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Oberammergau in the Nazi EraThe Fate of a Catholic Village in Hitler's Germany$
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Helena Waddy

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195371277

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195371277.001.0001

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(p.219) 8 Allies
Oberammergau in the Nazi Era

Helena Waddy (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

A local resistance group named after a rare Alpine bird opens Chapter Eight. Oberammergau’s forestry chief led this effort at peaceful surrender to the occupying Americans who brought a harsh postwar environment to a village population swollen by refugees from Germany’s lost eastern provinces and expelled ethnic Germans. All adults were subject to denazification procedures that attempted to sort out the guilty from the innocent, although most local Nazis were lightly punished as fellow travelers. The denazified villagers included Raimund Lang, who returned as mayor after a controversial local election. Village-level democracy had resumed early in 1946 while, gradually, regional and state-level democratic structures revived in their turn. Once the Federal Republic was established in 1949, Lang could lead preparations for a 1950 Passion Play season. The community had seemingly returned to normal life but the reprieve was short-lived; the shadow of their Nazi past would not disappear.

Keywords:   resistance, Americans, Oberammergau, Nazis, ethnic Germans, denazification, fellow travelers, Federal Republic, 1950, Passion Play

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