Memoir and Memory: The papers of a pre-war German - Alfred Huhnh채user, 1885 to 1950 - PhDData

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Memoir and Memory: The papers of a pre-war German – Alfred Huhnh채user, 1885 to 1950

The thesis was published by Martin, Caroline, in September 2022, University of Stirling.


The personal archive of Dr Alfred Huhnh채user (1885-1950), a German civil servant, is examined with regard to this thesis. The archive consists of an unfinished personal memoir, Aus einem reichen Leben, five chapters of a political memoir concerning Huhnh채user’s time in Norway during the German occupation, publications edited by Huhnh채user and other personal documents. A full catalogue of the contents of the archive has been included in this thesis.
An attempt has been made to identify the significance of the Huhnh채user archive within a literary framework and, therefore, a brief analysis of the study of autobiographical writings has been undertaken. The importance of the archive within the context of social history has also been stressed, for Huhnh채user was an “ordinary” German and not one of the Great and the Good. The personal memoirs operate on three levels – personal, worldstage and cultural- and extracts from the archive have been used to illustrate this. A brief historical summary of events in Norway prior to and immediately after the German occupation is given in order to place the events described by Huhnh채user in context.
The contents of the personal and political memoirs are summarized and analyzed in this thesis. Recurring themes are identified and examined. Perhaps the most significant is Huhnh채user’s repeated claim that he is an inherently ”unpolitisches We sen”. Evidence has been obtained from the Bundesarchiv in Berlin which proves that Huhnh채user joined the NSDAP on 1 May 1933. Huhnh채user does not refer in the memoirs to his membership of this party, claiming instead that he has never voluntarily been involved in party politics.
A second volume of materials has been included in this thesis in order to provide more detailed information as regards to the composition and contents of the archive. Extracts from the memoirs and letters have also been selected.

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