation and claims to legitimacy could be found in areas such as housing allocation, and to an understanding of ideology as performance with malleable content. In the postwar setting, ideology offered the illusion of order, harmony, and morality in the very absence of these. It further served as a pragmatic mechanism to hide and exculpate the immediate past.
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Clara M. Oberle; Reconfiguring Postwar Antifascism: Reflections on the History of Ideology. New German Critique 1 November 2012; 39 (3 (117)): 135–153. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0094033X-1677300
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