The ordinary amidst the extraordinary
Encounters between the occupier and the occupied in Europe
With Maria Fritsche
While the attack by the German Wehrmacht signaled the beginning of tremendous hardship, persecution, and loss for millions of Europeans, for others, especially in Northern and Western Europe, daily life continued much the same. How was daily life under the German occupation in these regions? Can we speak of a “normality” of occupation? And what role did violence play? In her talk, Fritsche looks at the occupation from below, asking how people responded to the presence of German soldiers and how the soldiers, in turn, adapted to their role as occupiers. By shifting focus to the contact between the occupiers and the occupied, Fritsche demonstrates that there is still much to be learned about the Second World War.
Maria Fritsche, professor at the Department for Historical Studies at NTNU, is a historian and film historian. She is currently a visiting fellow at the Institute for Contemporary History in München writing a book on the mundanity of war. Fritsche published extensively on film and cinema, justice, military, and masculinity, with a focus on the Second World War and the postwar period.