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 British soldiers' clubs in Germany 1940/50

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Lena Eggers

Number of posts : 4
Registration date : 2017-03-06

PostSubject: British soldiers' clubs in Germany 1940/50   6/3/2017, 13:21

Hello everyone,

my name is Lena and I am a PhD candidate at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin.
I investigate Wester Allies soldiers’ and officer’s clubs in postwar Germany in the 1940s and 1950s.
I am very interested in personnel stories, documents like letters, photos etc.

Does anyone of you made experiences with those clubs or are there any descendants of someone who did?

I am very looking forward to your response. Thank you very much.

Lena Eggers

See a broader description of my research topic here:

After the end of the Second World War, the Allies quickly constructed clubs for their soldiers and officers, creating new spaces of pleasure in the middle of a postwar German society that was facing hardship and ruin. The clubs were gradually opened to Germans, if initially only under certain conditions. This turned them into spaces where differing systems of values and morality encountered each other.

Taking the Western Allies' soldiers' clubs as an example, this project seeks to analyze the occupation as a dynamic social process between occupiers and occupied. In doing so, it will compare the various roles played by the three military governments and their officers and soldiers. Apart from this, it will research the ways in which the German population negotiated new values and norms within a new socio-political setting.

The members of the Allied forces interacted off-duty with Germans in soldiers' clubs, while at the same time, these spaces gave the occupied population the opportunity to take part in a new lifestyle: Germans could listen to jazz music, which had been forbidden under the National Socialists, and could explore different styles of clothing, dancing and behavior. Thus, a new repertoire of emotional practices arose which led to heated controversies in postwar Germany. Contemporaneous perceptions and views on the clubs and their guests as well as the interactions in the clubs themselves illustrate the clash between different norms and values.

The soldiers' clubs thus serve as a lens through which the various moral economies circulating in the immediate postwar period can be studied, contextualized, and explained. What sort of influence did the lost war, the occupation, and the nationalities of the occupying forces have on shifting values? Nationality, age, religion, class, gender, and race will serve as points of reference for analyzing differing moral economies.

The dissertation will study the extreme of social collapse in the years following defeat and the occupation up through the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany and the stabilization of the 1950s. By focusing on soldiers’ clubs, the project analyzes the factors that contributed to shifts in dominant conceptions of morality.
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Let Gen
Let Gen

Number of posts : 1095
Age : 77
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: British soldiers' clubs in Germany 1940/50   17/3/2017, 10:15


A very interesting topic, I may be able to help.

As a teenage schoolboy in the early/mid 1950s I visited the Hamburg Officers' Club then located on the banks of the Binnen Alster As a career soldier I subsequently served for a number of tours in various British Army Garrisons.

I am also one of the small team of amateur military history enthusiasts who are researching and recording the transformation of the wartime 21st Army Group (including its Allied components such as the Canadian 1st Army, the Polish Armoured Division and the Free Begian and Dutch Brigades) into the peacetime Britih Army of the Rhine. I have a particular interest in Schleswig Holstein (I was at schol at what is now MUS Ploen) but do have some knowledge of other locations where I lived for a time

I have just returned from a longhaul overseas holiday so it may be a little while before I contact you privately.
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Lena Eggers

Number of posts : 4
Registration date : 2017-03-06

PostSubject: Re: British soldiers' clubs in Germany 1940/50   27/3/2017, 11:41

Thanks for your message. Indeed, that sounds very interesting and helpful!

I am looking forward to your private message.
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