CURRENTS: Humanities Work Now
Rebecca Boehling (History)
Tuesday, December 4, 2018 · Noon - 1 PM
Fall 2018 Works-in-Progress Talks
Denazification through the Lens of Transitional Justice?
Rebecca Boehling, Professor of History and Director of the Global Studies and Judaic Studies Programs; 2018 Dresher Center Residential Faculty Fellow
Conceptualizing denazification as transitional justice requires positing the process as part of a reckoning with the recent past in pursuit of truth and justice, as prerequisites to reconciliation, and ultimately democratization. While the WWII Allies considered denazificaton as a prerequisite to reconciliation, the Germans least complicit with the Nazi regime usually had the most interest in denazification as transitional justice. Contradictions abound when military governments seek to impose democracy. Perhaps the best a foreign occupier can achieve in a country they have fought, invaded and defeated in war, is to set up legal and participatory political structures and regulate socio-economic frameworks in ways to restrict anti-democratic tendencies and promote opportunities for the growth of democracy. The lens of transitional justice may help reveal the limits of occupation and yet the necessity of removing anti-democratic obstacles to the creation of the framework and structures for civil society.