British Journal of Canadian Studies

German Representations of Canada and Canadian Soldiers: Karl Bröger's Bunker 17, Wolfgang Borchert's 'Billbrook' and Rainer Kunad's Bill Brook

British Journal of Canadian Studies (2007), 20, (2), 275–288.

Abstract

Very little research has been done on how Germans viewed their Canadian opponents in the First and Second World Wars. This article examines how Canadian government propaganda influenced twentieth-century German perceptions of Canada and how these images were perpetuated in German war fiction. Although Canada is hardly a major focal point in German literature, at least two writers, Karl Bröger and Wolfgang Borchert, present a mythical portrait of Canada as a natural and agrarian paradise whose inhabitants are representative of the country's health, strength and abundance. The second half of the article explores the divergence in perceptions of Canada between East and West Germany. For the West German Borchert, Canada became a symbol of hope amidst the postwar despair of Hamburg. In the East German Rainer Kunad's opera Bill Brook, Canada is denounced for its participation in the criminal bombing of German cities.

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Boeschenstein, H., 'Is There a Canadian Image in German Literature?', Seminar 3 (1967), 1–20. Is There a Canadian Image in German Literature? Seminar 3 1 20 Google Scholar

Bohm, A., 'A Promised Land? Canada Through German Eyes', in J. Kleist and S. Huffman (eds), Canada Observed: Perspectives from Abroad and from Within (New York, NY: Peter Lang, 2000), 1–14. A Promised Land? Canada Through German Eyes Canada Observed: Perspectives from Abroad and from Within 1 14. Google Scholar

Borchert, W., 'Billbrook', in Das Gesamtwerk (Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1958). Google Scholar

Borchert, W., 'Billbrook', in The Man Outside, trans. D. Porter (New York, NY: New Directions, 1971). Google Scholar

Borchert, W., 'To Elisabeth Kaiser, 21 May 1947', in G.J.A. Burgess and M. Töteberg (eds), Allein mit meinem Schatten und dem Mond (Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1996a). To Elisabeth Kaiser, 21 May 1947 Allein mit meinem Schatten und dem Mond Google Scholar

Borchert, W., 'To Werner Lüning, 21 June 1946', in G.J.A. Burgess and M. Töteberg (eds), Allein mit meinem Schatten und dem Mond (Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1996b). To Werner Lüning, 21 June 1946 Allein mit meinem Schatten und dem Mond Google Scholar

Borchert, W., 'To Claus Damman, 21 April 1941', in G.J.A. Burgess and M. Töteberg (eds), Allein mit meinem Schatten und dem Mond (Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1996c). To Claus Damman, 21 April 1941 Allein mit meinem Schatten und dem Mond Google Scholar

Bröger, K., Bunker 17: Geschichte einer Kameradschaft (Jena: Eugen Diderichs, 1929). Bunker 17: Geschichte einer Kameradschaft Google Scholar

Burgess, G., The Life and Works of Wolfgang Borchert (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2003). The Life and Works of Wolfgang Borchert Google Scholar

Burgess, G., 'Änderungen im Sinne Borcherts – Ja oder Nein? Zu "Billbrook" in der Originalfassung und im Gesamtwerk', Jahresheft der Internationalen Wolfgang-Borchert-Gesellschaft 16 (2004), 8–12. Änderungen im Sinne Borcherts – Ja oder Nein? Zu "Billbrook" in der Originalfassung und im Gesamtwerk Jahresheft der Internationalen Wolfgang-Borchert-Gesellschaft 16 8 12 Google Scholar

Ceniza, S., Walt Whitman and 19th-Century Women Reformers (Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1998). Walt Whitman and 19th-Century Women Reformers Google Scholar

Germar, O., 'Trommelfeuer', in E. Jünger (ed.), Das Antlitz des Weltkrieges: Fronterlebnisse deutscher Soldaten (Berlin: Neufeld und Henius Verlag, 1930), 27–36. Trommelfeuer Das Antlitz des Weltkrieges: Fronterlebnisse deutscher Soldaten 27 36. Google Scholar

Gibbons, A., A Guest of the Kaiser (Toronto, ON: J.M. Dent and Sons, 1919). A Guest of the Kaiser Google Scholar

Goetsch, P., 'The Image of Canada in Nineteenth-Century German Travel Literature', German Canadian Yearbook 7 (1983), 121–35. The Image of Canada in Nineteenth-Century German Travel Literature German Canadian Yearbook 7 121 35 Google Scholar

Grams, G., 'Der Verein für das Deutschtum im Ausland and Its Observations of Canada Prior to World War One', Canadian Ethnic Studies 33:2 (2001), 117–25. Der Verein für das Deutschtum im Ausland and Its Observations of Canada Prior to World War One Canadian Ethnic Studies 33 117 25 Google Scholar

Herwig, H.H., The First World War: Germany and Austria-Hungary, 1914–1918 (London and New York, NY: Arnold, 1997). The First World War: Germany and Austria-Hungary, 1914–1918 Google Scholar

Kunad, R., Bill Brook, Conatum 23: Klavierauszug (Rimsting: Keturi, n.d.). Google Scholar

Morton, D., When Your Number's Up: The Canadian Soldier in the First World War (Toronto, ON: Random House of Canada, 1993). When Your Number's Up: The Canadian Soldier in the First World War Google Scholar

Müller, G., Vaterland und Republik: Monographie des Nürnberger Schriftsteller Karl Bröger (Pfaffenweiler: Centaurus-Verlagsgesellschaft, 1986). Vaterland und Republik: Monographie des Nürnberger Schriftsteller Karl Bröger Google Scholar

Padgett, J. O., 'The Poet in War: Walt Whitman and Wolfgang Borchert', Monatshefte für Deutschen Unterricht, Deutsche Sprache und Literatur 70 (1980), 149–61. The Poet in War: Walt Whitman and Wolfgang Borchert Monatshefte für Deutschen Unterricht, Deutsche Sprache und Literatur 70 149 61 Google Scholar

Pfeiler, W.M.K., War and the German Mind: The Testimony of Men of Fiction Who Fought at the Front (New York, NY: AMS Press, 1966). War and the German Mind: The Testimony of Men of Fiction Who Fought at the Front Google Scholar

Schmiedel, G., 'Musiktheater – Erregend, Aktuell: Zwei Uraufführungen: Erfolg für Rainer Kunad', Sächsiches Tageblatt, 17 March (1965), n.p. Google Scholar

Schönleber, J., 'Kunad, Rainer' in S. Sadie (ed.), The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, II (New York, NY: Grove's Dictionaries of Music, 1992), 1057–8. Google Scholar

Sigrist, G., 'Kanada – Wunschraum, Kanada – Wunschtraum, Zur Wahrnehmung Kanadas in Deutschen Reisebeschreibungen', Zeitschrift für Kulturaustausch 45 (1995), 208–18. Kanada – Wunschraum, Kanada – Wunschtraum, Zur Wahrnehmung Kanadas in Deutschen Reisebeschreibungen Zeitschrift für Kulturaustausch 45 208 18 Google Scholar

Times History of the War, V (London: The Times, 1919). Google Scholar

Vance, J., Death So Noble (Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press, 1997). Death So Noble Google Scholar

Wagner, J., A History of Migration from Germany to Canada, 1850–1939 (Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press, 2006). A History of Migration from Germany to Canada, 1850–1939 Google Scholar

Whitman, W., 'Song of Myself', in F. Murphy (ed.), Walt Whitman: The Complete Poems (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1975). Song of Myself Walt Whitman: The Complete Poems Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Lawson, Robert