Neophilologus

, Volume 91, Issue 1, pp 135–148 | Cite as

Stanley Milgram and Siegfried Lenz: An Analysis of Deutschstunde in the Framework of Social Psychology

Article
  • 157 Downloads

Abstract

Siegfried Lenz’s novel Deutschstunde is analyzed on the basis of work conducted by two American psychologists: Stanley Milgram and Lawrence Kohlberg. The concept of duty and obedience to authority are considered as social phenomena that go beyond personal disposition. The article uses Milgram’s famous obedience experiment in order to consider the literary depiction of psychological processes underlying compliance with orders to commit reprehensible acts. A comparison is made between Jens Jepsen, the fictional obedient policeman in Deutschstunde, and Paul Grueninger, a real policeman in wartime Switzerland, who refused to follow orders and saved many refugees at the Austrian border.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Burgess, Gordon J.A. “Pflicht und Verantwortungsgefühl: Es waren Habichte in the der Luft, Deutschstunde, Ein Kriegsende,” in Siegfried Lenz. Werk und Wirkung. Ed. Rudolf Wolff. Bonn: Bouvier Verlag Herbert Grundmann, 1985, pp. 26--34.Google Scholar
  2. Collins, Barry E and Ma, Laura “Impression Management and Identity Construction in the Milgram Social System,” in Obedience to Authority: Current Perspectives on the Milgram Paradigm. Ed. Thomas Blass. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 2000, pp. 61--90.Google Scholar
  3. Kohlberg Lawrence (1981). The Philosophy of Moral Development. Harper and Row, New York Google Scholar
  4. Kontje Todd (1980). “Captive Creator in Siegfried Lenz’s Deutschstunde: Writer, Reader and Response.”. The German Quarterly 53(4): 458–466 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Milgram S (1974). Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View. Harper & Row, New York Google Scholar
  6. Murdoch Brian and Read Malcolm (1978). Siegfried Lenz. Oswald Wolff, London Google Scholar
  7. Paslick Robert H (1973). “Narrowing the Distance: Siegfried Lenz’s Deutschstunde.”. The German Quarterly 46(2): 210–218 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Rochat, Franc¸ oit. “Captain Paul Grueninger: The Chief of Police Who Saved Jewish Refugees by Refusing to Do His Duty,” in Obedience to Authority: Current Perspectives on the Milgram Paradigm. Ed. Thomas Blass. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 2000, pp. 91--110.Google Scholar
  9. Weber Albrecht (1975). Siegfried Lenz Deutschstunde. Oldenburg Verlag, München Google Scholar
  10. Zimbardo, Philip. “Reflections on the Stanford Prison Experiment: Genesis, Transformations, Consequences,” in Obedience to Authority: Current Perspectives on the Milgram Paradigm. Ed. Thomas Blass. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 2000, pp. 193--237.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Modern Languages and LiteraturesUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

Personalised recommendations