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Memoria e Ricerca

The “first letters” of refugees: a liquidation of exile?

di David Kettler
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 31 (2009), p. 103

he “first letters” that are taken into account are those written soon after the end of World War II by a few great German refugees to their friends who remained in Germany. In the intentions of the senders, they are aimed at resuming contacts after many years of silence and re-open a discussion on the choice of exile and on the chance of going back to their native country. These letters describe the condition of the refugee and the difficulties of inclusion in a new reality: they also open old wounds that never healed and concerning political choices made in the years of dictatorship and immediately after the war, marked right away by the cold war and acute political confrontation between the two Germanys.