As one of the major symbols of German suffering, the Allied bombing war left a strong imprint on German society. To a much wider extent than is often claimed, the Allied bombings became part of German debates on the Second World War. In both the GDR as well as the Federal Republic before and after 1990 the air war became a topic of public and political interest as well as the subject of many historical accounts.
Bas von Benda-Beckmann analyzes the German historiography of the Allied bombings since 1945. He explores how German historical accounts reflected debates on post-war German identity, and whether the history of the air war formed a “counter-narrative” against the idea that the Germans as a collective were guilty of the Nazi crimes.