Festivalprat #12: Florian Huber

Kva følte den jamne tyskar då krigen var over i 1945? Florian Huber har skrive bok om den eksistensielle frykta som råka mange.

I kjølvannet av det tredje riket og [Urframføring] Fire tekster om arv

Florian Huber er tysk historikar og dokumentarfilmskapar, og kjem til Verden i Bergen for å snakke om si siste bok – Barn, lov meg at du skyter deg. Vanlige tyskeres undergang i 1945 – som kom på norsk i fjor. I boka skildrar han den tyske massementaliteten under krigen og avgrunnen mange vanlege tyskarar sto overfor då nederlaget var eit faktum. Det skyldte nemleg ei sjølvmordsbølge over landet i kjølvatnet av krigen.

Why did you write about the mass suicides in Germany in 1945?

– When I realized that this is a widely unknown story of an enormous scale, I knew I had to write a book on it. Because I couldn’t stand the idea that tens of thousands of tragic fates would be forgotten forever.

– The book has been described as a «psychological portrait of a people, drawn up close». Is the study of the history of mass mentality an especially important part of historical research in Germany? 

– This is a very accurate description of my work. Mental history is a well-established matter in Germany, yet hardly so when it comes to the history of mass emotions. That’s what my book’s focus is on.

– Can you name a non-fiction book that have mattered a lot to you, and inspired your work?

– Actually, it was while reading Ian Kershaw’s The End about Germany in 1945, that I stumbled over a footnote mentioning mass suicide in Germany 1945. So, I owe him the most respect. As to style and writing, I found quite some inspiration in Swedish historian Peter Englund’s book on World War I – The Beauty and the Sorrow.

– What are you working on these days, what is your next project?

– I just finished a book on the manifold dramas in German family life after Second World War, which will be out on 1st of March. Then I’m also working on a documentary film about our Ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

Intervju ved Ingrid Myrstad.