Pride of Innocence, by David Buckley; Off Limits, by Hans Habe
Apparently the past dozen years have tempered the trauma that the immediate postwar period represented for the Germans, and in part too for their American conquerors, and it is now easier for both peoples to look at this period with a certain detachment. The recent rash of books on the occupation of Germany is also evidence of the attraction which this unique era—a time of unprecedented corruption—holds for the novelist.
Promiscuity, shady deals, betrayal, and denunciation were so much part of the everyday life of a conquered people who had lost their moral bearings that the conquerors soon succumbed as well. Because they brought the wherewithal—cigarettes, nylons, food, and money—to buy it, vice, which would otherwise not have led more than an exiguous, un-glamorous existence, became a well-traded commodity, almost an industry. To the end, the Americans paid official lip service to the values and rules imposed by a Calvinist and missionary morality—non-fraternization and re-education—which in the course of time had to be thrown overboard or side-stepped by the realistic administrators on the spot.
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