© 2012

After the Dresden Bombing

Pathways of Memory, 1945 to the Present


Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies book series (PMMS)

About this book


Anne Fuchs traces the aftermath of the Dresden bombing in the collective imagination from 1945 to today. As a case study of an event that gained local, national and global iconicity, the book investigates the role of photography, fine art, architecture, literature and film in dialogue with the changing German socio-political landscape.


architecture art dialogue environment event film German imagination knowledge landscape literature media memory photography present

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of St AndrewsUK

About the authors

ANNE FUCHS Professor of German at the University of St Andrews, UK. Prior to 2011 she was professor of Modern German Literature and Culture at University College Dublin, Ireland, for eighteen years, where she also directed a five-year research programme on 'German Memory Contests since 1945' under the auspices of the UCD Humanities Institute. The award of the UCD President's Fellowship in 2010 facilitated the completion of her Dresden project. She has published widely on modern German literature and cultural memory in journals and books and is author of four monographs, including Phantoms of War in German Literature, Film and Discourse, which won a Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award in 2009.  

Bibliographic information


“Anne Fuchs’ After the Dresden Bombing: Pathways of Memory, 1945 to the Present is the more ambitious and wide-ranging. Her aim is to dissect what she terms ‘the Dresden impact narrative’ by exploring four different forms of media – pictures, architecture, literature, and film – that have transmitted this narrative. … The book opens with a powerful discussion of the representation of Dresden in photography and fine art in the immediate post-war years.” (Stefan Goebel, European History Quarterly, Vol. 46 (2), 2016)

'In this fascinating book, two things come together in a rare combination: an exemplary historical site with the weight of global iconicity and a paradigmatic case study that in its broad range of perspectives and approaches sets new standards for cultural memory studies.'

- Aleida Assmann, University of Constance, Germany

'Anne Fuchs has produced a book of great sensitivity on the cultural memory of the destruction of Dresden. She traces those cultural templates that were used, reused, modified and replaced in an attempt to come to terms with an event which, ultimately, eluded representation or containment. Her interdisciplinary study provides an original, insightful and poignant narratology of traumatic memory.'

- Bill Niven, Nottingham Trent University, UK

'In this far-reaching, provocative and always illuminating book, Anne Fuchs explores how representations of Allied bombing made Dresden into a global icon that was at once tendentious and exhortative. 'Dresden 1945' resisted both political reflection by suppressing human agency and ideological instrumentalization by producing excessive nostalgia. Fuchs' great contribution is to show how the terrible destruction of World War II created the compelling effects of 'the aftermath of history' in our time.'

- Peter Fritzsche, University of Illinois, USA